Best Homemade Lasagna with Sausage
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!
Classic Lasagna Recipe
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 our best 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.
Best Homemade Lasagna Recipe
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 stovetop. We boiled the noodles and laid them on clean tea towels. Then 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.”
Ricotta vs. Cream Cheese Lasagna
Once you’ve added cream cheese to our best 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*
Ingredients You Will Need For Our Best Lasagna
- Box of Lasagna Noodles
- Homemade Marinara or Store-Bought
- Italian Sausage
- Softened Cream Cheese
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Italian Seasoning
How To Make This Easy Lasagna Recipe
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large saucepan, brown the sausage over medium heat, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once the meat is fully cooked, add and stir the marinara, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Boil the noodles in a large pot of salty water, according to package instructions. Drain and remove the noodles and lay them out on a clean dish towel.
Spray a 9×13-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 on the second day. If making this ahead, Cover well, refrigerate, and bake for 40-50 minutes to heat through!
Get The Full (Printable) Homemade Lasagna Recipe with Sausage Below. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Make This Best Lasagna Recipe The Night Before?
Yes, wrap it well with plastic wrap/aluminum foil and store it in your fridge. The next morning, bake at 375 for 40 to 50 minutes. Only covered if you feel the cheese is starting to get too crisp.
Can I Substitute the Noodles for Zucchini?
Sure! I actually have a paleo lasagna where we do this. To use it as a reference click this link.
Can I Use Ground Beef instead of Italian Sausage?
Swap away! Of course, it will lose a little flavor, because sausage is loaded with herbs and spices, but will still taste wonderful.
What Size Box of Lasagna Noodles Do I Purchase?
A 12-ounce box will work but if you buy a 16-ounce box, go ahead and boil all the noodles and pick out the best ones.
Can I Use No-Boil Lasagna Noodles?
Yes, you can. I do prefer the texture of traditional lasagna noodles, but if you are in a hurry, layer no-boil noodles in this dish and add 1/3 cup water to the sauce, so there is plenty of moisture for the noodles to absorb.
Do I Use Any Other Spice Besides Italian Seasoning?
If you use the herb blend “Italian Seasoning” you can find at most grocery stores, it usually has all the herbs you need. It’s a mix of oregano, basil, rosemary, and marjoram. Or make your own Italian Seasoning from your spice rack!
Can I Use Any Tomato Sauce?
You could use a simple tomato sauce, but then the flavor of this dish would diminish greatly. Our homemade marinara recipe includes many ingredients like tomato sauce, garlic cloves, onion, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper to increase the flavor. If buying pre-made sauce, buy jarred marinara instead of plain tomato sauce.
More Comforting Pasta Dishes:
- Baked Ziti with Ricotta and Sausage (No Boil Noodles)
- Hearts of Palm with Spinach Cream Sauce
- Baked Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
- Malfatti (Gnudi) Ricotta Dumplings
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Baked Rigatoni Bolognese
- 8-Minute Japeguri (Easy Ram Don Korean Noodles)
- Green Risotto with Fresh Parsley
- Homemade Egg Noodles – Dine & Dish
- Pistachio Pasta ~ Kiran Tarun
- Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells ~ Mommie Cooks
Best Homemade Lasagna Recipe
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- 2 quarts homemade marinara or store-bought
- 2 pounds Italian sausage
- 16 ounces 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 9×13-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!
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
This was delicious! Thank you for the recipe. At what temp and for how long for reheating? I ended up following the recipe but making two lasagnas in smaller pans. I’m wondering the best way to reheat after it’s been made and in the fridge. TIA :)
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I can never make a lasagna again without using cream cheese…MIND BLOWING! This is the only lasagna recipe I use.
I am a father of 3 and Step Dad of 3 ages 9 to 19, all of which are athletes. We have to double most recipes to make enough food for 8. This is a tricky task because if the kids don’t like it my wife and I have leftovers for days and days. I made this lasagna yesterday and let it sit on for a few hours before baking. We had 2 boys at baseball, 2 girls at volleyball, 1 girl coaching volleyball, Mom watching volleyball and I took the 9 year old to shoot hoops after the lasagna was done being prepped. I served the dish with my secret homemade garlic cheese bread and guess what? The lasagna got crushed! It was plenty of food and 4 of the kids had seconds. The 19 year old picked out the cream cheese difference right away. The only thing I changed was using 1 lb mild and 1 lb hot Italian sausage to give it a touch more complexity. This will be the go to lasagna recipe from now on. What a great idea your MIL had! From the real life Brady Bunch.
YAY! I’m so glad everyone liked it! :)
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Wow this actually looks to die for. Thanks so much for this recipe. Will be making this on the weekend..
Summer, where is the homemade marinara sauce recipe? I couldn’t find it. Ron.
Hi Ron, sorry about that! Here is the marinara recipe: http://www.aspicyperspective.com/how-to-make-marinara-sauce/
Can you cook this is a crock pot? If so how long?
Forgive me for asking…there aren’t any seasonings listed besides italian seasoning. Most other recipes have oregano, basil and garlic, etc. I’m a retired military guy so I’m not a culinary wiz.
Hi John, I just meant for you to use the herb blend “Italian Seasoning” you can find at most grocery stores. It’s usually a mix of oregano, basil, rosemary, and marjoram.
You are the woman!!! I made it this weekend and it turned out great! I made a few errors but the final results were phenominal. I cooked the noodles too long and had to microwave the cream cheese to get it softer but it came out perfect. Thank you.
Have you ever tried freezing this and then baking it? If so how would you alter the directions?
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.
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.
What size box of lasagna noodles do I get?
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. :)
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
Cream cheese? Sheer luscious brilliance.
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 :)
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!!! (:
Hi Meagan, Swap away! Of course it will lose a little flavor, but will still taste wonderful.
I would add some extra Italian seasoning to the ground meat and maybe some garlic. That should pump up the flavour.
Best lasagne ever!
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!
Thanks so much Alexis. I’m glad your family enjoyed it!
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!
Thanks Tim, so glad you liked it!
I love this idea! I use sour cream in my baked ziti, so naturally cream cheese could only be better!
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 :)
Thanks Deb. So glad you like it!
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.
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I’ve made this several times since discovering it on this blog, the cream cheese always makes it delicious!
Thanks for coming to tell me Kat. So glad you like it! :)
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What happened to your link to the homemade sauce? It was delicious!
Hi Pam, Maybe it disappeared when my site was remodeled. I just added it back in!
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Do you think you can use the Italian seasoning for dressing on the top??? Can’t wait to try this!
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!
Oh Crystal, I’m so glad you both enjoyed it! :)
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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!
Do you REALLY mean two QUARTS of marinara sauce?
Yep, 64 oz of homemade sauce or 2 -32 oz. jars. :)
yum….. great idea. I’ll have to try it with my vegetarian version of lasagna :-)
It’s never occurred to me to put cream cheese in lasagne but it makes perfect sense!
This looks wonderful, Sommer! Beautiful lasagna :)
This looks so easy Sommer – I’d never think to use cream cheese either.
I’m officially extending an invitation to come over for dinner…oh and can you bring this? WOW. Drooling.
Is it possible to make this recipe by subbing zucchini for the noodles? I have made this tons of times and my family just devours it because it is so good!!! Now, the hublet and I are looking to lower carbs, but I am totally craving this!! Any suggestions if zucchini won’t work for the noodles? Thank you!!
Sure! I actually have a paleo lasagna where we do this. You can use it for reference… https://www.aspicyperspective.com/best-paleo-lasagna/
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.
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!
So trying this — yummo!
What a delicious recipe! I simply adore lasagna but I always have a problem when I prepare it! I can stop eat them :).
I could seriously eat this ENTIRE dish, even if the heartburn kills me.
I think cream cheese makes total sense! I’ll have to give this a try.
This looks so good. I thought it was crazy when I switched from ricotta to cottage cheese. Now I am going to try this!
Mmm… That both looks and sounds delicious!
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. :)
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!
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!
Your beautiful photos make me want to make this lasagna. It looks super juicy and delicious!
Cream cheese- perfect!!!
What a cute newlywed story! Thanks for sharing it w us, Sommer.
Cream cheese has a lot more flavour and a beautiful smooth texture.
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!
This looks wonderful, Sommer! I love lasagna…
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!
Love those perfect layers, so pretty. I am so trying cream cheese in my lasagne!
This looks amazing! Definitely in the mood to make lasagna now! I’m pinning this! :)
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!
You can’t really beat homemade lasagna, can you??
Love this idea, it looks so good girl – now I have a craving for it.
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!
I’ve never tried cream cheese in lasagna but what a fab idea!
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!
I cannot wait to try this. It looks amazing!
Such a tempting lasagna! Love the sausage + cream cheese in there!
This looks delicious. And, may i just say your blog is amazing and your pictures are wonderful.
Thank you so much Nicole… I’m blushing. :)
love this Sommer! I have a lasagna coming up soon too! Great minds and I am going to make your version
Yum! We use cottage cheese instead of ricotta…can’t wait to try this!
OH YUM!! This sounds insanely good!
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 ;)
They sure can!
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.
I love this recipe! Totally pinning!
Cream cheese in lasagna?! Now THAT is one I’ve never heard of before! But I can see how it would be SO good!
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!
Oh wow this looks amazing! My husband is going to want me to make this ASAP.
I could eat lasagna every day and be a happy camper!
Me too, Paula. :)
If you refrigerate it overnight, at what temperature do you bake it at the next day since you’re cooking it longer than when it was just made & do you bake it
covered or uncovered at that point?
Hi Pat! Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes. Only covered if you feeling the cheese is starting to get too crisp. Happy Cooking!
OMG..Cream Cheese that is totally brilliant!!!!
This looks amazing, Sommer! Perfect for these chilly fall days.
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!
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!