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If there’s anything I love more than Lasagna Soup, it’s good ole classic Lasagna. Everybody needs a recipe for classic lasagna in their repertoire, and this is mine. Cheesy, hearty, comforting, and down-right delicious, my hubby regularly requests this for his birthday dinner! Aside from birthday dinners, lasagna is great for entertaining a crowd because a little goes a long way, and it’s super easy to double or triple the recipe.
If you’ve made lasagna before, you know that it can be a bit fussy, and messy. You need a pot to boil the noodles (unless you use the no-boil kind!), one for the meat and/or sauce, a bowl to mix the cheese mixture, and a pan to assemble the lasagna! While lasagna does require a bit more time than I’m typically comfortable with dedicating to weeknight meals, it’s worth it.
My recipe for lasagna is pretty standard, but with a few changes. I grew up eating lasagna that was made with ground beef, so naturally, that’s what I made mine with. Then, one day I decided to experiment with Italian Sausage and I haven’t turned back! Another important element to a lasagna is the cheese. In standard lasagna, you’ll usually find ricotta cheese (not really a fan of it, unless it’s used in these Turkey Ricotta Meatballs), and mozzarella cheese. I changed it up a bit and use a combination of cottage cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and….. cream cheese! I know it sounds weird, but cream cheese, I discovered, is the perfect addition to classic lasagna!
Perfect for entertaining, holidays, birthdays, and really, and ole’ night of the week, this Four Cheese Classic Lasagna is definitely a favorite in our house. Enjoy!
Notes: Shred all of your own cheese for the best outcome! The cheese will melt and taste better!
- 9-12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions (I typically cook a couple extra, just in case), and drained
- 1 pound mild or medium bulk Italian Sausage
- 36 ounces pasta sauce of your choice ( 1 1/2 jars if you’re not making your own), divided
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake (adjust according to your preferences)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions and drain.
- While the noodles are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the diced onions for a few minutes until they are translucent. Add in the minced garlic and cook for a minute or two longer.
- To the pan, add 1 pound Italian Sausage. Use a large wooden spoon or other utensil to break up the sausage into small crumbles. Stir in basil, parsley, red pepper flake, and oregano.
- When the Italian Sausage is cooked, drain any excess fat. Set aside 1 cup pasta sauce, and stir in the remaining sauce with the meat.
- In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 3 cups mozzarella cheese, and 2 eggs.
- In a large 9 x 13 inch casserole dish, spread 1 cup reserved pasta sauce over the bottom. Layer 3-4 lasagna noodles across the bottom. Top with 1/3 of the meat sauce, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Add another layer of noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat one more time with the remaining noodles, and meat sauce. Top with reserved 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and basil if desired.