This Ragu lasagna recipe makes a scrumptious lasagna without all the hard work!
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: lasagna is THE BEST pasta dish in the world.
I just love how each layer works together in harmony to create one perfect bite.
What I don’t appreciate about it is how time-consuming and labor-intensive it is.
From cooking the noodles and making the marinara and bechamel sauce to assembling and baking it, it can take hours to make.
This is where this recipe comes in.
With this simplified version, you’ll use a blend of cheeses instead of a white sauce. And instead of making the marina from scratch, you’ll use Ragu.
It cuts the cooking time and effort in half without sacrificing flavor. So, if you’re in need of a quick lasagna fix, this recipe is for you.
How to Make Ragu Lasagna
Skip a step or two with a jar of Ragu!
What’s great about this recipe is it yields a lasagna so delectable, it seems like you worked so hard on it when in reality, you’ll hardly work at all.
This lasagna is still complete with all three layers of al dente flat noodles, meaty marinara, and cheesy sauce.
But instead of making two of the three layers from scratch, you’ll do a bit of a shortcut.
There’s no need to pre-cook the noodles in this recipe. The oven takes care of everything for you.
Instead of the usual cream or bechamel sauce, you’ll just combine three cheeses – ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella – with eggs.
Then, for the marinara, you’ll skip all the browning and cooking and use a jar of Ragu pasta sauce instead.
Once you’ve prepped the noodles and the sauces, it’s time to assemble.
Start with the pasta sauce. If you place the noodles first, they’ll only stick to the bottom. The pasta sauce serves as a protection.
After the sauce, layer 4 noodles and spoon over more of the sauce, followed by half of the cheese mixture.
Repeat layering the sauce, noodles, and cheese. End with the last 4 noodles and the remaining pasta sauce.
You’re now ready to bake! This lasagna requires two stages. The first is to bake the lasagna, and the 2nd is to melt and brown the cheese.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, and pop it back in the oven.
Bake for another 10 minutes, this time without the foil.
Here comes the hardest part: wait for 15 minutes before you slice it.
The lasagna layers need to rest to set. If you slice it right away, you’ll end up with a runny mess.
That’s it! Easy, am I right? Serve the lasagna with (or without) toasted garlic bread and enjoy.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Homemade Lasagna
- I use no-boil lasagna noodles for this recipe for convenience. But if all you have are regular lasagna noodles, par-cook them for 5 minutes before you assemble it. If you want them to be really al dente, run the noodles under cold water to stop them from cooking further.
- I use a blend of ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses for my cheese layer, but feel free to make it your own. I know some people find ricotta a little too bland and expensive. I suggest using cottage cheese instead.
- If you love making lasagna, I highly recommend you get a lasagna pan. It’s deeper than the usual 9×13-inch baking dish, allowing for more layers. But if you’re more of an occasional lasagna baker, there’s no need. Just keep in mind that a 9×13-inch dish can only fit three layers, as opposed to the usual four.
- Pre-shredded mozzarella and Parmesan are fine, but if you have the time, shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses contain an anti-caking agent to prevent them from sticking together. While safe to eat, it does limit the cheese from melting at its best.
- While the Ragu sauce has a nice, meaty taste, you might still want to throw in some ground meat in there for more flavor and texture. Brown ground beef or Italian sausage, drain it, and add it to the sauce.
- Enhance the flavor of the sauce with your choice of spices and seasonings. I sometimes like to add Italian seasoning, oregano, and onion and garlic powders for more oomph.
- Be sure the bottom of the pan is well-coated with pasta sauce before adding the noodles. Without the sauce, the noodles will stick to the pan, making it nearly impossible to take out clean slices.
- Use a chef’s knife when slicing for the best results. Then, use a rubber spatula to transfer the slices onto plates.
How to Store Your Leftovers
Another great thing about this lasagna recipe is that it feeds a crowd and tastes great even the next day.
Just store leftovers in the fridge and they’ll keep well for up to 5 days.
You can either cover the dish with plastic wrap or slice it into smaller pieces and transfer them into air-tight containers.
How to Reheat Lasagna
You can use the microwave to reheat individual slices.
Just don’t do so on full power because it won’t reheat the lasagna evenly. I like to reheat for 2 minutes at 70%.
If you’re reheating the whole dish, cover it with aluminum foil and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Freeze Lasagna?
This is why it’s great to double or triple the recipe – the other dishes can be stored in the freezer for another day. It’s a perfect make-ahead recipe!
You can freeze lasagna either unbaked or baked.
Assemble the layers, minus the cheese topping, and double wrap it with plastic wrap and foil. Unbaked lasagna can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To bake, remove the wrappings and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Increase the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 40 minutes more.
Remove the foil, sprinkle it with cheese, and cook for 10 more minutes.
Wrap either the entire casserole or individual slices with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze it for up to two months.
To reheat a whole dish, unwrap the lasagna and cover it with fresh foil. Let it thaw overnight.
Reheat it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
To reheat individual slices, thaw them overnight in the fridge with the wrapping intact.
Unwrap them, place them on a microwave-safe dish, and reheat them until cheese is melted.
Hungry For More Pasta?
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