A good single-dish meal needs to have enough bulk to be filling and enough flavor to not be boring. Lasagna hits all of those marks, so you should take the time to learn the basics of making one. This lasagna recipe roundup includes versions that are close to the traditional form and variations that are as unique as the chefs who invented them.
1. Simple Homemade Lasagna
This basic recipe serves as a great starter and a springboard for other lasagna recipes as you experiment with ingredients. The cheese and egg serve as a binder for the ingredients piled between layers of flat lasagna noodles. The traditional filling has even more cheese with a tomato and meat sauce in each layer.
The final topping of cheese browns as it bakes in the oven during the last step with the foil removed, adding more texture and flavor to the lasagna. Once you get to oven step, the entire lasagna can be stored for an easy meal at a later time. It will keep for a couple days in the fridge and up to a month in the freezer.
2. Taco Lasagna
The same basic idea of layering a thick mess of tastiness between bulky carbs can be seen throughout other cuisines. This variation is a unique blend of lasagna with Tex-Mex flavors. Corn and peppers add texture and mellow sweetness that breaks up the gooey mess of delicious fillings and soft flour tortillas.
Uncooked corn tortillas don’t properly bake over time, and cooked ones will become soggy in the middle of a lasagna. A few broken chips sprinkled over the top near the end will add extra crispness, though.
3. White Chicken Lasagna Soup
All of the ingredients you’ll use in a lasagna are versatile staples that are easy to blend into other dishes. This lasagna soup has a creamy sauce instead of a tomato-based sauce, but it’s otherwise close to a deconstructed lasagna in a savory broth. The liquid has a thick and rich texture, much like a broccoli cheddar soup or a clam chowder.
Carrots, bell peppers, and spinach lend much needed nutrients to the meal. Some baked garlic bread is a great side dish to serve with it, since you can soak up the remaining juices and soften the crust.
4. Soft Garlic and Herb Breadsticks
When you have a plate or bowl full of leftover sauce, it’s tempting to lick all the flavor out of it. You can do so with a bit more dignity by using these garlic and herb bread sticks to sop up the mess. A stand mixer will save you a ton of effort, but you can still work the dough by hand if you are determined to have fresh bread.
When you’re done, you’ll have a dozen delicious dipping dowels of dough. You don’t have to wait for a reason to make them, either, if you want to have a few garlic breadsticks for snacking and lunches.
Greece isn’t too far away from Italy, so many of the same techniques and flavors make themselves present in their dishes. There is even some debate about where lasagna originated, but the version most of us know as lasagna is definitely Italian. A pastitsio is a Greek baked pasta and toppings dish, but the construction is noticeably different.
Tubular noodles called bucatini form a bottom layer with plenty of pores for the upper layers of toppings to sink into. Bucatini is harder to find, and the replacement suggestions of penne and ziti are a bit thicker than desired. The layering style makes it hard to call it a true lasagna, but you can combine the two recipes by layering the suggested noodles instead of piling them at the bottom.
You can also try your other lasagna fillings arranged the Greek way!
6. Mushroom Lasagna
Mushrooms have a variety of earthy flavors and a bouncy bite, and they will melt in your mouth once they cook and absorb a bit of fat and flavor. The umami in the mushrooms hits the same spots on your tastebuds as meat, so you can get the filling sensation of a meat dish while sticking to a vegetarian diet. Other steps in the recipe further refine the nutritional value.
The lasagna noodles add a minimal amount of carbs, while the bechamel sauce and reduction in cheese cut the total amount of fat in each bite. It’s still rich and tasty – and it’d be hard to call it “diet food’ – but it’s very light for a pasta dish.
7. Keema Lasagna
Keema is an Indian meat dish that is typically made from lamb and served with other dishes, and it serves as the replacement for the tomato and meat sauce for this recipe. You’ll find peas in many traditional versions, but this one foregoes them. If you want to try it with the peas, just throw them into the meat mixture as it starts to brown.
A lamb lasagna isn’t too uncommon, but the mixture of spices like fennel, turmeric, and cardamom transform the lasagna into an entirely new experience.
8. Triple Mushroom Lasagna with Ricotta, Sage, and Fontina
Did I mention that I like mushrooms? Three wonderful types of mushrooms make an appearance in this recipe: shiitake, cremini, and button. They’re pan fried in butter, sherry, and seasonings before bathing in the fats from the ricotta, bechamel sauce, and cheese blend. Ricotta is a common substitute for the cottage cheese with a smoother texture and slightly different taste.
The fontina cheese has a stronger taste than milder cheeses like mozzarella, but it’s not going to overpower a healthy helping of parmesan. If you really want to make your own ricotta like the recipe recommends, you can do so. I’m far more likely to buy some from the store, myself.
9. Lasagna Cupcakes
Personal-sized servings have a way of making someone feel special, even if you’ve made the same thing a dozen times. These cupcakes don’t use actual lasagna, but the thin wonton wrappers are a close analog while being easier to work with on a small scale. Since the cupcakes are smaller, they cook faster and have more surface area along the sides to develop texture on the wrappers and cheese.
You can also make small tweaks to each one, like adding an extra veggie that someone loves or adding more red pepper flakes for the spice lover in the family.
10. Spicy Skillet Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach
This recipe turns the lasagna into a skillet meal of noodle pockets bathed in sauce and packed with fillings. The curled lasagna noodles expose more of their surface to the heat of the skillet and oven, so you get more of the crisp baked texture that’s usually reserved for the very edge of a lasagna. Most of the ingredients are ones that have been in other recipes on this list, but one notable addition deserves a mention.
Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables, capable of inheriting a ton of flavor from its surroundings. The quarter-inch rounds in the middle of each lasagna noodle are a special treat waiting to be discovered.
11. Dairy and Gluten Free Lasagna
Managing dietary restrictions can be challenging, especially when dishes that are core to your being are suddenly on the banned list. You can’t account for every food issue, but this lasagna cuts out dairy and gluten for an easier time on a large number of stomachs. Aside from having to make a couple of different decisions at the grocery store, the recipe is about the same as any other lasagna recipe.
12. Eggplant Lasagna
Instead of using a gluten-free noodle, you can make use of a gluten-free vegetable. Eggplant that has been cut into flat sheets and roasted packs more flavor and nutritional value than a traditional lasagna noodle. The eggplant is a bit mushier than the noodles, as if you had boiled the lasagna completely in your prep phase.
It won’t hold up as well over time, especially if you try to freeze it.
13. Pierogi Lasagna
Pierogi is a Polish dish of dough stuffed with mashed potatoes that is very similar to dumplings. Instead of actually making the dumplings, you’ll be using the same ingredients arranged into layers like a lasagna. The dough serves as the noodles, and the potatoes help bulk out the interior for a lasagna that’s thick and full.
The multiple cheeses, bacon, sour cream, and chives complete the recipe for a loaded baked lasagna.
14. White Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
Chicken Alfredo bombards the tongue with flavors carried along with the creamy fats of the sauce. Adding some veggies really helps me feel less guilty about the heaviness of the meal, so I love the roasted additions to this recipe. Roasting them ahead of time puts a char on the exterior that you won’t get with a light frying on the stovetop or letting them cook with the lasagna.
In addition to the recommended zucchini, squash, and carrots, you might consider roasting cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli.
15. Cheesy Bacon Lovers Lasagna
Getting the right texture on bacon was a struggle for me until I started baking it. The bacon gets a consistent temperature and renders all the way through for a firm crispness once it cools. No bits of fat barely touched by the heat, and no overly charred edges as long as you don’t leave them in too long.
Most of the fat will be removed after cooking and draining the bacon, too. When layered throughout the lasagna, the bits in the middle will stay firm while the top layer keeps most of its crunch.
16. Instant Pot Lasagna
While I don’t plan on giving up my kitchen, I could almost survive on just the versatility of an instant pot. You can even make lasagna with it! That includes browning the meat, making the sauce, and cooking the constructed lasagna to perfection.
You don’t even have to preboil the lasagna noodles if you use the ones recommended in the recipe. Traditional cooking will produce five times as many dirty dishes. The only downside is you can’t make quite as much as you could in the oven, but you can still feed a typical family of four or five, especially with a couple side dishes.
17. Supreme Pizza Lasagna
You may have noticed that the top layer of melted cheese on the traditional lasagna looks suspiciously like a cheese pizza. You already have the basic ingredients of one with a tomato-based sauce, cheese, and a carb element. All it takes is a few more toppings to create a supreme pizza lasagna.
Pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, peppers, and red onions scattered around the top will bake into the upper layer and spice up every bite of the lasagna. You can cut the supreme ingredients and stick to pepperoni for a more kid-friendly version.
18. Rice Lasagna
For another alternative to the noodles, you can use rice as the bulk layer between the meat and cheese. This version will fall apart more easily than a lasagna made with noodles, but it still sticks together decently well until you start breaking into it with a fork. You need to add a bit of time to the recipe to account for cooking the rice, but you can handle that while browning the meat and onions to keep the overall cooking time the same.
If there is leftover rice in the fridge, it keeps its firmness better when recooked, plus you avoid extra work. That’s why it’s also recommended for fried rice dishes!
19. Breakfast Lasagna
Instead of a tomato-based sauce or a cream sauce, you’ll be ladling the gravy onto this breakfast lasagna. Despite being intended for an entirely different time of day than most lasagnas, the recipe only has a few small variations when you look at it. Scrambling the eggs adds an extra step, since you want to get some of that fluffy texture into the dish.
The green onions, bell peppers, cheese, and sausage should be familiar and comfortable by now. It also stores well in the freezer if you want to make a couple ahead of time for days when you can’t think of another breakfast.
20. Creamy Seafood Lasagna
We’ve had a lot of land animal meat and vegetables in the roundup, so this one is for all the seafood lovers. A decadent mix of lobster, crab, and shrimp brings three seafood favorites into the layers of cheese and noodles. The bechamel sauce incorporates clam juice, so even more seafood flavor surges throughout the dish.
While I agree with the author’s suggestion that very fishy fish should be avoided, a bit of smoked salmon pairs well with the blend of seafood and Italian flavors.