90-Minute Sausage Lasagna

I have a tried and true lasagna recipe that I had turned to time and time again. It has a flavor-packed, thick meat sauce, alternating with layers of ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Delicious. It occurred to me the other day that I haven’t made it yet this winter. Too bad the day I decided that I MUST have lasagna I had only about 2 hours to get dinner on the table. My tried and true recipe is one which I usually begin prepping the night before a the sauce takes some time to simmer. So I formulated the following recipe, which happily took me only about 90 minutes from start to finish.


And it is not so different than my go-to recipe. It starts with a quick tomato sauce made on a base of onion and garlic. Add some Italian sausage, heavy cream (for richness), sweet san marzano tomatoes, season and you’re ready to go. A quick mixture of ricotta (or cottage) cheese, Parmesan, egg, fresh basil and seasoning and you can layer your noodles up and get it baking! The fresh basil is really nice in this. And the heavy cream in the sauce may sound weird but think of it as almost adding a bechamel to your sauce. It adds a thickness and richness and does so quickly so you don’t have to simmer away for hours. This sauce is wonderful. I would recommend making it for over pasta or for using in baked ziti, etc. I prefer to use flat no-boil noodles in my lasagna, Barilla makes a good version of this, but today I used the long rippled kind because I had a box in the pantry and told myself “NO! You will not buy new ingredients when you have something at home you can use instead!”. I have a tendency to keep packing things into my cabinets, never remembering what is in the back so yea… sometimes I need a good “cabinet cleanse” and this recipe was a good start. Lots of tomatoes in the cabinets. Lol.

This lasagna turned out wonderfully although, give the choice, I will buy my flat noodles next time. The flavor of this sauce is really impressive though, considering the time. My boyfriend was licking the plate. When I told him we were having lasagna for dinner, he perked right up and this certainly did not disappoint him.



90-Minute Sausage Lasagna

(Recipe adapted from “SIMPLE LASAGNA WITH HEARTY TOMATO-MEAT SAUCE” from cooksillustrated.com)


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, small dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ lb. Italian sausage, sweet or hot to taste (bulk, patties or links removed from casings)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 28-ounce can whole peeled, or crushed San Marzano Tomatoes (or substitute non-San Marzonos but add 1 tbsp. granulated sugar)
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 16 oz. ricotta or whole-milk, small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 ¼ (2 ½ oz.) cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 16 oz. (4 cups) whole milk mozzarella, freshly shredded (do not use pre-shredded it won’t melt as well)
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles, 8 or 9-ounce package (These will be the flat sheets, if using the long rippled noodles, you may need to use 4 per layer in the following recipe and start with 16 noodles)
  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the center position
  • Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat
  • Sautee the onions in the oil until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes
  • Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about1 minutes
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper
  • Add the sausage and cook until just cooked through, not overly browned. Use a potato masher to break up the sausage
  • Stir in the heavy cream and cook until the liquid is gone and the only liquid that remains is a bit of fat



  • Stir in the San Marzano tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, dried parsley and dried oregano
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes (if using whole peeled tomatoes)
  • Remove from heat and allow to sit about 5 more minutes for flavors to meld. Check seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper to taste
  • In a medium bowl mix together the ricotta (or cottage cheese), egg, basil, 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir until well-combined
  • In the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking dish, spread ¼ cup of meat sauce
  • Top with 3 lasagna noodles
  • Top noodles with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture by dolloping it over the noodles and flattening with the back of a spoon to spread out
  • Top noodles with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
  • Top with 1 ½ cup of meat sauce
  • Top with 3 more noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella and 1 ½ cup meat sauce
  • Repeat one more time and top with the remaining 3 noodles
  • Over the final 3 noodles, spread the remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano



  • Spray one side of a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna with the foil (sprayed side down)
  • Place on a cooking sheet (to catch any bubble over) and bake, covered for 15 minutes
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 25-35 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is fully melted
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Sauce with thicken upon standing




2 responses to “90-Minute Sausage Lasagna

  1. I am sooooo making this. Especially since I can use the no cook noodles for it. I’ll have to lay in a supply of disposable pans, but for now that’s no real biggie. Well, not too much of a biggie, since I won’t be making it all that much, and for some things I wash and reuse the pans.

    Actually made a pizza with one hand a couple of weeks ago. Had to improvise on the crust, since that takes both hands, so I used a corn tortilla, rehydrated some veggies from last summer, and even managed to grate some parm. Had to pinch off little pieces of mozz, but it all melted great, and I think I like the tortilla crust better than a regular pizza crust. Came out crisp and crunchy, and even though I love baking bread, I’m not that big on eating it, so the crisp, crunchy was more to my liking. Still haven’t replaced my toaster and still can’t reach my skillet, even though I have located it, but the cleaning lady is coming this week and I’ll have to threaten her with a meat cleaver if she doesn’t put things back within my reach, or if she moves anything that is already in my reach out of reach. And she will have to put my crock pot back on the counter, so I can simmer the sauce all night, because I use liners for the crock pot, but would have to actually work to wash a pot one handed.
    That made perfect sense to me, but normal people might not understand any of it. You can’t believe how much I miss my blog. Can’t wait to get the new one up and running. I hope.

    • I am a bread-lover so I have to admit I love pizza dough too. For a change I’m sure the tortilla crust would be wonderful- and how easy!
      You made me laugh with the threatening your cleaning lady with a “meat cleaver” lol.
      This lasagna is one of the easier ones I’ve made and is very yummy! Let me know what you think when you get around to it!

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