Italian Lasagna (with meat)

Italian lasagna with meat

My FIL absolutely loves my lasagna. I wish that I could take credit for putting it together, but that would be a lie. many years ago I had followed the recipe on the back of the Creamette lasagna box and was sold. However, each time I wanted to make it, I just looked on the back of the box, always throwing the one away before it. Well one day I was in the grocery store picking up the noodles. I looked on the back of the box (I always bought the groceries I needed from the recipe as well) and it had VEGETABLE lasagna on the back. WHAT?! Oh no! I checked almost every box on the grocery store shelf, but alas, no Italian Lasagna recipe. ACK!

Italian lasagna with meatSo I hoped and prayed that I still had a box in the cabinet. I was lucky, there was still half a box of noodles on my shelf at home, so I immediately cut the recipe off the box and taped it to a piece of paper. it’s tattered, it’s splattered, but it’s tried and true and holds a special place in my recipe binder. :) And now I will share that lost recipe with you as I think it’s the best recipe around. I learned a noodle soaking trick rather than boiling them and it made a world of difference, you’ll find it in the printable instructions below.

Italian lasagna with meatThis is the best lasagna recipe ever. :)

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Slow Cooker Roast with Brandy Sauce

Italian Lasagna

This recipe is now available for download on Kindle or you can get 6 recipes (5 baked pasta recipes and my favorite regular pasta recipe of all time as a bonus) in my new ebook series, Bite Size Ebooks. 

5 from 1 reviews
Italian Lasagna (with meat)
Servings: 8-10
  • ½ of a (1-pound) package lasagna, uncooked
  • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes, cut up (undrained)
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp basil leaves
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp parsley flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Fill a baking pan with hot water and place the uncooked noodles into the water. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, combine Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl, blend ricotta, egg, parsley, and salt. Spoon 1½ cups of meat sauce into 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Layer one-third each lasagna, remaining meat sauce, ricotta mixture, olives, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Cover. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, bake until hot, about 20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Note: If your cheese isn’t browned enough to your liking, you can put it under the broiler for a minute.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 square


  1. Tami says

    Man, I could sit down with a plate of this right now. It looks delicious.

    We are having lasagna with a Mexican flare tonight for dinner. :)

  2. Shandy says

    Your lasagna looks so delicious! I know what you mean about counting on a recipe always being on the back of the package. I do the same with Snickerdoodle cookies on the back of the plastic 2 pound Gold Metal Flour bag. The recipe turns out perfect every time. My family is lasagna fanatics and your recipe, with new tips and all (LOVE the noodle soaking idea!) sounds like a winner. I will have to give this a try during the week.

    Buying my own side of beef is such a huge comfort and having your beef backordered until January? Wow! You must live in an area that people really appreciate stocking up. I think so many people around me haven’t sat down and figured out the cost benefits along with quality. They are used to running to the butcher’s and buying whatever cut at full price. My friends that have farms obviously know better but so many seem to get too busy to really think about it.

    The blackberry dessert was delicious but I felt terrible because hubby talked me into making a blackberry puree without seeds because he doesn’t like them. I only did half of them as a puree. I couldn’t imagine picking all those fresh blackberries and having them look like a thick syrup for the sundaes. Pancakes, yes. =)

  3. kelley says

    thanks for dropping by my blog! i would say that maybe the veggie recipe was a sign, but i’m not a pushy vegetarian. :)

    you can’t taste the nutmeg in this kind of recipe, but it does add a “certain something” that’s really delicious. it’s also good in scrambled eggs.

  4. Nate-n-Annie says

    We use a recipe called “World’s Best Lasagna” that gives really good results. Come to think of it, we should make some soon…

  5. Bridgett says

    I love lasagna and especially love it the next day. I normally won’t eat leftovers but there is something extra tasty about the lasagna the next day. Looks delicious, Amanda!

  6. Elle says

    I could sear I posted on this! I know i emailed the link to myself so I could make it, hehe.

    Lasagna has been on my radar for weeks now, and this one has actually been calling out to me!

  7. Elle says

    Amanda, I just ate a big old plate of this lasagna–it’s fabulous! This is my new go-to recipe, so thanks so much for sharing it and preserving it for all of us. Why’d they take it off the box???

  8. Amanda says

    That’s fabulous Elle, so glad you liked it!

    When I noticed that the recipe had been removed from the box, it was replaced by “Meatless Lasagna”. It was right around the time that meatless dishes were becoming very popular, in the 90’s I think? That’s all I can figure!

  9. Stephani says

    I lost the perfect potato salad recipe that used to be printed on every jar of Bama mayonnaise. I’m pretty upset about it.

  10. David Pyles says

    I have found that boiling the noodles half way work also! i take out when they are soft but still kinda firm and they cook better then completly boiling them

  11. clownwacko says

    Thank you for a real good lasagna recipe. I used to make World's Best Lasagna recipe, but this one is better. Make this recipe as it is printed here, you won't be sorry.
    Phil from Maine

  12. Anonymous says

    Oh My Gosh! I was just telling someone that the best Lasagna I ever made was from a recipe off the back of the lasagna box, but couldnt find it anymore! Great timing!

  13. Grace says

    I love lasagna, one of my favourites. I used nutmeg in mine bit I use it in the bechamel sauce that I layer it with. Gives it a very nice flavour dimension.

    Would love to reach through the screen!

  14. Angie says

    That looks amazing! I've always said the best recipes are on the back of boxes. My husband lucked out a few weeks ago when one of his patients gave him for me an old cookbook packed full of recipes off packages, but it's just chicken recipes.

  15. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme says

    I love lasagna. Actually, I love most anything Italian. And I really like the idea of using fennel seeds in the sauce! Gotta give this one a try very soon!

  16. marla {family fresh cooking} says

    Congrats on a great lasagna recipe & for finding that box! I like the idea of the nutmeg for variety. I have never soaked the noodles beforehand, but I think that is a great idea :) xo

  17. Anonymous says

    heya…im making this and i wanted to know whether i have to use the paramesan and mozzarella cheese with the ricotta together as a mixture? Or just use it as a topping?…Thanks

  18. Amanda says

    Hi Anon! The ricotta is mixed with the egg and parsley and used as a layer on top of the sauce. The mozzarella is sprinkled next, then the parmesan – so no, don't mix them all together. BUT if you already have, don't worry, it will still taste awesome!

  19. Anonymous says

    awesome technique used with the lasagna sheets:)

    exactly what i was looking for.. i too dont like it cooked completely. really gets hard to handle(and i cant seem to do it right either:P) i'll try out your idea. hope it helps:)

  20. Anonymous says

    Showing your creativity by following a recipe on the back of a box exposes you. Printed recipes should just be used for inspiration and modified as you go along. You should not be horrified that your meat lasagna recipe has been substituted with something new!

    I saw a clip on Letterman once where an old Granny type was showing him how to make biscuits. She would grab a handful of this, spoonful of that, coupla splashes of buttermilk, and a pinch of whatnot. She rolled it out, cut the biscuits out and put them on a baking pan and shoved them into an oven

    David asked her how long to bake them.

    She said,,, (drum roll,,,,,)

    Till they done.

  21. Cecilia says

    I was raised in an Italian household, and lasagna was a staple–and yours looks and sounds as good as what my Italian momma used to make. I'm glad you saved the recipe from the Creamette's box.

    I bet that for a lot of folks their first taste of lasagna was that very recipe. We used that brand of lasagna noodle as a kid, so seeing it again brought back memories. Hmmm…wait a minute…now I wonder if Mom might have used that recipe. :)

  22. Amanda says

    Anon – Exposes me? Exposes me in what way? Your comments confuse me, but I'm going to try and address them the best that I can.

    The first time I made this recipe from the back of the Creamette box I was very young, a new mother and wife, and pretty new to cooking. I was a latchkey kid and grew up on convenience foods, so everything I have learned about cooking I discovered on my own. I didn't have a "granny" (my grandparents had all passed by the time I was the ripe old age of 12) to teach me the ropes or show me how to grab a handful of this or a pinch of that. My mom passed when I was 23, before any of my children were even born. So again, no one to teach me, guide me.

    There are thousands of people out there that rely on printed recipes. Most people don't create their own. Since the day I shared this "back of the box" classic here, I have been thanked by many people, some in the comments and others privately via email. This was many years ago that I started making this recipe but it's still my family's favorite. So yes, I still pull out the recipe whenever I make lasagna. I personally don't see anything wrong with that. I don't quite understand why you worded your comments the way that you did. I'm still trying to figure out if you were attempting to insult me or.. ? I have read and reread your first sentence and still can't make heads or tails out of it.

    As for modifying recipes and being inspired, that is how I am now. But we are talking many years it took to get me here. I love to create my own recipes now, many of which you will find on this blog. I'm guessing you don't know that. You probably found this via Foodgawker or Stumble Upon and chances are you've probably never even been here before tonight. I am guessing that because A) you posted anonymously and didn't state your name and B) you wouldn't have made the comment about creating your own recipes because you would know that I DO do that. Often.

    Bottom line is this is a fabulous recipe. It's made from scratch and my family loves it. Kudos to whoever created it at Creamette, I wouldn't change a thing. I love it just the way it is. I see nothing wrong with that. So thank you Creamette, I hope you get some sales out of this. ;) And as for you Anon, I hope that tomorrow is a more enjoyable day for you than today was. Have a cupcake and a smile.

  23. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme says

    Amanda, I don't understand the comment from "Anonymous" either. Not at all. There is no rule, requirement or law that requires a food blogger to post only new, original recipes. Many food bloggers choose to share their favorites whether they created the recipe themselves or whether it came from a family member, a cookbook or the back of a box. You clearly stated in your post that the recipe was from Creamette, so how have you "exposed" yourself.

    I applaud you for allowing the anonymous comment to stand, however. By keeping the comment on your blog, you have "exposed" anonymous :-)

  24. Amatuer Cook says

    Hi Mandy! I suspect the reason the box now shows a meatless version is to become more PC with todays food expectations. Vege seeming a healthier option than one laced with all that meat. I just searched the Creamette recipe section for lasagna and they list no less than 37 different variations! I'm a meat lover though so I'll stick to your version. 8)

  25. Sacha says

    I think this is a recipe that I have been searching for. I went to the back of the boxes that I thought it was on and like you found the vegetable recipe. I have been craving lasagna for the last 2 weeks and could not find a recipe on a box or online until this one!! THANK YOU soooo much!!

  26. Jeannette says

    This is a great recipe. I had used it many times myself, and then it was suddenly gone from the box. I found an awesome! website you might like called where you can find these long forgotten gems. Thanks for posting it here.

  27. says

    I found your post a few years ago, and have made this recipe at least a dozen times since then. It is THE BEST!!! Rich and simple and hearty and waaaaaaaay more than a sum of it’s parts. And, yes, the noodle soaking method is pure genius.

  28. Gayle says

    I’m very intrigued about the noodle soaking and here’s why. I LOVE fresh, homemade, lasagna noodles…like Buca di Peppo Restaurant has with their lasagna. They’re soft, fluffy and you can cut them with a fork like butter. When I use traditional, boxed noodles, they’re thick and no where near as soft. I experimented and started using gordita, thick flour tortillas, as opposed to lasagna noodles. I love them and they give more of a homemade noodle consistency. Will soaking them make them soft and fluffy? If so, I’ll go back to lasagna noodles but if not, I’ll stick with the gordita, flour tortillas. Thanks!!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      I haven’t tried homemade lasagna noodle nor your tortilla adaptation (great idea though!) so I’m not sure I can really give you the answer you are looking for. I am able to cut the noodles with a fork, but I have a feeling it’s not the soft and fluffy texture you are looking for. Sorry I can’t help more!

  29. Susan Andrews says

    Wow! What a great recipe! I pretty much followed it w/ a few slight variations….fresh parsley, a cheese mix. Loved the noodle soaking tip. I believe this is the best lasagna I have ever had. Restaurants haven’t even come close. This one will be a staple! Thank you for preserving it!

    As for “anonymous” who gives a rats ass what you think!

  30. athycai says

    i have been cooking for 28 years and some of my favorites have come off boxes. why change it when someone has perfected it? My favorite choc. chip recipe came from an ‘off brand’ (sathers) bag of choc. chips. i saved the whole empty bag in a recipe book i made. ;o) I am going to use this one too – it looks perfect. thanks for posting it. ;o)

  31. Ann Marie says

    Absolutely Amazing recipe! I’ve been looking for such a tasteful and delicious lasagna recipe for a while now and I thank you so much for sharing your with all of us! About the olives, when where they suppose to be added? I realized this after I had already made the dish because I didn’t see it in your instructions…..still exceptional even without them!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      Hi Ann Marie! The olives would be sprinkled on top of the ricotta mixture as you are layering the lasagna. So ricotta, olives, mozzarella, etc. :) So glad you enjoyed it!

  32. emily says

    Made this for dinner tonight & it had incredible flavor! Two questions though…When told to “bring the meat sauce to a boil & then simmer” – there wasn’t enough liquid in my sauce to boil? Also, the final product was a little bit dry…any suggestions there? I did use part skim ricotta & mozarella. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • says

      HI Emily! Did you by chance drain the canned tomatoes? If so, that would be the problem. You need the tomatoes and their juices in order to make the sauce :) So glad that you enjoyed the flavor!

  33. Mike Pyle says

    I feel exactly like you do about the Creamette recipe. I always used that recipe, and I always got raving reviews. A couple of years ago I managed to find a box and printed it out and saved it. But tonight I need it and couldn’t readily find it, so I jumped on internet and searched old creamette lasagna recipe, and here it is. To your readers, IT IS THE BEST!!

  34. michele says

    i usually use the no-boil noodles; i just layer them right out of the box. comes out perfect every time. this recipe looks wonderful and i’m going to try it. but am i committing some kind of lasagna crime if i use the no-boil noodles?

  35. Jennifer says

    Where do the olives go? I have read and reread the recipe and don’t see any instructions for the olives! Am I just missing it????

    • says

      Hi Jennife,r sorry about the confusion. The olives would be sprinkled on top of the ricotta mixture as you are layering the lasagna. So ricotta, olives, mozzarella, etc. :) I’ll edit the recipe, thanks!

  36. Michelle says

    Hi Amanda! I love tomato sauce, but hate tomatoes. Can tomato sauce be used as a substitute for the chunky tomatoes and still get a similar result? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Michelle :) Yes tomato sauce would work fine, or you could run the can of tomatoes through a blender or food processor. That’s what I do, I have chunk sensitive family members too! :)

  37. Kelli Britten says

    Thanks for the recipe! I found it via a pinterest post and have already made it once with great results. I want to make it for a weekend with family, but I want to make it ahead and take it with me to the lodge we’re staying at. What do you think about freezing? Or if I make it the morning we leave, should I still soak the noodles, or will they start to soften sitting in the mixture? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this! Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Kelli :) I have successfully made this recipe up to a day ahead as written. I put it all together, cover it with foil and refrigerate it. Works great!

  38. says

    I am having some friends stay with us for a while, they just had their first son yesterday….we are his God parents. I was hoping to make this recipe for them when they come home in 2 days, but I wanted to know the nutmeg addition. You didn’t add it in your ingredients list, as you said you would try it the next time. What would you recommend or is there another recipe I should refer to? Your recipe looks DELICIOUS!!!

    • says

      Hi Kelly! I’m glad you pointed that out as that was referring to a completely different recipe on a different site. So I took the nutmeg mention out of the post as it was confusing. I have made this recipe probably a hundred times. The printable version at the end of the post is what I use and recommend :)

  39. Laura Scott says

    Oh my gosh, thank you for posting. I have had this recipe cut from the box for years. It sits in my recipe box in my home in Florida. Now here I am in Michigan and my son is soon to visit from San fransisco of course expecting, even sort of demanding his favorite lasagna. I forgot to bring the recipe with me! You are a life saver. Thanks so much.

    Laura Scott

  40. Laura Scott says

    I, too, cut the recipe when my family was young and confess to using the no boil noodles once they were invented. To be honest, I even use bottled spaghetti sauce most of the time skipping that portion of the recipe. It still turns out fantastic tasting better the next day and freezes perfectly. I usually freeze before cooking.

  41. Robyn says

    I can’t believe it! I have been looking for this recipe for years and had resigned myself to figuring I would never find it again. Like you, I used to depend on getting the recipe off of the box every time I made it. One day I went to the store to buy lasagne noodles and the recipe was gone! Replaced by vegetable lasagne. I was heartbroken. This is the best recipe I have ever made and I am so thankful to you for posting it!

  42. Lara says

    Years after you originally posted this and I’ve stumbled upon it via Pinterest! It’s in the fridge ready to go in the oven for tonight. Looks amazing already:) so thank you for “exposing” yourself and posting this

  43. Jan Santangelo says

    I actually DID cut the recipe off the back of the box about 20 years ago and was quite surprised to see it here! It’s the only one I have made since. So delicious and a real crowd pleaser. Even my 100% Italian husband says it’s the best lasagna he’s ever had. The few changes I have made are: I use 1 1/2 lbs. Italian sausage and skip the ground beef, now use no-bake lasagna noodles, omit the olives (kids don’t like olives), and always use more of mozzarella and parmesan, and always double the amount of garlic.

  44. Jan Santangelo says

    I actually DID cut out the recipe many years ago. It’s the only meat lasagna I have made for over 20 years. Even my Italian husband says it’s the best lasagna he’s ever had. I was glad to see it here. I love your tip about soaking the noodles in hot water. I’ll be trying that next time I make it. Thanks!

  45. Shelley says

    I know you don’t know me but I LOVE YOU AMANDA!

    Okay…please don’t stop reading because you think I’m a crazy person. I can explain. About 18 years ago, I made lasagna for the first time. It was THIS recipe! I have been looking for it ever since. So, I decided to do an internet SEARCH for back of the box lasagna recipes; and I found you! Thank you SO much! I will be going to the grocery store today to buy all of the ingredients.

  46. doodle mom says

    My question is in regards of the olives….are they green or black olives. This recipe looks awesome. Thank you for posting the recipe


  1. […] Foodie Friday: Luscious Lasgana · Leave a Comment Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginMy fiancé’s father and brother have been staying with us for a few weeks, which means dinnertime around here is like feeding a family of six! And what packs a punch easier and better than many other meals? Lasagna. Ooey-gooey-meaty-cheesy-mouthwatering lasagna. Yum. {Source} […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>