This might just be the easiest homemade lasagna you’ll ever make! Just like my aunt and uncle used to serve at their Italian restaurant — it’s authentic, cheesy, and delicious!
Aunt MaryLou’s Homemade Lasagna
This lasagna recipe is based on a family recipe, from my Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Tony’s Italian restaurant, Anthony’s in West Virginia.
Back in the day, this lasagna was kind of famous — it brought people from all over the county! This is a classic homemade lasagna, meaty and cheesy!
If the restaurant ran out during the evening, then you were out of luck if you came in too late! This lasagna was so good that people still talk about it to this day, 30+ years later.
Even though MaryLou made it famous, this recipe actually originated with another aunt. My aunt Fanny made the best lasagna I’ve ever had and I’ve been told this recipe is based on hers. This recipe, tried and true, has been served to thousands of people and earned legions of fans!
I have my old recipe cards that I’m going by for this one. It’s a hearty and can be as spicy as the Italian sausage you use. Granny says that she likes to use part ground beef and not all Italian sausage. You can decide yourself on that issue.
The most important thing is that this recipe is really EASY — as far as lasagna goes! Though you would never guess from how amazing it looks and tastes! It truly tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen!
Anthony’s closed years ago, but the legacy lives on through incomparable recipes like this one!
Related: Be sure to try Anthony’s Linguine with White Clam Sauce recipe too!
What makes this lasagna recipe so easy?
- You don’t have to boil the noodles!
- The sauce is really easy to make.
- The herbs and spices are inexpensive or ones you probably already have on hand.
- The rest of the ingredients are easy to find at pretty much any grocery store.
Here’s what you need to make restaurant-style lasagna
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For the meat mixture:
- Italian sausage — OR half Italian sausage and half ground beef
- Tomato sauce — two 15-16oz cans
- Garlic powder
- Dried sweet basil — you’ll need just a pinch of this
- Dried oregano — also just a pinch of this
For the cheese mixture:
- Cottage cheese — or ricotta cheese
- Grated parmesan cheese — you can use all one kind of parmesan if you prefer; see notes on this later in the post
- Fresh grated parmesan
- Parsley flakes
- Sliced mozzarella cheese — you can also use grated mozzarella
- Lasagna noodles — you’ll need about 12 of them
Kitchen supplies used:
How to Make Authentic Lasagna
Crumble and cook the meat in a large skillet or heavy bottomed pan. When it is browned and cooked through, add the salt, garlic, basil, and oregano. Combine and add the tomato sauce. Cook for a few minutes and set aside to cool.
Heat some water in another pan. Put your lasagna noodles in a pan and cover with hot water. You could just use the lasagna pan. When they are soft, remove to a large plate.
Mix the parmesan cheeses, eggs, parsley, and salt all together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
How to Layer the Lasagna
Here is the layering process. You will be doing the same four layers, four times. So, it’s really 16 layers! This is not as difficult as this sounds.
Put a little olive oil in the bottom of your lasagna pan. Then lay three noodles lengthwise. Lay one diagonal.
Then add a layer of meat sauce. You are going to make four layers, so use about ¼ of your total meat sauce.
Spread ¼ cheese mixture over the meat sauce.
Then add a layer of the mozzarella squares or 4 oz. of grated mozzarella
Repeat this process four more times, ending with mozzarella on the top.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
After removing the lasagna from the oven, let it rest!
Let it just sit there doing nothing for at least half an hour. It needs some time to cool from the oven so the layers can set up and you can cut and serve it more easily.
Can I use just one type of parmesan cheese?
Of course! I’m just sharing the recipe as my aunt wrote it — she said ¼ cup of “other parmesan.” I have no idea what she meant, so I added fresh grated. But you could use all fresh grated or all canned.
Can you freeze lasagna?
Yes, lasagna freezes well. To store leftovers, let it cool then refrigerate.
If you want to freeze any, slice into serving sized pieces and then wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Then wrap that in foil or put in freezer safe container.
When you’re ready to reheat the frozen lasagna, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator and heat gently in the oven to serve.
Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried?
Probably, but this is how the recipe was written so I always use dried to stick to the recipe and tradition. If you do use fresh herbs, be sure and come back and comment and let us know how it turned out!
Restaurant Style Lasagna Recipe (Printable Copy)
If you like this recipe, please rate it! We’d love to hear what you think in the comments!
The Best Homemade Lasagna
- oven proof 9 X 14 pan (or slightly smaller)
- large skillet
- mixing bowl
- mixing spoon
- 2 pounds Italian Sausage or half Italian Sausage and half ground beef
- 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
- 4 Tablespoons dried sweet basil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 cans cans tomato sauce (16 ounce cans)
- 1 pound cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Lasagna noodles
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese sliced or grated
- Lay the uncooked lasagna noodle in a pan and cover with hot water.
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Crumble the meat into a large skillet and cook until done.
- Add dried spices and mix thoroughly
- Add tomato sauce and stir into meat mixture.
- Turn off heat and allow to cool while you prepare cheese mixture
- Mix cottage cheese, parsley, salt, eggs, and parmesan cheese together thoroughly
Putting the lasagna together
- Remove noodles from water. They should be still firm but softened somewhat. Lay on a plate nearby.
- Spray the bottom of lasagna pan with nonstick spray or spread some olive oil around.
- Lay three noodles lengthwise and one noodle diagonal.
- Spread 1/4 of the cheese mixture on the noodles.
- Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture on top of the cheese.
- Place a layer of mozzarella cheese over the meat.
- Repeat this 3 more times, ending with a mozzarella layer.
- Put into the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes before cutting.
Pin this restaurant lasagna recipe on Pinterest:
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I have not made this yet but I’m sure that it will get 5 stars. I do have a question. I would like to make two and freeze one for a later date. I would like to know if I should bake the one that I will freeze or should I freeze it unbaked ?
I haven’t tried that–but I would probably try it unbaked and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before you bake it.