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Lasagna with Speedy Meat Sauce

The best lasagna is made with two different sauces: a tomato sauce and a cheese sauce. It’s the sort of dish that’s worth taking the time to make it right, but that doesn’t mean you have to slave away in the kitchen for hours. There are lots of ways to speed up the process and still enjoy spectacular results!



for the meat sauce:
a few splashes olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 whole head garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
4 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 28 ounce can crushed or pureed tomatoes, juice reserved
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
for the cheese sauce:
2 eggs, whisked together
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
for assembling the lasagna:
1 1 pound box ready-to-bake lasagna noodles
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


For the meat sauce, begin by splashing some olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté just until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the ground beef and sausage meat. Use a wooden spoon to break the meats up into very small pieces. Add the tomatoes and their juice, beef or chicken broth, oregano, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Stir well and continue heating until the entire mixture is simmering and heated through. It’s ready for the lasagna as soon as it heats through. By not browning the meat you avoid the long simmering time that would then be necessary to tenderize it, but still add the meat’s rich flavour. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if you like.

To make the cheese sauce, simply mix together the whisked eggs, the mozzarella and ricotta cheeses and the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch (3.5 L) baking pan. To assemble the lasagna, layer the ingredients in the pan in this order: 2 cups (500 mL) or so of the meat sauce, a layer of noodles, half of the cheese sauce, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese, another noodle layer, another meat sauce layer, another noodle layer, the remaining cheese sauce, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese, another noodle layer, the remaining meat sauce, and the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, giving the top a chance to get golden brown and crusty.


  1. melissa said: On Mar 3, 2014

    had this last night :) yummm!!!

  2. melissa said: On Mar 3, 2014

    Had this last night :) yummmm!!

  3. Alicia said: On Mar 3, 2014

    This didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. I think it just needed way longer in the oven, and a taller pan! The juices didn’t bubble up high enough to cook the ready-to-bake noodles so they were still hard on the top layer. And when I served it, it was still realllly liquidy. The flavour overall was really yummy though. I may give it another chance, but I may just continue making my make-it-up-as-I-go lasagna instead.

  4. Jan said: On Oct 8, 2013

    Our long standing family favourite! Eldest of 4 turns 18 today and this is her supper request!

  5. Arseni said: On Jun 16, 2013

    Amazing recipe. I’ve made it for my family time and time again with only a minor variation. I also mix in three or four bunches of minced spinach into the cheese sauce, and occasionally use ground veal and light spices instead of the Italian sausage if some of my guests cannot eat pork.

  6. Jan said: On Dec 8, 2012

    BIG Michael Smith fan! This is the family’s favourite recipe ever! Cooking it tonight for hubby’s birthday!

  7. Jeff said: On Aug 27, 2012

    It says “remaining cheese sauce” twice. This defies logic. :)

    • Crikey said: On Nov 25, 2012

      I think the last me is meant to say the “remaining mozzarella” ie the 1 cup of shredded mozzarella listed last on the ingredients

  8. Ginette said: On Feb 19, 2012

    Sounds wonderful. Can I make this ahead of time and freeze it? If yes, do I freeze it before or after baking in the oven?

  9. Pat said: On Nov 26, 2011

    Hi, there, we bake using gram etc could you please put the g weights also, it would help especially when we are buying in grams. thanks Pat

  10. Wanda said: On Oct 6, 2011

    Hello, a nice addition to each layer is some Swiss Chard. My kids just cant get enuff. I have to double this recipe to feed 7 of us. lol

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I’m a FoodTV host, cookbook author and official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island, more importantly I’m a Dad and passionate home cook!