Lasagna is such a crowd favorite; it seems like it should be more difficult to make than it is. You can make the perfect lasagna every time if you know how long to bake lasagna at 400℉ and a few other tips and tricks.
To bake Lasagna, you can expect around 55 to 60 minutes. First, cover lasagna and bake at 400℉ for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to melt the cheese. Let lasagna rest for an additional 15 minutes before serving.
Yes, it does take a little time to put all those delicious, cheesy layers in place, but it’s definitely worth it!
Lasagna is an easy dish that can be dressed up a little with meat or veggies but that is delicious even in its most basic form–cheese, sauce, and pasta in layers. You really can’t go wrong.
Read on for all the tips you need for a delicious lasagna.
Table of Contents
What Ingredients Do I Need for Lasagna Baked at 400℉?
You can certainly personalize lasagna for your particular crowd, but all lasagna recipes will start with a basic lasagna recipe. For basic cheese lasagna, you will need:
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
6 cups marinara sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce)
15 oz ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1lb shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup fresh basil or fresh parsley, minced, or italian seasoning
½ t Salt
½ t Pepper
Read also >> Who Makes Kirkland Lasagna? (Quality, Review + More)
How Do I Make Cheese Lasagna at 400℉?
Now the fun begins! Lasagna just requires a little prep, and then you are ready to assemble your layers.
Remember, this is a fairly forgiving recipe, so even if you are a new cook, you can make your layers look and taste delicious–just follow the directions for each layer.
Preheat your oven to 400℉.
Make your cheese mixture. Mix the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil/parsley/seasoning, egg, salt and pepper until well mixed.
Put three tablespoons of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Place three lasagna noodles in the baking dish, then spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture onto each of the noodles, spreading evenly.
Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella.
Spoon 1-1 ½ cups of sauce over the noodles.
That’s the first layer! Now do this again two more times: noodles, cheese, sauce.
When you get to the final layer, just spoon any remaining sauce over the top three noodles and top with remaining grated cheese.
Cover with foil (you may want to spray foil with cooking oil spray to keep the cheese from sticking).
Bake for 25-30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let rest for 15 minutes (at least) before cutting.
What Meat Do I Add to Lasagna?
There are a variety of options for adding meat to lasagna, so you may have to just experiment and see what works best for you. You will want to use around 1lb of ground meat to the recipe above.
It is completely delicious to keep things simple and just add 1lb of lean ground beef.
If you want to get a little fancier, use ½ lb each of ground beef and Italian sausage.
Some chefs recommend using meatball mix, which is a combination of equal parts ground beef, pork, and veal. You can also use ground turkey if that is what you prefer.
Some cooks also layer pepperoni into their lasagna along with ground beef. It’s up to you what combination of meats you want to add.
How Do I Add Meat to Lasagna?
So you may have decided what mixture of meats to use, but where does the meat go in the layering process?
When using meat, you will basically make your tomato sauce into a meat sauce to layer along with the noodles and cheese.
The first step when using meat is to brown it in a large skillet and then thoroughly drain off any fat.
Tip: You can add 1 medium onion and 2 garlic cloves to the meat when browning to give your lasagna even more flavor.
When your meat (and onion and garlic) are cooked through, add the tomato sauce to the pan and heat through, for around 5 minutes.
You may want to let it cook slightly before assembling your layers.
What Veggies Do I Add to Lasagna?
From zucchini to eggplant, lasagna can be made even more complex with the addition of a few veggies.
In addition, if you chop your veggies fine and saute them nicely before they go into your sauce, you may be able to sneak in some veggies that even the pickiest eaters won’t notice.
Spinach is the most common veggie addition to lasagna, and it can be layered raw directly into the lasagna layers, or chopped and added to the cheese mixture.
You can add as much spinach as you like. If you are only using spinach and no other veggies, start with around 2 cups.
If you are adding other veggies, you can saute your spinach along with those, though you may want to use slightly less.
Other excellent veggies to saute and add to your sauce: garlic, carrots, red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow onion, eggplant, black olives, or mushrooms.
Make sure to drain off any excess liquid after you saute so your lasagna isn’t runny.
How Do I Know If Lasagna is Done?
It should be hot all the way through and the cheese should be melted. You can broil for a minute or two if your cheese hasn’t melted all the way.
If you want to test the temperature, it should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165℉.
Can I Make Lasagna Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can assemble a lasagna and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and then bake it. You can also freeze an unbaked lasagna and cook fully from frozen.
Tip: You can double the recipe, and make one lasagna to cook and one to freeze for later. All you need to two 9x13inch baking dishes.
If you are storing lasagna, make sure to cover tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. When freezing, you may want to label it!
How Long to Bake Frozen Lasagna at 400℉?
You can bake a lasagna ahead of time, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil, and take it out whenever you need dinner without the prep.
To reheat a frozen cooked lasagna, heat it on 350℉ for around 30 minutes.
If you are starting with an uncooked frozen lasagna, you will need to bake longer. Remove from the freezer while you wait for the oven to preheat to 400℉ .
Bake covered with new foil for 45-60 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes until it is hot throughout and the cheese is melted.
What to Serve with Lasagna?
With veggies, pasta, and cheese, lasagna is a fairly complete meal on its own. You can pair it with garlic bread for a nice Italian side dish, or a leafy green salad with Italian dressing.
If you want something really simple, you could just serve a nice focaccia bread with some good olive oil. Bread is perfect for soaking up those delicious lasagna juices.
If you don’t want to do a lettuce salad, you could make a simple tomato salad with olive oil, balsamic, and a little red onion. Or maybe a Caprese salad with tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil.
Any grilled or roasted veggie will go well with lasagna too. Try broccoli, brussels sprouts, or green beans with a little garlic and parmesan.
Lasagna Nutrition Facts
Obviously, nutrition will vary along with what additions you make to your lasagna and what types of sauces and cheeses you use.
A slice of the basic meatless lasagna above runs around 550-600 calories, 57g carbs, 25g fat, 29g protein, and 69g cholesterol. It also provides Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium.
If you are concerned about fat, make sure to use lean meats and low-fat cheeses. If you are keeping an eye on your sodium intake, use low sodium pasta sauce.
Tips for Make Perfect Lasagna at 400℉.
- Make sure to cover the top layer of noodles completely with sauce so they don’t burn.
- You can use low-fat cheese for a healthier alternative, but the best taste will come from whole milk mozzarella and ricotta.
- If you make your own tomato sauce at home, it will be an excellent addition to lasagna as well.
- You can use boiled noodles, though they may end up making your lasagna mushy. No-boil noodles or fresh noodles will save you time and give you perfectly cooked noodles every time.
Can I Make Lasagna Vegan and/or Gluten-Free?
You can certainly make lasagna with gluten-free noodles. Or try an alternative to noodles, like thinly-sliced zucchini, uncooked rice paper, or slices of prosciutto to form your layers. You could even make a tex-mex lasagna with tortillas, ground beef, and cheddar cheese.
If using zucchini, saute first and make sure to drain off any excess liquid.
You can always make vegan lasagna with good vegan cheese and meat alternatives like vegan ricotta, vegan mozzarella, and vegan sausage or other meat alternatives.
Or you could also make your own cheese alternatives, like this tofu-cashew ricotta. Check out the recipe here.
How Long to Bake Lasagna FAQs
What temperature should a lasagna be cooked at?
Lasagna should be baked at 375-400℉. Some recipes call for 350℉, but make sure you make a note of how long to bake so it heats all the way through.
Should lasagna be covered when baking?
Lasagna has to be covered so it doesn’t dry out over the long cooking time. At the same time, you will want to bake uncovered at the end so the cheese will melt and brown on top.
Make sure to bake uncovered for around 10-15 minutes at the end of your cooking time.
Can you overcook lasagna?
Yes! If you overcook it the top noodles will become dry or burned, and the interior noodles may become mushy.
Why does my lasagna come out watery?
There are a lot of reasons your lasagna may have too much liquid. Make sure you drain off any excess fat or liquid from the meat or veggies you are adding to the sauce.
You may want to drain your ricotta cheese first if it is very wet.
Make sure you let your lasagna rest for 10-15 minutes after removing it from the oven so the liquid can set.
Try to follow the recipe fairly closely. If you are adding extra sauce or extra layers, your lasagna may be too thick to cook away the liquid fully. Your sauce should be bubbling at the end of cooking time when you remove the foil.
Why do my lasagna sheets stay hard?
If your no-boil lasagna sheets are not softening to an al dente texture when baking your lasagna, you may need to add moisture.
Make sure you are using enough sauce to cover the noodles in each layer (especially the top layer).
Don’t forget to cover your lasagna for the first ⅔ of cooking time, at least. This will help retain moisture and keep the lasagna hot enough to cook the noodles.
How long does lasagna need to rest?
The more time, the better! The absolute minimum is 10 minutes (some chefs would balk at that and insist on at least 15).
If you can wait 30 minutes, that is even better.
The lasagna will still be warm enough to serve but will have the additional time to set and mingle the flavors.
Don’t be intimidated by lasagna! If you want to make an easy dish that will please your family or impress that special someone, this might be it.
Lasagna can feed a crowd, so it’s a perfect comfort food for a dinner party.
Buy good ingredients, follow the layering instructions, know how long to bake lasagna at 400℉ and you are good to go!
You may find you want to make lasagna all different ways, with all different add-ins. You can make this recipe your very own.
Do you know how long should you cook meatloaf at 425 degrees Fahrenheit? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question. Meatloaf is excellent comfort food, so you'll...
Do you know when to add vegetables to the slow cooker? What are the most helpful tips when cooking with a slow cooker? These are the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you...