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15 Effortless Lasagna Recipes for Your Next Dinner Party

15 Effortless Lasagna Recipes for Your Next Dinner Party

Make lasagna your go-to make-ahead dish with these easy recipes

Thinkstock / VeselovaElena

Make Lasagna your go-to make-ahead dish with these easy recipes.

Lasagna happens to be a dish that everyone can enjoy. What I love most about lasagna is that you can easily make it ahead — which gives you more time to spend with your guests.

15 Effortless Lasagna Recipes for Your Next Dinner Party

Lasagna is a pretty heavy dish. You really don’t need many sides to complement a hearty and delicious pan of cheesy pasta. I always opt for a nice Caesar salad or just a traditional house salad on the side. That said, I couldn’t imagine serving this dish without warm toasty garlic bread.

Luckily, if you’re the host who does the most, this dish is something you can make the night before. Make-ahead dishes are a host’s go-to when hosting a dinner party for friends. Head to your supermarket, prep your dinner the night before, chill your favorite bottle of wine, and let the good times roll.

Beef and Sausage Lasagna

This easy, cheesy lasagna recipe uses both beef and Italian sausage for a hearty, flavorful baked pasta dish. Add some heat by using hot Italian sausage and adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Super creamy and packed with antioxidants, this butternut squash lasagna strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory. If you don’t have butternut squash on hand, substitute carrots or sweet potatoes instead.

30+ Lasagna Recipes for Every Type of Eater

This will be the freshest lasagna you&aposve ever made, complete with zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, basil, roasted red peppers, and Swiss chard.

Cacio e Pepe Lasagnas

Photography by Kate Mathis

These mini lasagna bowls combine three types of cheese, parsley, and pepper for a cozy 30-minute meal.

Lasagna Bolognese

A classic Bolognese sauce with onion, carrots, celery, and meat will make this lasagna your go-to comfort dish.

Tony Bennett&aposs Mother&aposs Lasagna

Photography by Kate Mathis

The secret ingredient? A dash of cinnamon. If Tony Bennett says it&aposs good, it must be true!

White Chicken Mexican Lasagna

Photography by Kate Mathis

Mexican ingredients + lasagna layers = this delicious twist on the Italian classic. 

Meat Lasagna

It doesn&apost matter when or where: Lasagna is always a good idea. This recipes keeps it classic and delicious. 

Vegetable Lasagna

Plant-based eaters deserve to get in on the lasagna fun, and they can with this veggie- and herb-packed recipe.

Rach&aposs Lasagna Soup

Photography by Kate Mathis

For an extra-cozy take on this cold-weather classic, turn it into a soup! It&aposs quicker and lighter but just as delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & Hot Coppa Parmigiana

Photography by Tara Donne

This lasagna is made gluten-free by replacing the noodle layers with roasted red peppers. 

Lasagna Burgers

Want to make lasagna even heartier? Make it a burger. A tomato sauce on the bottom and thick, cheesy sauce on top gives it the classic flavors with a twist.

Enchilada Suiza Mexican Lasagna

This cultural hybrid ditches red meat and sauce for poultry and green sauce, and the result is a food mashup you&aposll crave every week. 

Asian Lasagna

Another cultural food combo, this one uses wonton wrappers in place of pasta and layers them with pork, box choy, and onion. Yum! 

Autumn Golden Vegetable Lasagna

A lasagna recipe made specifically for fall? We are so there. This one&aposs got butternut squash, pumpkin puree, gouda cheese, and basil𠅊nd boy, is it good. 

Southwestern Lasagna Torta

Another lasagna with a Mexican twist, this one packs in Tex-Mex flavors with corn tortillas, taco seasoning, cheddar cheese, refried beans, and sour cream. Taco night, but make it layers. 

Sock-It-to-Me Moussaka Lasagna

This classic eggplant-based Greek dish tastes just as delicious in lasagna form. Lavash bread acts as the noodles between layers of veggies, cheese, and herbs. 

All-American Lasagna

Meet, cheese, veggies, noodles—what&aposs not to love about this dish? 

Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna

Keep it simple: Layer roasted eggplant, garlicky tomato sauce, and a three-cheese mixture over lasagna noodles for a delicious, easy(ish) dinner.

Sloppy Lasagna Joes

Sandwich a tomatoey meat filling and fresh ricotta between garlicky ciabatta rolls for a sloppy Joe upgrade you&aposll add to your monthly rotation. 

Polenta Lasagna

Give lasagna a fresh twist. Fried polenta gets topped with a spinach goat cheese mixture, saut mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts for a bright veggie-packed dish. 

Rach&aposs Butternut Squash & Escarole Lasagna

Butternut squash, sage, a bit of nutmeg, and Gruyere combine in this untraditional sweet-and-savory lasagna.

Lasagna with Meat Ragu

Bຜhamel sauce and an herby, meaty mix are a surefire way to warm up on a cold night. 

Spinach & Pesto Baked Lasagna

Spinach, pesto, cheese, and crunchy breadcrumbs—this lasagna&aposs got all the goodies and then some.

Lasagna Pizza Bread

Make this for your next party, and watch how quickly the pieces fly off the plate. 

Ravioli & Escarole Lasagna

Why top lasagna noodles with cheese when you can just use cheese-stuffed ravioli as your noodles? 

Lasagna Recipes with Meat

Meat lasagna offers plenty of protein and is made with browned beef, eggs, cheese, tomato paste, whole tomatoes, noodles and usually garlic and onions too, as well as classic Italian seasonings. Meat lasagna can be made with other kinds of red meat or even poultry. Meat lasagna is the most common type of lasagna because many people find it to be the tastiest, but even if you are a real carnivore you might still enjoy sampling other kinds of lasagna from time to time.


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Baked Ziti

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Though it's not your typical lasagna option, with this recipe's addition of meat, the only difference between our Baked Ziti recipe and lasagna is the type of noodles used. So, if you're looking for a dish that has all the same components of lasagna, but instead comes apart into bite-sized pieces, this Baked Ziti is the way to go.

Get our recipe for Baked Ziti.

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

Happily, sometimes the meals that impress are also those that are simple to make. That's definitely the case with this nourishing 30-minute meal that tastes like a fancy gourmet dish and is vegetarian-friendly too. Your guests will be wowed with the wonderful flavors of this easy pasta recipe that combines savory, salty-sweet sun-dried tomatoes with mild, green-tasting canned artichoke hearts, and fresh chopped basil, for a fabulous effect that's greater than the sum of its parts.

A Nice Lasagna

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 2 28-ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup crème fraiche

Ingredients for the Pasta Dough:

Ingredients for the Lasagna:

  • 1 cup 237 ml finely grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup 237 ml whole-milk mozzarella cheese coarsely grated
  • 2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces if large

To make the sauce:

In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until it begins to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer, stirring every so often, until it is slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.

Whisk the crème fraîche into the sauce and season to taste with salt. Set the sauce aside to cool to room temperature while you conquer the pasta.

To make the pasta dough:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, eggs and salt and run the machine until a firm ball of dough forms around the blade, cleans the side of the processor bowl, and doesn’t stick to your fingers when you touch it. If the dough is too dry, add a little water, 1 tsp at a time, until the dough comes together. If, on the other hand, it’s sticky when you touch it, add a little flour, 1 tsp at a time, until the dough comes together. (The exact amount of moisture in the dough depends on how you measured your flour, how large your eggs are, even the humidity in the air.) Once your dough is good to go, dust it lightly with flour and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and have more parchment paper at hand.

Cut the rested dough into six pieces. Working with one piece at a time (keep the rest covered with plastic), lightly dust the dough with flour and press it down with the heel of your hand. Run the dough through your pasta machine, starting on the widest setting and working your way through the narrower settings, rolling it through each setting twice, until it is very thin but not too thin. I usually stop at 6, but your machine might be different from mine, so I’ll just say that the final pasta should be the thickness of an envelope—which is to say thin, but not at all transparent. You don’t want it to disappear into the finished lasagna. If the dough sticks during the rolling, simply dust it with a little flour. Lay the rolled-out pasta on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough, keeping the rolled pieces separated with parchment paper.

To make the lasagna:

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Ladle a thin layer of room-temperature sauce onto the bottom of a 9-by-13-in [23-by-33-cm] baking dish. Spread the sauce with a spoon to cover the surface of the dish. Add a layer of pasta (brush off any excess flour), cutting the pasta and arranging it as needed to form an even single layer. Spoon over just enough tomato sauce to cover the pasta and then scatter over some of the Parmesan, mozzarella, and basil. Repeat the layering process until you’ve used up all of your components, ending with sauce and cheese (not naked pasta or basil, both of which would burn if exposed).

Bake the lasagna, uncovered, until it’s gorgeously browned and the edges are bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, just like you would a steak, before slicing and serving. This lets the pasta fully absorb all of the bubbling sauce, so you don’t end up with soupy slices.

The Best Lasagna. Ever.

I&rsquom sure everyone has his own favorite go-to lasagna recipe, but I&rsquod just like to offer that this really is The Best Lasagna Ever. Growing up, my mom and her friends used to make it for potlucks and gatherings, and part of its appeal is that the ingredients used are totally basic you don&rsquot have to hunt down fresh basil or buffalo mozzarella or Parmigiano-Reggiano or handmade sausage from an Italian mama in old Napoli. Anyone can make this, anywhere, anytime. And it&rsquos the easiest thing in the world.

Aside from the simplicity and availability of ingredients, however, this lasagna is just dadgum good.

I&rsquove made this lasagna for various categories of humans since my mom first scribbled it down for me: men, women, democrats, republicans, scholars, and foreign dignitaries. I even donated two pans to a charity auction once. The overwhelming consensus has always been that it&rsquos "The Best Lasagna Ever," which is precisely what I&rsquove been trying to tell you turkeys. So let&rsquos get started!

The Cast of Characters. See how, um, basic everything is? The recipe even calls for KRAFT Parmesan Cheese, of all things.

In a skillet, combine 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 1 pound hot breakfast sausage, and 2 cloves minced garlic.

You might consider draining off about half the fat. I like to leave some in there, though, because it tastes better and because I&rsquom a naughty girl. Just please don&rsquot be a health nut and drain it all, for pete&rsquos sake.

After that, add two 14.5-oz cans of whole tomatoes, two 6-oz cans of tomato paste&hellip

2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes, 2 tablespoons dried basil&hellip

And 1 teaspoon salt.

Mix together thoroughly and simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes&hellip

In the meantime, boil a 10-oz package of lasagna noodles. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the water, as well as 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Cook the noodles "al dente" so they&rsquoll still have quite a bite to them. When they&rsquore finished cooking, drain, rinse with cool water, and lay the noodles flat on a sheet of aluminum foil. That way, they&rsquoll be easier to handle later.

While the meat mixture and noodles are cooking, mix 3 cups lowfat cottage cheese in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs. IMPORTANT: If the thought of cottage cheese makes you want to run out of the house, take heart: you won&rsquot even know it&rsquos there. Ladd wouldn&rsquot touch cottage cheese with a ten foot pole, yet he loved this lasagna so much&helliphe married me.

To the cottage cheese, add 1/2 cup Kraft Parmesan Cheese&hellip

2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Now, go ahead and build your assembly line: meat mixture, 1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese mixture, and cooked lasagna noodles.

Let the assembly begin! Lay four cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping as you go.

Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles&hellip

Then lay 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese slices on top of the cottage cheese mixture. This particular brand of cheese was cut very thin, so I had to double up the slices to make 1/2 pound. Don&rsquot let this throw you off&mdashsome brands are cut thicker, and would only require a single layer of slices. NOTE: I prefer sliced mozzarella, but you can certainly use grated mozzarella if necessary.

With the spoon, make a line through the middle of the meat mixture so you&rsquoll distribute it evenly.

Spread a little less than half of the meat mixture over the mozzarella cheese slices&hellip

Until it&rsquos evenly distributed.

Now it&rsquos time to repeat the process! Add another layer of four lasagna noodles&hellip

And top with the remaining half of the cottage cheese mixture.

Then top the cottage cheese mixture with another 1/2 pound of mozzarella.

"My favorite magic trick is the red-wine braised short ribs. It sounds like you spent all day tending to a pot, when in reality you poured in a bottle of wine, let it simmer, put it in the oven, opened up ANOTHER bottle of wine (this one’s for you), and watched a Real Housewives marathon. It’s a keeper." —Rachel Karten, social media manager

"Two friends who are afraid of baking made these rolls by themselves at a recent party. Sure, the rolls never come out exactly the same size, but the sprinkle of Maldon sea salt at the end distracts people. Fancy salt is a cure-all for most mistakes." —Alyse Whitney, associate web editor

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