The Best Lasagna with Homemade Bolognese Sauce

Lasagna with homemade bolognese is my husband’s absolute favorite meal and according to him, I don’t make it enough. In my defense, I make my bolognese sauce from scratch and use it in the lasagna making this an almost all-day event. However, it is worth the effort.

lasagna with homemade bolognese

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For birthdays around here, we each get to pick what we want for dinner. I usually pick seafood, while the twins pick things like pizza! My husband….he asks for lasagna with homemade bolognese! This recipe is epic and while it takes nearly a solid day to make and creates way more dishes than I ever want to do it is completely worth it in the end.

Lasagna with homemade bolognese is a great meal if you’re serving a crowd or for large families like mine! Plus it freezes well so that’s always a win. I typically make two at a time – one to eat and one to freeze for later!

Lasagna With Homemade Bolognese Sauce Pin

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Let’s Chat About Lasagna

A classic Italian dish, lasagna is basically layered pasta sauce and cheese. The word lasagna actually refers to the type of noodle used in the layered pasta dish named for the type of noodle. Lasagna noodles were first mentioned in a poem during the middle ages! It is perhaps one of the oldest styles of pasta!

Once assembled lasagna is baked in an oven until bubbly and delicious! This is heaven in a casserole!

Ingredients

Bolognese Sauce – sure you can use a jar of your favorite red pasta sauce but to be truly epic lasagna use my homemade bolognese sauce! The homemade bolognese sauce can be made in advance.

Lasagna Noodles – these flat-shaped noodles with ruffled edges are a classic pasta shape. You can find them in almost any grocery store. I prefer the traditional lasagna noodle – not the no-boil ones.

Mozzarella Cheese – shredded mozzarella cheese gives lasagna its creamy cheesiness. I like to grate my own mozzarella for this recipe as it’s fresher and melts better.

Ricotta Cheese & Cottage Cheese – these make the creamy layer. I use both types in my lasagna as that’s what my mama taught me to do!

Eggs – this helps hold the lasagna together and acts as a binding agent in the ricotta and cottage cheese mixture

Eggs, frozen spinach, parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, and ricotta cheese for making lasagna with bolognese sauce.

Parmesan Cheese – freshly grated, please! In this case, it’s definitely worth the little bit of extra work to grate your own parmesan cheese! Using a food processor makes it an easy task. You’ll use this in your layers as well as in the ricotta and cottage cheese mixture.

Green Olives – I know this sounds weird but I promise you the saltiness of the green olives adds just a little something special! My husband actually taught me this trick and now I never make lasagna without green olives!

Frozen Spinach – I’m always hiding extra veggies in my dishes to boost my kids’ intake and lasagna with spinach is just another way I hide veggies. Although you can skip the spinach, I promise you’ll barely taste it and it adds a little touch of color to the layers. Be sure to defrost and drain your spinach well!

Italian Seasoning – this goes in the cottage and ricotta cheese mixture for a little extra Italian flavoring.

Lasagna with homemade bolognese sauce pin for pinterest.

Too Busy to Make this right now? Pin for later to your favorite Pinterest Board!

Making the Lasagna

After you’ve made your bolognese sauce, which I typically start making in the morning after breakfast if I didn’t make it in advance, you should be ready to make and assemble the lasagna.

While I don’t use no-boil noodles, I don’t boil my noodles either. This simple trick turns this into a lasagna with no-boil noodles!

Lasagna noodles soaking in hot water in a lasagna pan.

First, take an extra lasagna pan and fill it with HOT water. Not boiling just hot. Then place your lasagna noodles in the HOT water. This will soften the noodles perfectly for assembling without making them super hard to work with as they tend to be if you boil them first. They will cook to perfection in the oven!

Don’t mind my ugly old pan over there in the picture – it’s perfect for soaking noodles in!

While the noodles are soaking in the hot water, in a large bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, Italian Seasoning, drained frozen spinach, and parmesan cheese.

A mixing bowl with the cheese mixture forr the lasagna.

Grab your 8X12 casserole dish and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Set all your ingredients out like an assembly line – ricotta and cottage cheese mixture, bolognese sauce, noodles, and both types of shredded cheese.

Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish. Add a layer of noodles, then spread each noodle with a layer of the cottage cheese mixture, a layer of sauce, and then a layer of the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers until the dish is full or almost full ending with a very nice layer of shredded cheese.

My son working on spreading the cottage cheese mixture!

Grab a glass of wine and dip any extra softened noodles in the cheese mixture and then the sauce mixture and have a little snack. After all, you have to make sure it’s good right!?!

Spray a piece of tin foil with non-stick cooking spray and cover the lasagna with the tin foil (spray side down – this prevents the melted cheese from sticking to the tin foil when you remove it). You’ll cook it covered for most of the time so it doesn’t dry out and then uncover the end to brown the top just a bit!

A full pan of lasagna with bolognese sauce ready to go in the oven.

Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove the tin foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more until the top cheese layer is lightly browned.

Serve with garlic bread, a salad or one of these Italian side dishes!

Yield: 12 servings

Lasagna with Homemade Bolognese Sauce

lasagna with homemade bolognese

The best lasagna with homemade bolognese sauce. This recipe is one of my family's most asked-for dinners!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Cottage Cheese
  • 16 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 oz shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package frozen Spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sliced green olives
  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 2 lbs shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Batch of Homemade Bolognese Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place noodles in a casserole dish and fill with HOT water. This will soften the noodles to the perfect consistency for working with and baking.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, Italian seasoning, well-drained Spinach, and 4 oz of shredded Parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined.
  4. Spray a 9x12 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Spread a thin layer of bolognese sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  6. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles.
  7. Spread a layer of the cottage and ricotta cheese mixture over the the noodles and top with a layer of sauce.
  8. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  9. Continue layering noodles, cheese mixture, sauce, and shredded cheese until the pan is nearly full ending with a layer of shredded cheese.
  10. Spray a piece of tin foil with non-stick cooking spray and then cover the lasagna dish with the tin foil spray side down.
  11. Bake covered at 350° for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  12. Remove tin foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the top.
  13. Serve with a salad and garlic bread!

Notes

You'll probably have some homemade bolognese leftover. Go ahead and freeze it for a spaghetti dinner later!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 683mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 23g

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FAQ’s

Can I freeze lasagna and how?

Absolutely, I love to make two at a time just so I can freeze one! Sometimes I’ll make them in 8×8 pans and freeze or give them to family members too! You will want to freeze your lasagna after assembling it but before baking. Just spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the lasagna pan completely (spray side down). Then cover well with two layers of tin foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I half this recipe?

Yes! I’ll split the recipe and make an 8×8 or 9×9 pan or make a whole batch and split it into two pans. Freeze one for later!

Can I freeze individual servings?

While I’ve never tried this as I have such a large family, I don’t see why you couldn’t bake and freeze individual portions to warm up later. Let me know if you try it!

What do I serve with lasagna?

I love to serve it with Olive Cheese bread from the Pioneer Woman and a nice big salad.

Conclusion

Pasta is always a hit for my family and while this lasagna with bolognese sauce may take a bit more effort than a family friendly weeknight meal, it’s well worth the effort! If you’re looking for a quick pasta weeknight meal try my Kid-Friendly Green Pasta or check out these mozzarella stuffed meatballs with quick 10 minute marinara sauce.

About the Author

A picture of me, the owner of Chaos & Wine, with a variety of ingredients on a wooden table.

Hey! I'm April, the owner of Chaos & Wine!

I can't wait to share all my family's favorite recipes and a few random thoughts as a mom!

So let the chaos settle, grab a glass of wine and relax with me or join me for a little chaos in the kitchen!

You can find out more about me here!

This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. For more information please read my full affiliate disclosure.

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