Three-Layer Lasagna

When I assemble a lasagna – or any layered dish, really – it feels a bit like an art project. Like a pasta-based mosaic, where you thoughtfully arrange all the individual components in such a way that when it all comes together you have something exciting to behold. It’s almost therapeutic.

Maybe that’s giving the humble lasagna a little more poetry than it warrants, but it’s definitely a dish that’s as enjoyable to make as it is to eat. This Three-Layer Lasagna is a classic recipe from Barilla, with layers of sweet Italian sausage, and ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. It’s a somewhat cheesier version than what I grew up with, but I like it. Next time I might incorporate some chopped spinach in with the cheese for a little color and to get some vegetables in there (that’s my mommy side talking). But nonetheless it was a highly satisfying dish – one that freezes well too!

Three-Layer Lasagna

Three-Layer Lasagna
Adapted from the back of the Barilla Lasagne box


9-12 lasagna noodles (about 1/2 of a 1 lb. box)
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained
2 jars marinara sauce
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and separate. In a large saucepan, combine cooked meat and 1 1/2 jars of marinara sauce, simmer 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 3 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and eggs. Spray 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Place 3-4 lasagna noodles over the bottom, slightly overlapping. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles and cover with half of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Cover last layer with remaining noodles and remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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  1. amanda wrote:

    looks gorgeous, kathy! total food porn! 🙂

    Posted 10.1.09 Reply
  2. dawn wrote:

    well that looks easy and super tasty!
    .-= dawn´s last blog ..feta & raisin dip =-.

    Posted 10.1.09 Reply
  3. kasha wrote:

    I just want to eat your picture. Even if I followed your recipe I don’t think it would look so scrumptious. I also love your lemon broccoli recipe. So fresh and delicious. Thank you!

    Posted 10.1.09 Reply
  4. nina wrote:

    Your art project is definitely worth the effort. I cannot think when last I saw a more delicious looking lasagna!!!

    Posted 10.2.09 Reply
  5. Jessica wrote:

    Lasagna takes a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it in the end! I love having a bunch of friends over and making lasagna together. It helps to have those extra hands in the kitchen!

    Posted 10.2.09 Reply
  6. HoneyB wrote:

    Lasagna is Grumpy’s fav meal! Your making me think I really should make it for him soon!
    .-= HoneyB´s last blog ..Chicago Deep Dish Pizza ala Cooking Light and my birthday =-.

    Posted 10.3.09 Reply
  7. That’s quite lovely. I’ve been wanting to make lasagna, but haven’t been able to find any ricotta cheese in town. Guess I’ll have to go to the big city soon so I can get some and try this recipe!
    .-= Valerie@CookingSharp´s last blog ..Crunchy Cookies Vintage Recipe =-.

    Posted 10.3.09 Reply
  8. Olivia wrote:

    I’ve begun a ritual of making one homemade meal a night for my mom and her husband – and this was my second recipe. My mom’s husband said that it was the best lasagna and he couldn’t have gotten it better in a restaurant. He ate almost half! It was a great success, so thanks for posting the recipe!

    Posted 10.6.09 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      That’s so awesome – I’m so glad it was such a success. Way to go!

      Posted 10.6.09 Reply
  9. Aircda wrote:

    I love your pictures, so mouth watering. I am going to try this for New Years day, I love making the pasta. Thanks for putting this up.
    .-= Aircda´s last blog ..Automatic Pasta Maker =-.

    Posted 12.11.09 Reply
  10. Meseidy wrote:

    This lasagna looks beautiful and I love the concept of your blog. I will be back to visit.
    .-= Meseidy´s last blog ..Better Than Takeout Orange Chicken =-.

    Posted 3.19.10 Reply
  11. Sarah wrote:

    I, too, love this recipe. I’ve been making it for a couple of years now and think it’s probably the easiest and the best lasagna recipe I’ve ever tried. I like taking box recipes and altering them once I get comfortable enough with them. Last night I decided to saute two pressed garlic cloves and a sweet onion in the meat after I drained the fat. Then at the end of the layering, instead using shredded mozzarella on top I decided to slice fresh mozzarella to finish it and then sprinkle freshly chopped basil. Beautiful and delicious! This was the best one yet! I also made homemade garlic bread with french baguette, butter, and pressed fresh garlic cloves. A wonderful accompaniment to this rich and tasty dish!

    Posted 8.11.11 Reply
    • That sounds so fabulous, Sarah – way to get creative!

      Posted 8.11.11 Reply
  12. Elizabeth Sayre wrote:

    This is the only recipe I use for lasagne, except the last time, I used the no-bake lasagne noodles. I was a little skeptical at first but it turned out just fine. And so much easier.

    Posted 10.21.12 Reply
    • The no-bake noodles definitely are convenient!

      Posted 10.21.12 Reply
      • carolyn wrote:

        any suggestions on how to break the no boil flat lasagna noodles, without them crumbling, so they fit properly in the pan & how much should they overlap

        Posted 12.31.12 Reply
        • I’ve never actually tried to break them before – usually they fit comfortably in an 8×8 or 13×9 baking pan. I don’t think they’re really meant to be broken. A little overlap is fine, you just want to make sure to use plenty of sauce so the noodles soften.

          Posted 1.1.13 Reply
  13. Gail wrote:

    I’m so grateful to you for this! The Barilla site is a labyrinth to negotiate, especially for lasagna recipes, and the most recent box of Barilla noodles I bought no longer carries the recipe. Thanks to you and this post, I’m making lasagna tonight! I’m not only bookmarking this, I’m bookmarking your site. Glad to see you’re still adding to it.

    Posted 2.3.13 Reply
  14. Mike wrote:

    This is quickly becoming my go to quick lasagna recipe. Thanks.

    Posted 4.29.13 Reply
  15. Any tips on making this and freezing it for later then cooking it? Do you thaw first then bake same as instructions or bake frozen? I’m 6 months pregnant and doing prep so we have easy meals for after baby! Love this recipe but don’t want to ruin it after I freeze and thaw after putting all that time and ingredients into it!
    Thanks in advance!
    First time mom!

    Posted 12.12.14 Reply
  16. Tamara wrote:

    I have made this recipe several times. It’s been a while though and am glad I found it here. Thanks!!! Lasagna always comes out delicious. I do tweak it a bit to my family’s liking. I usually use more meat, less sauce and double the mozzarella. Mmmmm

    Posted 2.2.15 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      *I’m 🙂

      Posted 2.2.15 Reply
    • I recently made it again too, adding in spinach. Love recipes like this that are adaptable! ~ Kathy

      Posted 2.2.15 Reply