Is there anything more inviting than a giant pan of homemade lasagna? That ooey gooey cheese, those tender noodles, that warm red sauce, the way it tastes better the next day and even better the day after that.
The only down side is that lasagna has gotten the reputation for being SO. MUCH. WORK.
From my kitchen to yours, let me tell you right now that lasagna doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be something you throw together in a half hour on Tuesday night and then bake in the oven while you walk the dog and get some laundry done. It doesn’t have be to reserved for Sunday nights or special occasions.
Read on to find out how I cut the prep time in half and get this 9 ingredient lasagna on the dinner table during the middle of the week!
How do I make lasagna?
I am here to let you in on a little secret. You DO NOT need to boil your lasagna noodles before you bake them! Let that sink in for a minute.
No waiting for water to boil, cooking noodles, straining noodles, looking for the damn tongs, burning your fingertips. You can literally layer the uncooked noodles right in the baking dish and bake away!
They noodles will soak up the moisture from the sauce and the cheese (and spinach if you decide to add it) and they will come out perfectly tender. And in my experience, lasagna made with uncooked noodles often holds together better than it’s boiled noodle rival.
I’d guess it has something to do with the starches that are released from the noodles during the baking process? But I’m not a scientist. I just like to make dinner as easily as possible.
With that said, assembling this lasagna will take you maybe 10 minutes. It’s literally just layering sauce, noodles, ricotta and mozzarella a few times and popping it in the oven!
Should I use “no boil” lasagna noodles?
I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but this recipe was written for regular uncooked lasagna noodles, so feel free to just use those! The no boil ones seem to have less noodles in the package and be more expensive.
And in my experience, the no boil noodles tend to get overcooked quickly, creating an extra floppy lasagna.
Can I make this lasagna ahead of time?
Yes! Make it on Saturday when you have all the time in the world, and bake it on Thursday when you have 5 seconds to throw something in the oven for dinner!
When I’m really planning ahead, I like to double the recipe and make two pans of lasagna so I can stash one in the freezer. The night before I know we’ll be eating the lasagna, I let the frozen pan thaw in the fridge.
After you’ve refrigerated the lasagna and before baking, just make sure you let it sit on the counter for an hour to come to room temp so that it cooks evenly.
Can I use store bought pasta sauce?
Yes! Of course! Don’t you dare feel guilty about using pasta sauce from a jar! Although, I do have the the easiest and MOST delicious spaghetti sauce recipe ever and it’s totally simple and do-able for you, it’s not a must and your lasagna is still going to taste great if you use Prego.
Tips for making the best lasagna:
- Don’t boil the noodles before assembling. Save yourself some valuable time and start assembling your lasagna with uncooked noodles!
- Use regular lasagna noodles. The no boil noodles come with fewer in the package, yet they cost more. This recipe was written for regular lasagna noodles, so just use those!
- Make a double batch. Double the recipe and make two pans of this lasagna so you can freeze one for later!
Other no boil pasta recipes you’ll love:
- 30 Minute Baked Ravioli
- Easy Spinach Manicotti
- Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells
- One Pot Smoked Gouda Cavatappi
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Don’t boil your lasagna noodles! Layer them with your cheese and sauce and bake away. That’s the secret that makes this lasagna easy enough for a random Tuesday night dinner with your family.
- 20 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 30 oz. whole milk ricotta
- 8 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. pecorino romano cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. whole milk mozzarella, shredded
- 4 oz. fresh spinach
- 60 oz. (or 7.5 cups) of my easy spaghetti sauce (or your favorite)
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl combine ricotta, fontina, half the mozzarella, half the pecorino romano, spinach and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
- Pour 1.5 cups sauce into a 9×13 baking dish and spread across the bottom. Layer 5 noodles, slightly overlapping to cover the bottom of the pan. I like to do four noodles the long way, and then break off the end of a noodle to fit it widthwise and cover the rest.
- Layer 1/3 of the ricotta mixture in an even layer on top of the noodles. Then pour 1.5 cups sauce on top of that and spread in an even layer.
- Then layer another 5 noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture and 1.5 cups sauce. Repeat again – 5 noodles, remaining ricotta, 1.5 cups sauce.
- Lastly, layer 5 noodles, 1.5 cups sauce, and the sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and pecorino cheese.
- Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the noodles are al dente. Broil for 1 minute on high, just until the cheese starts to turn golden brown.
- Let cool for 20 minutes before serving and enjoy!
Noodle count: I have found that the noodle count in a 16 oz. box of lasagna varies widely among different brands. If you find yourself with less than 20 noodles, when it comes to the middle layers, just use 4 noodles instead of 5. You want to have 5 noodles on the first layer and 5 noodles on the last layer. But there’s a little wiggle room with those middle layers. Feel free to substitute mozzarella for the fontina and/or use Parmesan in place of the pecorino Romano if you’d like.
Don’t boil the noodles before assembling. Save yourself some valuable time and start assembling your lasagna with uncooked noodles!
Use regular lasagna noodles. The no boil noodles come with fewer in the package, yet they cost more. This recipe was written for regular lasagna noodles, so just use those!
Make a double batch. Double the recipe and make two pans of this lasagna so you can freeze one for later!
Keywords: vegetarian lasagna, spinach lasagna, cheese lasagna, homemade lasagna