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Lasagna Recipe Without Ricotta Cheese

Lasagna is one of those great comfort foods that everybody loves, but that ricotta cheese can turn a lot of people off. I have the solution for you!

This recipe gives you the same great texture and taste as traditional lasagna but without ricotta cheese! It’s easy to make and has the family begging for lasagna again!

The best part is, that you won’t miss out on the creaminess because we are going to replace the ricotta cheese with a bechamel sauce.

Follow along for my step-by-step directions to make a hearty, creamy lasagna without getting that mouth full of gritty cheese.

lasagna added to a plate after its was cooked

Instructions for making lasagna without ricotta cheese

plating a slice of lasagna onto a plate

Nothing says comfort food like the smell of lasagna cooking in the oven on a cool evening. It’s an easy dinner that feeds a crowd and no one will complain.

Especially once they realize there is no ricotta cheese!

Let’s dive into making this crowd-pleasing lasagna without ricotta cheese.

If you are looking for what to serve with lasagna I have a post with so many great ideas!

Prepare the veggies

grating cheese

Dice up one whole white onion and a few cloves of garlic. You will add these to the red sauce as we make it.

Using a box grater, grate about 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Set these aside until you start to build the lasagna.

Make the Meat sauce

making a meat sauce in a frying pan

While your noodles are cooking go ahead and cut up the beef into 1″ pieces. This will help the browning process.

If you don’t know how to brown your beef check out my post on how to cook ground beef.

Heat up your frying pan on medium heat and then add your olive oil to the pan. Once your oil is nice and loose in the pan, add your ground beef. Sprinkle a pinch or two of salt over the ground beef.

cooking ground beef

Let the ground beef brown for a few minutes and then stir the meat so that it can continue to cook. Once the beef is brown remove it from the heat, into a bowl, and set it aside.

In the same pan that you brown your beef in, add two tablespoons of olive oil and heat it up.

Add in your onions and cook them until they are browned and translucent. Using the same pan as the beef is going to incorporate the beef flavor into your sauce also.

Once your onions are browned, add half a can of tomato paste to the pan, stirring it around the pan. Be sure not to burn the paste.

I have an entire video on how to make lasagna without ricotta.

cooking tomato paste

Now add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and stir the paste and onions together. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute.

Pour one can of crushed tomatoes into the pan and then add 2-3 pinches of salt, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and fresh cracked black pepper.

Add your meat to your sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.

Cook Noodles

cooking lasagna noodles

Get your water boiling. Once the water is boiling add your lasagna noodles and a pinch of salt. Cook them for about 5 minutes.

I like to cool them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking because they are going to continue in the oven as well.

Set them aside until you are ready to layer the lasagna.

Bechamel sauce

making a béchamel sauce in a frying pan

Warm one and a half cups of milk in a pan and in a separate pan melt down 4 tablespoons of butter.

When the butter is melted slowly add in your flour and continue to stir the butter and flour together making sure that it doesn’t burn.

Slowly add in your warm milk whisking it into the butter-flour mixture also known as a roux. Continue to whisk until you have yourself a creamy mixture.

If you find that you have clumps, break them up and continue to whisk until smooth. Set aside until you are ready to layer the lasagna.

Build the lasagna

building a lasagna

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Before you start layering your noodles you want to put meat sauce on the bottom of the baking pan. Then add your first layer of noodles.

Spread meat sauce over your noodles, add bechamel sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella, and freshly grated parmesan, then do it all again.

Add another layer of noodles going in the opposite direction that you laid them previously. Cover with meat sauce, add a layer of bechamel sauce, and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan. Repeat!

adding another layer to a lasagna

I can fit three layers in my pan but feel free to do more if you’d like. Bake it for at least 30 minutes or until the cheese is nice and browned on top.

Once it is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes before you cut into it.

Serve and enjoy with a garden salad or a nice texas toast! I have an easy texas toast garlic bread recipe that you should serve up with this lasagna!


adding a slice of lasagna to a plate

This is the part you have been waiting for. Let the lasagna cool this is so important so that all the juices work their way back into the lasagna.

I also like to add some freshly grated parmesan cheese to the top of the lasagna.

What is ricotta cheese?

Ricotta cheese is a creamy whey cheese commonly made from the byproduct of making mozzarella or provolone cheese. Often used in not only savory Italian dishes but also in Italian desserts.

The word ricotta means “reheat” in Italian which is how it got its name. The leftovers are reheated from the other cheeses to create ricotta cheese.

The best way to describe ricotta cheese is that it is a soft, moist, milky, cheese that tastes similar to sour cream or cottage cheese but with a grainy texture.

What is bechamel sauce?

béchamel sauce in a pan

Bechamel sauce is simply a mixture of cooked butter and flour and then added milk to make it creamy. Also referred to as a roux.

It adds a smooth creamy texture to many savory dishes and is a great substitute for ricotta cheese when making lasagna.

Lasagna without ricotta cheese on a plate

Lasagna Recipe Without Ricotta Cheese

A classic, delicious, and easy lasagna recipe with a creamy bechamel sauce instead of ricotta cheese.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 30 minutes 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8
Calories 527 kcal


  • 2 Frying Pan
  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Chef knife
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 Box Grater
  • 1 Lasagna pan



  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 White onion Small and diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Diced
  • 15 oz Tomato sauce
  • 3 oz Tomato paste
  • 28 oz Crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp Black pepper

Bechamel sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Flour


  • 9/12 Lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese Grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese Grated


Meat sauce

  • Heat up a pan on medium heat and put a tablespoon of olive oil in.
  • Once the oil can slide around in the pan add in the ground beef, chopping it into small pieces. Add a pinch of salt
  • Once it has browned and cooked thoroughly dump it into a bowl, and set it aside.
  • In the same pan add another tablespoon of olive oil and add your diced onions.
  • Once the onions are translucent add 3 oz of tomato paste and stir around the pan making sure it does not burn! Stir in diced garlic.
  • Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and cracked pepper stir occasionally so it doesn't burn or stick at the bottom. Add the beef back in and bring to a simmer and then set it aside.


  • Warm milk in a pan on medium/ low heat.
  • In another frying pan melt the butter. Once melted add the flour a little at a time do not stop mixing!
  • Add your milk in little by little whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Once smooth and creamy remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Lasagna Noodles

  • Bring water to a boil in a pot. Once boiling add your noodles into the water with two pinches of salt for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the noodles from the pot and place them into an ice bath to stop them from cooking.

Layer the Lasagna

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Shred mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Put one layer of meat sauce at the bottom then lay the across the pan side by side to cover the pan.
  • Cover the noodles with meat sauce, spread a layer of bechamel sauce then the shredded cheese. Repeat the layer 3 times ending with a layer of cheese.
  • Cook the lasagna in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Serve and ENJOY!


Serving: 8gCalories: 527kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 32gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 1202mgPotassium: 843mgFiber: 4gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 809IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 327mgIron: 4mg
Keyword 5 sides for lasagna, Best way to reheat lasagna, Lasanga without Ricotta cheese
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