Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Let me just preface this by saying that my introduction to lasagna came in the form of a Stouffer’s frozen entree. Mom didn’t know how to make one from scratch, nor did she have any inclination. My first attempt, as a young adult, involved ground beef, jarred marinara sauce, a ball of part-skim mozzarella, a tub of low-fat cottage cheese, and some Kraft grated parmesan out of the green can.

Flash forward several decades and my world-view of lasagna has expanded exponentially. While mom may still be beholden to her Stouffer’s, I’m always on the lookout for different ways to get my lasagna fix. Sometimes I want a meat-and-cheese extravaganza, like a Neapolitan-style lasagna with little crispy meatballs and sliced sausage. Other times, my tastes lean towards vegetarian options like a creamy Brussels and mushroom or a cheesy autumn squash lasagna. Although I’m not vegan, a great plant-based lasagna recipe, such as Daniel’s vegan lasagna alla Bolognese, can inspire me to give his meatless version a go. Whatever you’re in the mood for, we’ve offered up lots of lasagna recipes for you to try.

Classic Lasagna Bolognese

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Originating from Emilia-Romagna in north-central Italy, classic lasagne alla Bolognese is an exercise in refined delicacy. It begins with an intensely flavorful slow-cooked Bolognese sauce, layered with pasta, creamy béchamel, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for a harmonious balance.

All-Day Meat Lasagna

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Kenji’s not-quite-traditional take on lasagna Bolognese features four types of meat in the sauce, mozzarella and ricotta in addition to Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Asian fish sauce for a boost of umami. You can either go the extra mile and make fresh ricotta or use good store-bought one (free of gums or stabilizers); whole milk cottage cheese will also work here.

Lasagna Napoletana (Lasagna With Sausage, Smoked Cheese, and Meatballs)

Serious Eats / J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

This variation takes us south of Emilia-Romagna for a decadent lasagna supercharged with a hearty Neapolitan-style red sauce infused with meaty pork ribs, crispy small meatballs, sliced sausage, and four types of cheeses, including smoked mozzarella.

The Best Spinach Lasagna

Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

The technique is what sets this spinach lasagna apart. Sautéing the spinach with shallots and garlic, then removing all the excess liquid and chopping it up guarantees maximum flavor and even distribution throughout the ricotta filling. Using stacks of fresh pasta ensures a good ratio of filling to pasta.

Ultra-Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Challenged to dream up a vegetarian lasagna that would win over even meat eaters, Kenji came up with this richly satisfying version stuffed with creamy spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. Soaking the pasta for 15 minutes streamlines the process, while maintaining optimum moisture levels in the fillings.

The Best Squash Lasagna

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Nothing says autumn like squash and apples, especially when layered with pasta, creamy nutmeg-scented white sauce, and lots of cheese—then baked until golden and bubbly. Using both cubed squash sautéed with apples and roasted squash puréed with cream cheese provides a nice contrast of textures and flavors.

Creamy Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Lasagna

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

When we think of indulgent, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms aren’t exactly the first ingredients that come to mind. However, if you layer mushroom duxelles, seared Brussels sprouts, and plenty of gooey cheese with pasta…well, that’s a whole different story.

Summer Vegetable Lasagna With Zucchini, Squash, Eggplant, and Tomato

Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

A cross between ratatouille and baked pasta, this recipe proves that lasagna isn’t just comfort food to warm you up in chilly weather. Kenji takes advantage of the summer vegetable bounty by packing eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes into a lasagna. Sautéing the vegetables first draws out excess moisture to concentrate their flavor.

Vegan Lasagna alla Bolognese

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Crafting a vegan version of the classic lasagna Bolognese that hits all the right notes might seem like a Herculean task. But Daniel successfully does it by tackling its two main components: using mushrooms and seitan to deliver a ragù with both meaty flavor and texture; and infusing almond milk with aromatics for a more flavorful béchamel. Mission accomplished!

Vegan Italian-American Lasagna With “Ricotta”

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Yes, Daniel also came up with a vegan version of an Italian-American favorite. Firm tofu and cauliflower purée are blended together to create a textural facsimile of ricotta, while a creamy vegan béchamel makes a fine substitute for mediocre store-bought vegan mozzarella.

Polenta Pasticciata (Polenta Lasagna With Mushroom Ragù)

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Polenta offers a delicious and hearty gluten-free alternative to traditional pasta that’s easy to make and incredibly versatile. Here, we’ve layered the lasagna with a vegetarian mushroom ragù, but you can use bolognese or whatever you happen to have on hand.

Crispy Leftover Lasagna Skewers

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Having leftover lasagna is not a bad thing, but it never tastes quite as good as it did fresh out of the oven. You can, however, slice it into slabs and fry them on their sides until the edges are extra-crispy and the centers gooey and cheesy. Heck, you can even skewer and serve them with some marinara dipping sauce as a fancy-pants hors d’oeuvres.

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