Homemade Sausage Lasagna (with a secret ingredient)

Homemade Lasagna with Cream Cheese | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #Pasta

You just can’t beat homemade lasagna layered with piles of noodles, meat, and cheese. This rich and zesty sausage lasagna is a family tradition with a surprise ingredient no one can resist!

Ahhhh, lasagna.

Lasagna, lasagna, lasagana.

I love the way that word rolls off the tongue.

Homemade Lasagna with Sausage and Cream Cheese | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #Pasta

Nothing but warm fuzzy feelings could possibly fill your heart, upon hearing there’s going to be lasagna for dinner.

Homemade lasagna has been a family favorite on both sides of our family for years. But I’ll never forget the first time I made it with a life-altering ingredient.

Meat Sauce | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #Pasta

Right after Lt. Dan and I got married, we went to Indiana to visit his family.

In an effort to make myself useful (and endearing) to my new mother-in-law, I offered to help prepare dinner every chance I got. Dan’s mom Sue, is an exceptional cook and I only hoped I wouldn’t do something silly and embarrass myself.

How to make Cream Cheese Lasagna | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #Pasta

One evening, homemade lasagna was on the menu.

We prepared a thick hearty meat sauce and let it gently simmer on the stove top. We boiled the noodles and laid them on clean tea towels. When it was time to assemble the lasagna, I looked in the fridge for the necessary cheeses but could not find ricotta.

How to make Sausage Lasagna with Cream Cheese | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #Pasta

Sue informed me that their family didn’t use ricotta cheese in homemade lasagna.

“Colliers use Cream Cheese.”

Cream cheese in sausage lasagna? I couldn’t imagine lasagna without ricotta.

That is, until I tasted it.

Sausage Lasagna with Cream Cheese | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #Pasta Pin It

Fireworks.

Clashing Cymbals.

A Flavor Tidal Wave of Epic Proportion.

All I could think was, “Thank God I’m now a Collier.”

Homemade Cream Cheese Lasagna | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #PastaClassic White Plates and Baking Dish from Villeroy & Boch.

Once you’ve added cream cheese to homemade lasagna, there is no turning back to ricotta.

This sausage lasagna recipe is essentially my mother-in-law’s recipe with three heaping layers of noodles, thick sausage-based meat sauce, and a 3 cheese blend. Sue taught me to mix mozzarella, parmesan, and silky cream cheese to create the perfect combination of salty goodness, and creamy texture.

Sausage Lasagna | ASpicyPerspective.com #Lasagna #Pasta

This is a magnificent sausage lasagna recipe.

Not to sound smug, but after tasting, you’ll be just as thankful as I am to have it. You may even want to change your last name to Collier.

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Yield: 8-12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Homemade Lasagna

Traditional Sausage Lasagna with Cream Cheese.

Ingredients:

1 box of lasagna noodles
2 quarts (64 oz.) homemade marinara (or store-bought)
2 lbs. Italian sausage
2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
11/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Italian Seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large sauce pan, brown the sausage over medium heat, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon.

Once the meat is fully cooked, add the marinara and simmer for 10 minutes.

Boil the noodles in a large pot of salty water, according to package instructions. Remove the noodles and lay them out on a clean dish towel.

Spray an 9X13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Smear 9-12 noodles with an equal portion of cream cheese. (The number of noodles used depends on the width of the pan.)

Start assembling the lasagna: One large scoop of meat sauce on the bottom, 3-4 noodles across (cream cheese side up), 1/3 of the mozzarella and parmesan. Repeat. After the third layer of noodles with cream cheese, pour the rest of the sauce over the noodles before adding the last layer of the mozzarella and parmesan. Sprinkle the top with Italian Seasoning.

Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes—until the cheese is toasty and the sides are bubbling. Wait at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Lasagna (as well as many other favorite pasta dishes) is considered better the second day. If making this ahead, Cover well, refrigerate, and bake for 40-50 minutes to heat through!

More Comforting Pasta Dishes:

Potato Skins Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Veggie Lo Mien

Pistachio Pasta ~ Kiran Tarun

Linguine and Clams ~ The Little Kitchen

Chicken Enchilada Lasagna ~ Bev Cooks

Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells ~ Mommie Cooks

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89 Responses to “Homemade Sausage Lasagna (with a secret ingredient)”

  1. #
    1
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — October 8, 2012 @ 6:20 am

    I love lasagna, but the funny thing is that I have never made it outside of my parents house. I must associate it with being with my family. This looks lovely!

    Reply

    • Leah — November 13th, 2012 @ 8:50 am

      I am a firefighter, and we make this at work all the time… it is amazingly good! They always make it with ‘firehouse bread’, which is garlic bread with ranch dressing on top, then tomato slices and cheese. :) Not great for your waistline but soo worth it!

      Reply

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    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — October 8, 2012 @ 6:44 am

    This looks amazing, Sommer! Perfect for these chilly fall days.

    Reply

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    leslie — October 8, 2012 @ 6:55 am

    OMG..Cream Cheese that is totally brilliant!!!!

    Reply

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    Paula - bell'alimento — October 8, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    I could eat lasagna every day and be a happy camper!

    Reply

    • Sommer — October 8th, 2012 @ 9:21 am

      Me too, Paula. :)

      Reply

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    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — October 8, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    Oh wow this looks amazing! My husband is going to want me to make this ASAP.

    Reply

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    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 8, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    pinning this for next week – i’m intrigued by the cream cheese! although none of your recipes have ever let me down, so i’m sure it’s going to be life-changing!

    Reply

  7. #
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    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — October 8, 2012 @ 7:51 am

    Cream cheese in lasagna?! Now THAT is one I’ve never heard of before! But I can see how it would be SO good!

    Reply

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    shelly (cookies and cups) — October 8, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    I love this recipe! Totally pinning!

    Reply

  9. #
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    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty — October 8, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    My favorite baked ziti recipe calls for sour cream in place of the ricotta. Cream cheese is the next logical step … yum!

    Love your lasagna photos; nice job! Lasagna is my nemesis when it comes to photographing it.

    Reply

  10. #
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    Liz — October 8, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    YUM! I’ve used sour cream in my spaghetti pie, but never cream cheese in an Italian pasta! I bet it’s wonderful…those Hoosier women can cook ;)

    Reply

    • Sommer — October 8th, 2012 @ 9:20 am

      They sure can!

      Reply

  11. #
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    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — October 8, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    OH YUM!! This sounds insanely good!

    Reply

  12. #
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    Abby — October 8, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    Yum! We use cottage cheese instead of ricotta…can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

  13. #
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    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — October 8, 2012 @ 8:55 am

    love this Sommer! I have a lasagna coming up soon too! Great minds and I am going to make your version

    Reply

  14. #
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    Nicole Waterman — October 8, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    This looks delicious. And, may i just say your blog is amazing and your pictures are wonderful.

    Reply

    • Sommer — October 8th, 2012 @ 9:22 am

      Thank you so much Nicole… I’m blushing. :)

      Reply

  15. #
    15
    marla — October 8, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    Such a tempting lasagna! Love the sausage + cream cheese in there!

    Reply

  16. #
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    Terri A. — October 8, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    I cannot wait to try this. It looks amazing!

    Reply

  17. #
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    Cassie — October 8, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    I adore cream cheese in lasagna…I am just not a fan of ricotta or cottage cheese (at all) so I refuse to put either in lasagna. But cream cheese, totally on board. Love this Sommer!

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 8, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    I’ve never tried cream cheese in lasagna but what a fab idea!

    Reply

  19. #
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    TidyMom — October 8, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    My sil puts cream cheese in her lasagna too, so I throw some in occasionally! it’s makes it so creamy and rich! GREAT recipe and beautiful pictures Sommer!

    Reply

  20. #
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    jennifurla — October 8, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    Love this idea, it looks so good girl – now I have a craving for it.

    Reply

  21. #
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    BusyWorkingMama — October 8, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    YUM! I bet that gave it a great creamy taste and a little zip, too. I always found ricotta to be a bit bland. Great recipe!

    Reply

  22. #
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    Alyssa — October 8, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

    This looks amazing! Definitely in the mood to make lasagna now! I’m pinning this! :)

    Reply

  23. #
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    Kari@Loaves and Dishes — October 8, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

    Love those perfect layers, so pretty. I am so trying cream cheese in my lasagne!

    Reply

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    Katie — October 8, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    My Italian grandmother is rolling in her grave. But I totally want to try it!

    Do you use full fat cream cheese or is the 1/3 less fat kind an ok substitute? I know from experience that sometimes it’s ok to substitute, but sometimes it’s not so just wondering if you tried it!

    Reply

  25. #
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    Belinda @zomppa — October 8, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    You can’t really beat homemade lasagna, can you??

    Reply

  26. #
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    Loretta E — October 8, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    This looks wonderful, Sommer! I love lasagna…

    Reply

  27. #
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    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — October 8, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    How interesting! I’ve never heard of cream cheese in lasagna, but I can almost imagine the silkiness that it must add. Gotta give this a try!

    Reply

  28. #
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    Colette @ JFF! — October 8, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    What a cute newlywed story! Thanks for sharing it w us, Sommer.
    Cream cheese has a lot more flavour and a beautiful smooth texture.

    Reply

  29. #
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    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — October 8, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

    Cream cheese- perfect!!!

    Reply

  30. #
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    Julia — October 8, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Your beautiful photos make me want to make this lasagna. It looks super juicy and delicious!

    Reply

  31. #
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    MIss @ Miss in the Kitchen — October 8, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    My seven year old was just begging for lasagna the other day. I love that you use cream cheese. I have used it with mozzarella and parmesan to fill ravioli but I never thought to try it in lasagna. I’m inspired!

    Reply

  32. #
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    Julia (the roasted root) — October 8, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    I never would have thought of cream cheese, but I could DEFINITELY see how it’d be great in lasagna. The added tang probably gives it such a unique flavor. Lasagna has been one of my favorite meals since I was a kid and I’ll be trying your recipe next time lasagna’s on our menu!

    Reply

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    Fran — October 8, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

    Looks delicious. I think the cream cheese idea is a good one. I’m from Germany, and in Europe I don’t know a single person who makes Lasagna with ricotta cheese (including all my Italian friends). Everyone makes it with a bechamel sauce, which I love, but it’s extra time. So, cream cheese sounds like a quick and delicious option since it usually pairs well with tomato sauce stuff.

    I’ll be trying it next time I make lasagna. :)

    Reply

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    Bev @ Bev Cooks — October 8, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    Dyyyyyyyyyiinnngggggggg.

    Reply

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    Anita at Hungry Couple — October 8, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    Mmm… That both looks and sounds delicious!

    Reply

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    TastefullyJulie — October 8, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    This looks so good. I thought it was crazy when I switched from ricotta to cottage cheese. Now I am going to try this!

    Reply

  37. #
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    Jen @ Savory Simple — October 8, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    I think cream cheese makes total sense! I’ll have to give this a try.

    Reply

  38. #
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    Lisa | With Style and Grace — October 8, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    I could seriously eat this ENTIRE dish, even if the heartburn kills me.

    Reply

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    Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden — October 9, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    What a delicious recipe! I simply adore lasagna but I always have a problem when I prepare it! I can stop eat them :).

    Reply

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    Tara @ Unsophisticook — October 9, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    So trying this — yummo!

    Reply

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    Lori @ RecipeGirl — October 9, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    We have always, always used a mixture of cream cheese and ricotta in our lasagna and manicotti recipes. SO good! I need this for dinner!

    Reply

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    Chris — October 9, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    Wow, that was not a secret I was anticipating. Like you, I couldn’t imagine it without ricotta but from your high praise, I have to try it. Alexis is probably going to look at me crosseyed when I suggest it, ha ha.

    Reply

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    feast on the cheap — October 9, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    I’m officially extending an invitation to come over for dinner…oh and can you bring this? WOW. Drooling.

    Reply

  44. #
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    Jeanette — October 9, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

    This looks so easy Sommer – I’d never think to use cream cheese either.

    Reply

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    Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet — October 9, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    This looks wonderful, Sommer! Beautiful lasagna :)

    Reply

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    Carolyn — October 10, 2012 @ 4:43 am

    It’s never occurred to me to put cream cheese in lasagne but it makes perfect sense!

    Reply

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    Julie Wunder — October 11, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    yum….. great idea. I’ll have to try it with my vegetarian version of lasagna :-)

    Reply

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    Amy — October 13, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    Do you REALLY mean two QUARTS of marinara sauce?

    Reply

    • Sommer — October 15th, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

      Yep, 64 oz of homemade sauce or 2 -32 oz. jars. :)

      Reply

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    Tiffany — November 3, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

    Oh my oh my! I pinned this about a week ago and my mother was craving lasagna so I told her I had a recipe for her to try and sure enough this is AMAZING! Like the best recipe ever! I will NEVER need a lasagna recipe ever again! Thank you so much for sharing and tell your MIL we women thank her!

    Reply

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    Crystal G — December 4, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    I made this for dinner last week and it was amazing. My boyfriend had one bite and declared it the best lasagna he’s ever had in his life. He liked it so much that he asked that we make this for Christmas dinner this year. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

    • Sommer — December 5th, 2012 @ 7:09 am

      Oh Crystal, I’m so glad you both enjoyed it! :)

      Reply

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    Sandee — December 15, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    Do you think you can use the Italian seasoning for dressing on the top??? Can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

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    Pam L — February 24, 2013 @ 8:37 am

    What happened to your link to the homemade sauce? It was delicious!

    Reply

    • Sommer — February 24th, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

      Hi Pam, Maybe it disappeared when my site was remodeled. I just added it back in!

      Reply

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  54. #
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    Kat — May 23, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    I’ve made this several times since discovering it on this blog, the cream cheese always makes it delicious!

    Reply

    • Sommer — May 28th, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

      Thanks for coming to tell me Kat. So glad you like it! :)

      Reply

  55. #
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    Jenn — September 30, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

    Just thought I would comment on cream cheese in lasagna from the perspective of someone who doesn’t really like cream cheese, other than on a bagel with smoked salmon. However, I like almost all other cheeses so the idea of using cream cheese instead of ricotta intrigued me and I decided I probably wouldn’t hate it.

    So over the weekend I made a simple lasagna based on your recipe, using a mix as sausage, ground beef and ground pork in a tomato base, and with one layer ricotta and another with cream cheese. Both cheese layers I sprinkled with shredded mozzarella and parmesan.

    The lasagna turned out pretty good. The cream cheese layer added a nice tang when eaten together with the other layers, but I did not like it as much on its own (you know how multi-layered lasagnas usually topple over…). It also still looked like cream cheese – like a processed cheese product, keeping all of its “wrinkles”, so that grossed me out a little. But that’s just me. Overall, glad I tried it, but not sure I would add the cream cheese again.

    Reply

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    Deb — October 24, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

    OMG I am a camp cook and love cooking so I have quite a bit of experience and this is now my go to lasagna, it is soooo delish!!!!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe :)

    Reply

    • Sommer — October 24th, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

      Thanks Deb. So glad you like it!

      Reply

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    Jamie | My Baking Addiction — November 18, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    I love this idea! I use sour cream in my baked ziti, so naturally cream cheese could only be better!

    Reply

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    Tim — December 15, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    I made this recipe for my boys and they said it was the best lasagna they had ever tasted. I agree – it was outstanding. I diced green pepper and added it in to each layer. It added a nice crunch to the lasagna. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    • Sommer — December 16th, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

      Thanks Tim, so glad you liked it!

      Reply

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    Alexis Kovacik — December 27, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    One day I was in search of a lasagna recipe that didn’t have ricotta or cottage cheese. I stumbled across this recipe and I was super exited! I made it that night and it has been my go to lasagna recipe ever since. I absolutely love the combination of cheeses with the Italian sausage. Just a few days ago I made two pans of lasagna for my family for Christmas, all ages loved it! I wanted to thank you for sharing the recipe and let you know how yummy and amazing we all think it is. Thanks much!

    Reply

    • Sommer — December 29th, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

      Thanks so much Alexis. I’m glad your family enjoyed it!

      Reply

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    Doug — December 29, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    Best lasagne ever!

    Reply

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    Meagan — January 13, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

    I know this is super old but hopefully someone will come across this comment & have an answer for me……will replacing the sausage with ground beef change anything? I want to make this for my toddler & I’m breastfeeding so I’m worried may be a little to spicy for my babies. Also, I’m wanting to sneak in some veggies (zucchini, squash, etc…your usual lasagna veggies). Will I need to alter cook time, temp, or anything else if I make these adjustments?

    Thank you in advance!!! (:

    Reply

    • Sommer — January 13th, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

      Hi Meagan, Swap away! Of course it will lose a little flavor, but will still taste wonderful.

      Reply

    • Nancy Long — February 11th, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

      I would add some extra Italian seasoning to the ground meat and maybe some garlic. That should pump up the flavour.

      Reply

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    Charlsey G — January 29, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

    THIS LASAGNA IS AMAZING! I only made half of it to begin, because I was not sure how it would turn out. My family INHALED IT and were looking around like, “Is that all?!?” They have been asking me to make this again, and I will do so this week.

    Word to the wise, you may want to double this and save one for the freezer. You will need it again very soon :)

    Reply

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    Christine (Cook the Story) — February 11, 2014 @ 8:06 am

    Cream cheese? Sheer luscious brilliance.

    Reply

  65. #
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    Nancy Long — February 11, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    Hubby loves my lasagne and am sure he will like this one. Will try it first your way and then maybe with a mixture of the cream cheese and ricotta

    Reply

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    Lindsay — March 11, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

    What size box of lasagna noodles do I get?

    Reply

    • Sommer — March 11th, 2014 @ 11:24 pm

      Hi Lindsay, a 12 oz. box will work but if you buy a 16 oz. box, go ahead and boil all the noodles and pick out the best ones. :)

      Reply

  67. #
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    elle — March 20, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

    My mom always swore by cream cheese in mashed potatoes. I love cream cheese but I never did get around to that one. It’s okay. I kind of like my mashed potatoes tasting kind of like potatoes.

    Reply

  68. #
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    Jessica Huseman — April 5, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

    I love this! I love lasagna but I HATE ricotta cheese. I’ve tried to use fresh mozzarella or parmesan before but the moisture was off and so the noodles dried out. This is perfect. Making this tonight.

    Reply

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    Mindy — September 16, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

    Have you ever tried freezing this and then baking it? If so how would you alter the directions?

    Reply

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