Meat Lovers Lasagna - The perfect comfort food for any meat lover!
Growing up with an Italian family, I have seen lasagna made every way you can imagine; each one being better than the next. Lasagna can be a bit of a blank canvas. Stick with basics of ricotta, noodle and sauce and then use your imagination for fillings.
Since my husband is forever asking me to add more meat to my lasagna, this one was for him. My usual choice is a ricotta and spinach filling.
I highly recommend making your lasagna earlier in the day and letting it sit for a while. I don't know the science behind it, but lasagna just seems to be better after it has "rested". I actually prefer lasagna better the next day, which is weird, because I generally don't go for leftovers.
First off, make sure you've got a good sauce. I like to use my recipe for My Favorite Marinara but you can use the jarred stuff if that's your thing. Just have it ready to go when you start assembling.
You'll want to start off browning your ground beef and sausage. I used a hot sausage just to add a little something extra to the mix. After that is cooked up, set it aside (drain it if there is tons of grease in the pan).
Cook your noodles. Drain and set aside. Prepare your ricotta filling. I add egg, parsley, basil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
To assemble the lasagna, begin with a layer of sauce to cover the bottom of your baking dish. Place noodles, slightly overlapping each other. Top that with a layer of ricotta, some of the beef/sausage mixture, pepperoni and then a thin layer of sauce. Repeat layers.
Normally, my top layer would be noodle with sauce and a bunch of cheese but since I was making this all about the meat, I decided to really showcase it on top. So for the top layer I placed the noodles then some meat, sauce and 2 C of shredded mozzarella cheese. It might not look as pretty for pictures, but it is much more appealing to a carnivore in real life.
Bake it and you've got the meaty, cheesy comfort food of all comfort foods.
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Meat Lovers Lasagna
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¼ lb ground hot sausage
- ½ C pepperoni slices
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 13.25 oz lasagna noodles
- 1 T olive oil
- 32 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ C chopped parsley fresh
- 2 T chopped basil fresh
- ¼ C grated parmesan cheese
- 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
- Brown ground beef and sausage (drain excess grease if necessary. Set aside.
- Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain. Toss with olive oil to avoid sticking or lay individual noodles on wax paper. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- While noodles are cooking, stir together ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, parsley, basil and parmesan cheese in a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Spoon 1 ladle of sauce into 9x13 baking dish to lightly cover bottom surface. Place 4 lasagna noodles over sauce, slightly overlapping. Spread ⅓ ricotta mixture over noodles. Add ¼ of the meat mixture on to the ricotta, along with ¼ of the pepperoni slices. Drizzle another ladle or two of sauce over the layer. Continue layering but ending with the top layer of just noodle, meat and sauce. Then top that layer with the 2 C of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes.
- Remove aluminum foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes.