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Ina Garten’s Lasagna (Easy Recipe)

When you want comfort food with a twist of elegance, you turn to the Barefoot Contessa.

And Ina Garten’s lasagna is a classic you’ll make again and again.

Close up of Ina Garten's Turkey Lasagna on a white plate
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Ina Garten is the unofficial Queen of the Hamptons. She exudes style and grace, and her cooking does too!

And let me tell ya, this turkey lasagna fits the theme.

It’s cheesy, meaty, and mouthwateringly delicious.

Seriously, Ina Garten’s lasagna is rich, flavorful, and absolutely soul-soothing. You’re gonna love it. 

Ina Garten’s Turkey Lasagna Recipe

I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly makes this lasagna so special. Especially when there are so many lasagna recipes out there. 

Well, there are five reasons, to be exact. 

Firstly, this recipe uses Italian turkey sausage instead of beef or pork. It’s bursting with flavor, but it’s much lighter and leaner (aka healthy!). 

That means you won’t feel overwhelmingly heavy if you “accidentally” eat three slices. 

The other four reasons can be summed up quickly: ricotta, goat cheese, Parmesan, and mozzarella. 

Yep, you read that right. This luscious lasagna is loaded with FOUR kinds of cheese.

Each one has a distinct flavor that works well with the others. 

In combination with the tomatoes, noodles, and seasonings, every bite is perfectly balanced.   

Ina Garten Turkey Lasagna Slice

Barefoot Contessa’s Lasagna Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make Ina’s lasagna:

  • Olive Oil – To sauté the veggies for the sauce. I like extra virgin olive oil, but you could use avocado or any neutral oil if that’s what you have on hand. 
  • Alliums – Specifically, yellow onions and garlic. Every savory recipe needs its alliums for flavor and nutrition. And fresh is always best!
  • Italian Turkey Sausage – It’s got big flavor, with little grease. Use mild sausage or spicy, depending on your tastes.  
  • Tomatoes – You’ll use both crushed tomatoes and tomato paste for maximum flavor. 
  • Herbs and Seasonings – You’ll need fresh parsley and fresh basil for this recipe. Plus, salt and pepper, of course. 
  • Lasagna Noodles – Use your favorite brand and go for white, whole wheat, gluten-free, or even chickpea noodles for extra protein if you like. 
  • Cheese – Lasagna without cheese is blasphemy. And this recipe calls for goat cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella.
    • Substitute the goat cheese for extra ricotta if you don’t like the tang.
    • Throw in some blue cheese if you like it really pungent. 
    • If you can’t find ricotta, cottage cheese is a fantastic substitute. 
  • Egg – The egg acts as a binding agent to keep the cheese filling together. It also adds protein and a bit of rich flavor. 

How To Make Ina Garten’s Turkey Lasagna

If you’ve ever made lasagna before, this should be a breeze. That said, it’s a breeze anyway.

1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F (205°C) and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

(You can also use two 8×8-inch pans or cut the recipe in half and use one 8×8-inch pan.)

2. PREPARE all the ingredients, chop the onions and garlic, slice the mozzarella, and remove the casings from the sausage if necessary.

3. COOK the onions until translucent, add garlic until fragrant, then brown the sausage. Mix in tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, parsley, and basil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

4. SOAK the lasagna noodles in hot water for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then drain.

5. MIX the ricotta, goat cheese, and 1 cup Parmesan. Add beaten egg, remaining parsley, salt, and pepper to form a cheese filling.

6. ASSEMBLE: Layer one-third of the meat sauce in the baking dish and top with half the noodles, mozzarella, and ricotta mixture. Repeat layers, finishing with the last third of the meat sauce. Top with the rest of the Parmesan.

7. BAKE uncovered for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the top is brown.

8. REST: Let the lasagna sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.  

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Ina Garten's Lasagna in a Glass Baking Dish

How to Prepare Lasagna Ahead of Time

Ina Garten’s lasagna is a fantastic dish to prepare ahead of time. And there are a few ways you can do it. 

1. Prepare the whole dish a day or two before you need it.

  • Prepare the lasagna as instructed, but don’t bake it.
  • Wrap the dish in plastic and foil and store it in the fridge.
  • Let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

2. Prepare the sauce and cheese mixture, but don’t assemble the lasagna.

  • Make the sauce as instructed, and measure and mix all the cheeses (not the egg).
  • Store everything in airtight containers for up to two days ahead.
  • Let the ingredients come to room temperature for 30 minutes, then assemble the lasagna and bake.
  • Prep the noodles while the sauce and cheese warm on the counter.

3. Make and bake the lasagna, then cool and freeze for later.

  • Make the recipe as instructed, then bake until golden and bubbly.
  • Leave the entire dish to cool for about an hour, then pop it in the fridge until it’s completely cold.
  • When it’s cold, wrap the whole dish in plastic and foil. Then put it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • When you’re ready to eat it, either cook from frozen – covered in foil – for about an hour. Then cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
  • Or thaw overnight and bake as normal.

Tips for the Best Lasagna

Lasagna is a pretty easy dish. But I’ve still got a few tips to make sure your dish is delish!

  • Use room-temperature meats: Let the turkey sausage sit out for 30 minutes before cooking to ensure it cooks evenly and stays juicy.
  • Cheese and eggs too: Bring the ricotta, goat cheese, and eggs to room temperature for smoother mixing.
  • Use no-boil noodles: Save time by using no-boil lasagna noodles and check the box for any specific cooking adjustments.
  • Thicken the meat sauce: Let the sauce cook until it thickens; continue cooking if it’s runny after 20 minutes.
  • Drain the noodles well: Properly drain the noodles to avoid adding excess moisture to the lasagna.
  • Avoid greasy meats: Opt for turkey sausage over pork or beef to reduce greasiness in the lasagna.
  • Add sugar and wine: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of sugar into the tomato sauce to cut the acidity and add red wine to the meat sauce for richness.
  • Test for doneness: Insert a toothpick in the center of the lasagna; if it slides through easily, the dish is ready.
Ina Garten's Turkey Lasagna on a white plate

How to Store and Reheat Lasagna Leftovers

Lasagna leftovers are the best! If you have any, that is. 

Luckily, they last a while in the fridge, so you can enjoy this fabulous dish the whole rest of the week. 

To Store: Let the lasagna cool to room temperature then wrap the dish tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To Freeze Baked Lasagna: Wrap cold leftover slices or the whole pan in two layers of plastic and a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To Freeze Unbaked Lasagna: Assemble the lasagna only when the elements are cool. Then, wrap the dish in plastic wrap, followed by foil and freeze for up to 2 months.

To Reheat: Thaw frozen lasagna in the fridge overnight. Bake cooked lasagna at 350°F until hot and bubbly. Microwave slices for 1-2 minutes, until hot. Bake uncooked lasagna per the instructions below.

You can also bake the raw lasagna from frozen. Cook it (covered) at 400°F for 45 to 60 minutes.

More Ina Garten Recipes You’ll Love  

Ina Garten Pasta Salad
Ina Garten Shrimp Scampi
Ina Garten Chicken Salad
Ina Garten’s Meatloaf

Ina Garten’s Lasagna (Easy Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time





When you want comfort food with a twist of elegance, you turn to the Barefoot Contessa. And Ina Garten’s lasagna is a classic you’ll make again and again.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium onion)

  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet or spicy Italian turkey sausage (remove casings)

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste (about 10 tablespoons)

  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped and divided

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1/2 pound lasagna noodles

  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese

  • 3-4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled

  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205°C) and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, until they’re translucent. Then, add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Crumble the Italian sausage into the skillet. Brown the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up any larger clumps. Cook until it’s no longer pink.
  • Next, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of parsley, and the basil. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper into the mixture. Stir.
  • Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will start to thicken.
  • While the sauce is simmering, fill a large bowl with hot water and soak the lasagna noodles. Let them soak for 20 minutes, stirring them occasionally, so they don’t stick. After 20 minutes, drain them and set them aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, and the egg. Also, add the remaining salt and pepper. Use a rubber spatula to mix everything together. Set aside.
  • Ladle a third of the meat sauce into the prepared baking dish. Spread it evenly over the bottom of the dish.
  • Cover the sauce with half of the lasagna noodles, followed by half of the mozzarella slices. Then, add half of the ricotta mixture and another third of the meat sauce. Repeat until all the elements are finished, with the sauce being the last layer.
  • Take the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and sprinkle it on top.
  • Put the lasagna in the oven and bake it for about 30 minutes. It’s ready when it’s hot, bubbly, and the cheese is golden brown. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm, and enjoy!

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author avatar
Haley van der Ploeg
Haley van der Ploeg is a food writer and content creator for Insanely Good Recipes, where she authors blog posts, creates recipes, and crafts tantalizing photos.

Haley is passionate about food and its ability to gather people across cultures, languages, and generations. She believes everyone can learn to cook.

Most days, you can find Haley reading, baking elaborate cakes, and hosting get-togethers for friends and family. If Haley isn't home, she’s probably on a plane jetting off to exciting adventures and new cuisines.

She lives with her husband in the Netherlands and has taught him that vegetables *can* taste good.

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