Learn how to layer lasagna! Yes, there is a proper order for the noodles, sauce, and cheese. This step-by-step guide will help you nail it every time.
Learn how to layer lasagna! Below, you’ll find my guide to layering a perfect lasagna, complete with pictures that show you every step.
Lasagna was one of the first dinners that I learned how to make. After a few attempts, I was confident enough to cook the noodles and prep the filling without a recipe…but I could NEVER remember the right way to layer the ingredients in the baking dish. Is it noodles first and then sauce? Or sauce first and then cheese?
How to Layer Lasagna
If you’ve ever had the same struggle, you’ll love this guide to how to layer lasagna. In it, I break down the right way to layer lasagna and share my best lasagna-making tips. Check it out—in no time, you’ll be a lasagna pro!
Start with Sauce
Whether you’re making a vegetable lasagna with tomato sauce or a traditional lasagna with meat sauce, sauce should be the first ingredient that goes in your baking dish. It prevents the pasta from sticking to the pan so that the lasagna is easy to slice and serve.
You only need a thin layer. I use 1 cup in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Add the Middle Layers in the Proper Order
After you add the sauce, add the other components in the following order:
- A layer of lasagna noodles
- Half the ricotta cheese (or béchamel sauce)
- Half of any other fillings, such as roasted vegetables
- More sauce
Repeat this sequence so that you have 2 layers of noodles, ricotta, etc. in the middle of the lasagna.
The Final Layer
Top the middle layers with a final layer of pasta.
Spread it with more sauce, and sprinkle it evenly with shredded cheese. I like to use a mix of shredded mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese here.
Lasagna = layered!
How to Bake Lasagna
Lasagna bake time and temperature can vary based on the type of lasagna you’re making and the type of noodles you’re using (no-boil vs. fully cooked).
Generally, you want to bake a lasagna until it’s heated through, any raw components are fully cooked, and the cheese on top is browned and bubbling.
- When I make my vegetable lasagna with fully cooked lasagna noodles, I bake it uncovered for 30 minutes in a 400°F oven.
- When I make the same recipe with no-boil noodles, I cover it with foil and bake it for 40 to 50 minutes, until the noodles are tender. Then, I remove the foil and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
Refer to whatever lasagna recipe you’re using for specific bake time and temperature.
- Season every layer. For the most flavorful lasagna, season every layer. Instead of using plain crushed tomatoes, simmer them with seasonings like garlic, oregano, and basil to make marinara sauce (or use store-bought marinara sauce). And at a minimum, mix the ricotta with salt and fresh black pepper. I love to add garlic and lemon zest to the ricotta mixture too!
- Wait to slice it. No matter what type of lasagna you make, let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes after baking. The rest time will help the lasagna set up so that it’s easy to slice. If you slice it sooner, the pieces will be messy!
- Get ahead. For a delicious make-ahead meal, layer a lasagna in advance! Cover it with foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to a day, or freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow a frozen lasagna to thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.
Ready to layer lasagna?
How to Layer Lasagna
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Tomato sauce
- Lasagna noodles, no-boil or fully cooked
- Ricotta cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper
- Desired fillings, such as roasted vegetables
- Shredded cheese, I like mozzarella and Parmesan
- Oil a baking dish.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce at the bottom.
- Top with a layer of noodles, followed by half the ricotta, half your desired fillings, and more sauce.
- Repeat with another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta, remaining fillings, and more sauce.
- Top with a final layer of noodles, and spread the remaining sauce evenly on top. Sprinkle with the shredded cheeses.
- For a full lasagna recipe, see my vegetable lasagna.