Ground Beef Lasagna

Ground Beef Lasagna

Delicious layers of pasta, ground beef, creamy bechamel sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. This Ground Beef Lasagna is the perfect dish to serve a crowd.

I remember while growing up my mom used to make lasagna or scallop potatoes almost every Saturday. Therefore, Saturday became my favorite day of the week.

This Ground Beef Lasagna is the perfect dish to serve a crowd:

Lasagna is the perfect dish to serve when you are having a dinner party.

This Ground Beef Lasagna is simple to make. 

Ground Beef Lasagna on baking dish, wood utensils and glass of water

Multitasking while cooking

I have accomplished a lot of things in life (praise God for that) but there’s one thing I struggle a lot with, and that is multitasking. For some reason, it is so difficult for me to do multiple things at once.

I know making lasagna feels like a hard task for some people, and I completely understand.

However, I have developed a “ritual” when cooking lasagna. Hopefully, this is going to work for you as well. 

  1. Prep
  2. Make red meat sauce.
  3. Make bechamel.
  4. Cook the pasta.
  5. Assemble the lasagna.
  6. Put in the oven.
  7. Devour (my favorite part)

Voila! Now you are a pro at making lasagna.

I like to try both sauces as I cook them, it is inevitable, and why do I say it is inevitable? Well, who can resist eating delicious and creamy bechamel and some bubbly scrumptious red meat sauce? 

After all, I need to make sure the seasoning is just right.

Ok! Let’s get cooking

Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel sauce is one of my favorite mother sauces.

Why is bechamel called a mother sauce?

Bechamel sauce can be used as a base to make new sauces. For example cheese sauce, mornay sauce, among others.

Have you ever had an aha! moment and realized your past mistakes?

Well, that is exactly what happened to me after realizing that my way of making bechamel sauce was completely wrong. 

The first time I made it at culinary school it was a mess and I am not ashamed to say it, because after all practice makes perfect.

Ground Beef Lasagna on baking dish

 Questions

How to make Bechamel Sauce from scratch?

The secret to making a perfectly delicious bechamel sauce is to make a perfect roux.

What is a roux?

A roux is a combination of flour and fat (butter).

When do you know the roux is ready?

While cooking the roux you will know is it ready when you get a nutty smell.

What type of roux do we use to make bechamel sauce?

To make bechamel sauce we use a white roux, the perfect bechamel should be white and creamy (not runny).

When layering lasagna what goes first?

I like to add some of the red sauce to the baking pan first before adding the first layer of pasta.

Can lasagna be made the night before?

Sure! I usually do it the night before. Please make sure it gets cold before putting it in the fridge. Make sure you cover it with foil.

When cooking lasagna should it be covered?

There are a lot of theories about this, but I personally do not cover my lasagna. 

What happens if my lasagna is too watery?

If after baking the lasagna for the correct amount of time and you realized it is watery, just put it under the broiler for a few minutes (uncovered).

Also, make sure you drain the pasta before assembling the lasagna.

It is best to wait a few minutes before cutting the lasagna. This is something I have learned over the years. Do not cut right after you take it out of the oven. Let is rest for a few minutes.

Ingredients and method at a glance for the Red Meat Sauce:

Red meat sauce:

  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Bell Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Fresh basil 
  • Dried bay leaf
  • Dried oregano
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Bacon or pancetta
  • Olive oil
  • Beef Stock
  • Brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions on how to make this red meat sauce:

  1. In a medium/large pot, at low medium heat. Add olive oil, and the pancetta or bacon. Let it cook. Do not get rid of the fat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cook until onion becomes translucent
  3. Third, add ground beef, cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine, and let it reduce by half.
  4. Fourth, add the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Add a pinch of sugar and bay leaf, and stir. 
  5. Add beef stock, let it reduce by half. Stir occasionally. 
  6. Add fresh basil.
  7. Adjust seasoning. 

Notes:

  • Make sure to season the sauce gradually. Taste the sauce as you cook, and adjust seasoning accordingly. If needed add more sugar. I add sugar to create a balance. Sometimes tomato sauce tastes a bit sour depending on the brand. 
  • If you think the sauce is too dry add more stock.

Let’s talk about the bechamel sauce, shall we?

The Method at a glance and ingredients for Bechamel Sauce:

Ingredients for bechamel sauce

  • Whole milk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • White onion
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaf
  • Nutmeg

The method at a glance:

  1. In a small skillet melt the butter. 
  2. Add chopped onion.
  3. Add all-purpose flour.
  4. Let it cook for a few minutes at medium-low heat, until it develops a nutty smell.
  5. Set roux aside. 
  6. In a medium pot add milk, whisk in the roux 
  7. Add cloves and bay leaf.
  8. Lower the heat and let it cook for about 30 minutes. 
  9. Add salt and pepper (adjust seasoning accordingly).

Although I season sauces gradually I usually make an exception when making the bechamel sauce. I wait until the last step to add salt and pepper. I wait as the flavors develop and add a bit more of salt and pepper if needed. 

The texture should silk and smooth. There is no need to use a strainer unless the roux formed lumps which is not ideal.

Also, if you do not want to chop the onion, you can do an onion pique.

What is an onion pique?

An onion pique is a traditional French culinary technique where a chef attaches one or more bay leaves to onion by pushing whole cloves through the leaves into the onion.

If you do not want to chop the onion, then the onion pique is the way to go. Just make sure you remove it when the sauce is ready. 

How to assemble the lasagana:

  1. Pour some sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  2. Second, add cooked lasagna noodles (sheets).
  3. Layer red meat sauce and bechamel sauce.
  4. Layer some ricotta and mozzarella cheese.
  5. Continue until finished with all the ingredients.
  6. Add on top. If desired add some fresh chopped parsley to garnish. 

Pieces on ground beef lasagna and a side of parmesan cheese

Final thoughts

Also if you are not into traditional ground beef lasagna, it is fine! I posted this Zucchini Lasagna recipe some time ago, and to be honest, it is so good (try it for yourself).

So, now that you have seen all the details on how to make this amazing (amazing is an understatement) Ground Beef Lasagna.

Finally, do not be afraid to add your favorite ingredient. For instance, you can substitute ground beef for ground turkey as it is also scrumptious.

Thank you for your constant support.

May God bless You,

Luz

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Ground Beef Lasagna

January 27, 2020
: 8-10
: 25 min
: Easy

Delicious layers of pasta, ground beef, creamy bechamel sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. This Ground Beef Lasagna is the perfect dish to serve a crowd.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz pack lasagne
  • For the red meat sauce:
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 3 bacon strips chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • For the bechamel sauce:
  • 16 oz whole milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Half white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • To assemble the lasagna:
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese grated
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Step 2 For the red meat sauce:
  • Step 3 In a medium/large pot, at low medium heat. Add olive oil, and the pancetta or bacon.
  • Step 4 Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cook until onion becomes translucent.
  • Step 5 Add ground beef, cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine, and let it reduce by half.
  • Step 6 Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Add the sugar and bay leaf, and stir.
  • Step 7 Add beef stock, let it reduce by half. Stirring occasionally.
  • Step 8 Add fresh basil.
  • Step 9 Adjust seasoning.
  • Step 10 For the bechamel sauce:
  • Step 11 In a small skillet melt the butter.
  • Step 12 Add chopped onion.
  • Step 13 Add all-purpose flour.
  • Step 14 Let it cook for a few minutes at medium-low heat, until it develops a nutty smell.
  • Step 15 Set roux aside.
  • Step 16 In a medium pot add milk, whisk in the roux
  • Step 17 Add cloves and bay leaf.
  • Step 18 Lower the heat and let it cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Step 19 Add salt and pepper (adjust seasoning accordingly).
  • Step 20 To assemble the lasagna:
  • Step 21 Pour some of the red meat sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Step 22 Add cooked lasagna noodles (sheets).
  • Step 23 Layer red meat sauce and bechamel sauce.
  • Step 24 Layer some ricotta and mozzarella cheese.
  • Step 25 Repeat until finished with all the ingredients.
  • Step 26 Finish with a layer of mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Step 27 Place lasagna in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, uncovered.
  • Step 28 Notes:
  • Step 29 Make sure to season the sauce gradually. Taste the sauce as you cook, and adjust seasoning accordingly. If needed add more sugar. I add sugar to create a balance. Sometimes tomato sauce tastes a bit sour depending on the brand. 

 


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