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!
Lasagna, lasagna, lasagana.
I love the way that word rolls off the tongue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Flavor Tidal Wave of Epic Proportion.
All I could think was, “Thank God I’m now a Collier.”
Once you’ve added cream cheese to homemade lasagna, there is no turning back to ricotta.
This homemade 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.
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. *wink*
More Comforting Pasta Dishes:
Homemade Egg Noodles – Dine & Dish
Pistachio Pasta ~ Kiran Tarun
Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells ~ Mommie Cooks
Yield: 8-12 servings
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Traditional Sausage Lasagna with Cream Cheese.
- 1 box of lasagna noodles
- 2 quarts (64 ounces) homemade marinara (or store-bought)
- 2 pounds Italian sausage
- 2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Italian Seasoning
- 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!
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