Sunday, December 02, 2007

Beef Lasagne Recipe

This lasagne consists of layers of rich meat sauce, creamy cheese sauce and tender pasta topped with a layer of golden melted cheese. We think it tastes even better reheated the next day.

The cheese sauce can be prepared while the meat sauce is simmering.

Preparation time: about 1 hour and 15 minutes

Serves about 8-10.

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

Meat Sauce
1 tablespoon (20ml) oil
1 large (about 200g) onion, peeled and finely chopped
100g shortcut bacon, finely chopped
750g lean beef mince
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
100g (4 tablespoons) tomato paste
800g canned diced or crushed tomatoes
125ml (1/2 cup) red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cheese Sauce
90g butter
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
800ml (3 cups + 2 1/2 tablespoons) milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
65g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

250g packet dry instant lasagne sheets (you probably won't need the full packet: the amount needed will depend on the measurements of your baking dish)

Cheese Topping
60g (1/2 cup, very firmly packed) grated mozzarella cheese
60g (1/2 cup, very firmly packed) grated tasty cheddar cheese

Meat Sauce
Heat oil in a very large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until onion has softened.

Increase heat to high and add mince and garlic to the pan. Break up mince by mashing with a fork until no large clumps remain. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all of the mince has changed colour.

Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, red wine, oregano, basil and bay leaf to mince mixture and stir until combined.

Once the mixture boils, reduce heat to about medium-low so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The meat sauce should be moist but not watery.

Discard the bay leaf. Season meat sauce with salt and pepper.

Cheese Sauce
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir flour into melted butter and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles. ©

Remove saucepan from the heat. Add milk very gradually, stirring or whisking constantly.

When all of the milk has been added and the sauce is smooth, return the saucepan to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 7 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Add nutmeg and parmesan cheese to sauce and stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (we have the fan switched off).

You will need a 3.25 litre (13 cup) capacity rectangular ovenproof dish. Use a dish that is about 6.5cm deep.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce over the base of dish. This thin layer of sauce will help prevent the pasta from sticking to the base of the dish. Completely cover the sauce with a single layer of lasagne sheets, cutting or breaking the sheets to fit the shape of the dish.

Spread one third of the meat sauce over the lasagne sheets.

Cover meat sauce with one third of the remaining cheese sauce. Top with another layer of lasagne sheets. Spread half the remaining meat sauce over the pasta. Spread half the remaining cheese sauce over the meat sauce. Cover cheese sauce with a layer of pasta. Spread with remaining meat sauce then remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle with combined mozzarella and tasty cheese.

Cover lasagne with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 15 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is golden and pasta is tender. Remove lasagne from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the lasagne to firm up slightly before cutting and serving.

Store lasagne in the refrigerator or freezer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

so so yummy. i am by no means a cook, but ur recipe was so easy to follow!! all of the recipes on this site are. if u were to publish a book i would buy it :) and i would give it to my friends too.

7/2/08 12:07 pm  
Blogger Anna said...

I am thinking about using this recipe for a family do on Friday night. Is it true what 'they' say about cooking lasagne the day before you want to use it? Does it improve the flavour/texture at all?

6/4/08 2:39 pm  
Blogger carly said...

I made this lasagne for hubby's birthday and his whole family loved it! I was hoping to have the leftovers for lunch the next day, but there was none left!! I have decided to adopt this recipe, I absolutely loved it!!
Thank you so very much :)

7/4/08 9:19 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Anna,

We prefer the texture and flavour of the lasagne the day after making. When reheated, the lasagne is less watery and it holds together better, making it easier to serve. We would do the following:

Day before
Cook lasagne, covered, for 30 minutes and then refrigerate.

Day of serving
Remove the lasagne from the refrigerator 15 minutes before reheating to allow it to warm up slightly.
Reheat lasagne (still covered) until hot in the centre.
Remove the cover and bake until the cheese is golden brown.

7/4/08 2:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This might sound odd but I was just wondering if there's any other meat that I can use besides beef? Perhaps lamb?

23/4/08 1:54 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Nelle,

Yes, another type of meat (lamb, pork, chicken etc.) could be used instead of the beef.

24/4/08 5:49 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

hey i am really tempted to make this but i was wondering if there is a non-alcoholic substitute for red wine in this recipe... also if i could make it without the bacon will it be ok???

2/5/08 3:03 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Yusra,

You could use beef stock in place of the red wine. It would be fine to omit the bacon. If you do so, you could increase the quantity of beef mince to 850g.

6/5/08 7:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know what to say...... um ........ OK your recipe is like the best, and so easy to follow. i'm only 11 and i can make it. when i offer to cook dinner for my mum she always asks, "oh are you making that wonderful lasagne recipe you found on the internet."

by the way, are you by any chance putting more lasagne recipes on the internet?

4/6/08 5:19 pm  
Blogger Natasha said...

I made this for my mum and dad, and they absolutely loved it. Dad said it's the best lasagne he's ever had!

Thank you!

8/6/08 1:03 pm  
Blogger Jess Joseph said...

Oh my gosh... I made it tonight & it was fabulous! I didn't think I could make lasagne.

It took a while though... I might prepare more of the 2 sauces 'cos my dish seemed to need more. A little time-consuming... but so worth it!

9/6/08 10:04 pm  
Blogger bejeweled said...

I made it on Sunday and my husband love it!
Never thought I could make it. But your recipe is easy to follow. Thanks!

24/6/08 5:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi anna,

One way to improve the flavour is to cook the meat sauce beforehand - you can either leave it in the fridge overnight, or freeze it for for up to 3 months. amanda & debbie are on the money, too, especially allowing the sauce to warm to room temperature before reheating.

As for the texture, you probably need to experiment with the amount of moisture in the sauces, as well as the "temperament" of your oven (for want of a better word!). This is really important if you can't make the meat sauce a day ahead. In that case, if you have time, allowing the sauce to cool to room temperature can help, if you are assembling the lasagne on the same day.

I hope this helps!

Hi nelle,

I've heard that traditionally, Italians used equal parts beef, pork, and veal mince in lasagne (omitting the bacon). I don't know if this is true, but it's yummy, anyway.

If you would like to try it with lamb, make sure that it really IS lamb, and not mutton, as mutton will overpower the other flavours. Brown the mince before adding it to the onion, draining the fat well. If using lamb, you could also try adding 250g frozen spinach puree, defrosted and well drained, towards the end of stewing the meat sauce.

Hi Yusra,

If it's any help, most of the alcohol is "burned off" during the simmering process (because it's a flammable liquid, it evaporates very quickly when exposed to heat), so perhaps you could use low or non-alcoholic wine instead? The end result would be no alcohol in the dish when served. The wine really does add another dimension to the flavour of the sauce - I think it's the tannins and sugars in it. As for the bacon, I really think it comes down to personal taste. My own lasagne recipe has evolved over the last 20 years, but I've never used bacon.

Don't be afraid to experiment!


1/7/08 10:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this recipe so easy to follow with the photos etc (as are all of the recipes on this website), it turned out exactly like the photo ! I have since made it every week & I agree it is best reheated the next day or at least cook it in the morning or early afternoon & stand to cool to let it set, otherwise it is too watery or soggy to serve up straight away. Definitely a good meal which is easy on the budget & serves enough for 8 people - can't go wrong !

7/8/08 10:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick question. My sauce was quiet watery after simmering for an hour or so. Should the crushed tomatoes been drained?

4/9/08 11:47 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

We don't drain the crushed tomatoes. Did you continue with the recipe? If so, how did the lasagne turn out?

4/9/08 2:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lasagne is the best. I have made used this recipe twice and both times has been scrumbo. It is better left for the following day as the excess liquid is absorbed. Would recommend this recipe for any occasion.

28/9/08 9:45 pm  
Blogger Kathy said...

This is a great recipe, my daughters (aged 5 and 3) and I made it for dinner tonight and everyone loved it, even though, with two Coeliacs in the family, we needed to use gluten-free lasagne sheets. It worked just as the recipe stated and was deliciously filling, warming, tasty and all-round a winner.

My girls made the cheese sauce component entirely by themselves (with my close supervision as they stirred the pot, of course) and really enjoyed the measuring, blending and smoothing. Not to mention the layering of the lasagne at the end which they thought was a hoot! I made the meat sauce first thing this morning and I agree that helps the taste along.

This recipe served the four of us (2 adults, 2 children) with maybe 2/3 of it as leftovers to freeze for no-cooking nights. I will definitely make it again, thank you!

30/9/08 6:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you reheat it the next day, is it best reheated in the oven or as single portions in the microwave? If oven how long does it take and what temperature to ensure it doesn't burn?

4/10/08 8:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi amanda & debbie,

just a quick question.. would i be able to use fresh lasange sheets instead of the dried one? and if so, would this affect the cooking time or the overall dish as a whole?

love your recipes by the way!!

15/10/08 4:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks fantastic! I am going to cook it tonight for my boyfriend & I for dinner.


17/10/08 10:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My hubby & I made this last night. It was YUMMY! even though we spent about 2 hours till its done, it's totally worth it. And to add on, second days' taste is better. I brought some to my work place and my colleagues loved it! so, THANKS for the recipe ^o^

28/10/08 2:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there,
i will be trying to make this recipe this weekend. i love lasagna mainly because of the first cheese layer. it's kind of sweet and not so cheesy. is it ricotta or cottage cheese? does anyone know

3/11/08 4:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! After trying so many lasagne recipes I finally was able to make one that didn't have anyone discreetly giving it to the dog under the table!
Not only that but I got rave reviews from my whole family :)

26/11/08 4:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first "cheese" layer is bechamel sauce - the white sauce in the recipe. I always put a generous layer of bechamel on top and sprinkle with cheese.

27/11/08 4:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sensational, this is the best lasagne i have ever made. I didn't add the bacon as i didn't have any, i used a 700ml jar of la verde pasta sauce as i never had tins of tomatoes,i also added a beef stock cube to the sauce, this was a real hit for the whole family

1/12/08 9:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very clear instructions and loved the pictures! Thank you. I will attempt this lasagne for xmas.

23/12/08 5:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only just found this site and it's great. In this recipe I again put in a layer of sliced up silverbeet each time and also some grated carrot. This puts in some vegie that many kids wont jump into but tastes great and isn't noticable. I make it this way on a regular basis and have friends asking for the secret ingredients ... lol

24/12/08 1:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also used kangaroo mince and while we enjoyed it, found it quite strong. Definately needs a side salad. Can you suggest something which might also soften the strong taste?

24/12/08 1:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!! I was highly praised for my lasagne, it was delish.. thank you. It was time consuming(like all good recipes) but wearth it. I am so pleased I found your site. Amelia.

28/12/08 2:26 pm  
Blogger Kathy said...

This is definitely one of the yummiest lasagnas I have made. I did however make a few slight changes for my own 'healthier' version. In the meat sauce I used extra lean ground beef and reduced the quantity by a half, substituting the rest with a box of frozen leaf spinach. I also left out the bacon.

Instead of a cheese sauce I opted for a plain bechamel sauce, without any parmesan. I also used fat free milk rather than full/low fat.

Finally with the cheese topping I used part skim mozzarella and sharp cheddar. Even with all these changes the lasagna was really tasty. I'll be making this again.

12/1/09 11:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your recipes! Made Lasagne last night (i'd never made a lasagne before) but this was an absolute hit. It's not the first recipe of yours I've tried and I haven't had a failure yet, I'm finding a new passion, Thank you. Have you Published a book?

14/1/09 9:07 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Tam

The lasagne can be reheated in the oven or microwave (it will brown and crisp more if reheated in the oven). Only reheat as much as you wish to serve. In the oven, we would reheat the lasagne, covered, at about 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced) until hot in the centre. The time required will depend on the size of the piece you are reheating.

15/2/09 6:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can I say, first time I've ever made Lasagne....OUT OF THIS WORLD, was excellent, made day before when I had plenty of time and ate the following day. whole family very happy..also made your chicken kievs day before which were yummy...mmmm i'm trying to decide what to make next off your site...stumbled across your website by accident...what a happy bunny i am..thanks again

17/2/09 10:38 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Emmy

Fresh lasagne sheets probably won't absorb as much liquid or need to be cooked for as long as dried lasagne sheets. You may need to remove the foil covering earlier or omit it altogether to allow more moisture to escape, and you may be able to reduce the baking time.

17/2/09 5:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time consuming to say the least, but DELIOCIOUS does not do it justice! Thank you for this great recipe. My partner loves it!!

23/2/09 11:28 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Colin

Do you think that kangaroo mince would mix well with another type of (milder flavoured) mince?

To the person who asked whether we have published a book: We haven't published a book, but if we do, we will advertise it on this site.

24/2/09 5:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i cook the lasange sheets they are usually hard and they dont turn out right how do you cook pasta sheets?

25/2/09 4:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have stumbled across your website and i LOVE IT!! I have made lasagne a few times before, but it was NEVER quite right, so i made it your way and the family LOVED IT...the girls (10 & 7) said it was the best lasagne!!

i am really keen to make a few of your other recipes.

26/2/09 10:34 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

To the person who asked about cooking the lasagne sheets: The instant lasagne sheets cook and soften in the lasagne during oven baking. If you follow the instructions in the recipe, the pasta shouldn't be hard at the end of the cooking time.

9/3/09 4:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took your advice and then it turned out great thank you an other great recipe =)

10/3/09 5:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this great recipe. This recipe was loved by the whole family. Previously I'd always had disasters whenever I'd attempted to make lasagne. This was easy to make and tasted great.

16/3/09 10:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...this was definitely a hit with the family! I even added some chopped up leftover corned beef to the meat which added a mild extra flavour. The texture and flavour was just beautiful! THANK YOU for all your fantastic recipes, since using them I have had a 100% success rate with family dinners, and have added several of them to our monthly meal planner. With a family of 7, its nice to find recipes that EVERYONE enjoys.
Thanks again!

17/3/09 5:02 pm  
Anonymous Jane said...

have had my lasagne recipe for years but thought i would give this a go seeing your other recipes i've tried have been great! I did add my homemade tomato relish/chutney to the meat sauce, and not being big on parmesan cheese only added 1/4 cup along with some mozzarella cheese to make up the 2/3 cup of cheese.
Loved it ... will be my lasagna recipe now. thanks for sharing!

26/4/09 5:13 pm  
Anonymous Jacqui said...

I was really nervous about making this all from scratch, but I am so glad I did! I followed your recipe exactly, and Wow! I was mainly nervous about the cheese sauce, but it turned out so nice, best cheese sauce I've had :) The sauce for the meat was so nice and tasty! It was all really easy to make, and turned out perfectly! Thanks for another fantastic recipe!

28/5/09 4:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is the best lasagne recipe I have ever made, it is easy and always delicious, the instructions are easy to follow and the result..well amazing!

8/6/09 9:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never cooked with wine before & was wandering if there was a particular red wine to buy?

20/7/09 12:09 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

We have used both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon in this lasagne. Bottle shop attendants are usually happy to recommend a reasonably priced wine. You can freeze the remaining wine for later use in cooking.

20/7/09 8:25 pm  
Anonymous Stacey said...

I made this recently & have to say it is the best lasagne I have ever made! Great recipe.

22/7/09 8:43 am  
Blogger maycheangdesigns said...

Hi, Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. Made it with my 7 year old son, we had such fun preparing and eating it. YUMMY!!!

14/8/09 9:24 am  
Anonymous Chrissy said...

this is the first lasagna i have made and i have to say it was amazing! i was so proud of myself. i also added some spinach to a layer which was great. thanks so much for your wonderful recipes. :)

25/9/09 1:54 pm  
Anonymous Louise said...

LOVE THIS RECEIPE! Has to be one of the most classic dishes and it didnt disappoint. This was the first lasagne I ever made and ever since its been a hit with both friends and family! Even my mum loves it! Very happy!!!

4/12/09 1:37 pm  
Blogger Moving Girl said...

I came, I saw, I conquered. I am now the Reigning Lasagne Queen of the World. Oh and that little part about the recipe, thank you. (ha ha)

28/3/10 7:51 am  
Anonymous Carol said...

The recipe is not only outrageously delicious but it is absolutely simple to follow. I'm in luck to have stumbled upon this recipe for my very first attempt to cook lasagna and it was a huge success that I'm receiving choir of praises from my family.

Thanks for posting the recipe (keep them coming too) =D

10/4/10 1:35 am  
Anonymous gamgo said...

I used FRESH lasagne sheets instead of instant, & it was MUCH YUMMIER!!
Also, I used a whole tub of RICOTTA cheese, with some sharp cheddar cheese in the cheese sauce.
All the family loved it, & I got RAVE reviews- thank you:))

3/5/10 1:10 pm  
Blogger Dale said...

I am making this lasagne as I type this (I'm at the remove foil and return to oven stage) and I have to tell you - this is one of the easiest recipes I've used and it looks uber-delish! Thank you so much for sharing :)

1/8/10 8:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! I've never been able to make good cheese sauce, and I had no idea how to make lasagne. My husband said it't the best lasagne he ever had. He's been taking it in for lunch for the whole week much to the envy of his workmates.

7/9/10 2:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will add myself to the list of fans for this recipe! A friend made it for us and we all asked for the recipe. I made it and everyone was in raptures over how delicious it is. Makes me want to open a lunch bar, just serving this every day! I reckon we could make a fortune!

16/9/10 3:25 pm  
Anonymous Stacey said...

Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I have been experimenting with lots of different lasagne recipes over the years & this is what I have been searching for. Love it!

20/9/10 8:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I am not a good cook and very inexperienced. I have one silly question to ask, do we need to cook the lasagna sheet first before we bake?
Thanks for your advice. I have been enjoying your great site :D

6/10/10 2:28 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

If you use 'instant' lasagne sheets and follow the baking instructions in the recipe above, you shouldn't need to cook the lasagne sheets prior to baking the lasagne. Look for a lasagne sheet package that states "no pre-cooking required" or something similar.

6/10/10 5:47 pm  
Anonymous Gayle said...

This came out FANTASTIC! My husband loved it & so did I :)

For a healthier version - I substituted the wine with veg stock & made the lasagne with wagyu beef mince (it's tastier & healthier), wholemeal plain flour, fresh tomatoes & spelt pasta.

Didn't have any basil leaves either, so I put in some Italian herbs.


22/1/11 8:48 am  
Anonymous Mandy said...

Yum, Yum, Yum!!! This is the most delicious lasagne recipe I have tried. Its a keeper, thanks Amanda and Debbie

9/4/11 5:12 pm  
Anonymous Melissa said...

cooking it right now smells amazing. i am from new zealand, and i was wondering what type of red wine do you use, im not sure if i should use cab or what!?
lovely recipe :)

2/5/11 3:17 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Melissa

We usually use Shiraz.

4/5/11 3:51 pm  
Blogger Carissa said...

This is the BEST lasagne I have ever tasted!! I have made it using this recipe 3 times and my hubby and I love it. Because there is only two of us i freeze the leftovers and it's just as good reheated. The cheese sauce is to die for! Love it!

26/6/11 10:03 am  
Anonymous Lasagna raso said...

Really great lookin lasagna photo and recipe as well, I will try to do one like this, I hope it will turn out solid.


28/12/11 8:35 am  
Anonymous Nadine said...

i want to make a few of these and put them in the freezer so its just easier to take out and reheat for an easy and quick dinner.

Do i bake it before freezing it? and how long do you think it will last in the freezer?

thank you

19/1/12 12:10 pm  
Anonymous Alycia said...

Just wanted to stop by to say this is the best ever lasagne recipe!!! I came across it about a year and a half ago and I cook it all the time. Everyone who has ever tried my lasagne has said that it is by far the best they have tasted.
Thank you!!!!!

4/10/12 4:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, what type flour did you use for the cheese sauce?

12/12/12 7:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovvvvvve this recipe although i omit the bacon + wine and add some green chilies to givevit some oumpf!

20/2/13 5:45 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

This is a great recipe. I cooked it tonight and it is so yum! I tweaked it a bit to suit my taste.
I used only 500gm beef, no bacon, used chicken stock instead of red wine and added zucchini.
With the zucchini I sliced it and steamed it before adding in a layer to the lasagne. Need to get my serve of vegies.

13/12/14 9:55 pm  

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