Party Size Lasagna

Sharing is caring!

full pan lasagna

Lasagna is the perfect party dish when serving a crowd, almost everyone loves it and the best part is you can assemble it the day before so all the dirty work is done and you can enjoy your guests the day of the party.

There’s nothing like the comforting smell of lasagna cooking in the oven. Who can resist layers of a rich meat sauce, creamy ricotta, melted cheese and pasta sheets that meld together and become one.

cooked lasagna

This is an Italian-American version of lasagna, sometimes known as Christmas lasagna in many households. An authentic Italian recipe is made with a Bolognese sauce and bechamel, both versions are delicious in their own special ways.

There’s also hundreds of variations using fresh pasta sheets, dry pasta, no boil and boil pasta. I’m using dry pasta that I pre-boiled just until it starts to get limp. I never got into the no-boil trend, although I’ve tried several times I always go back to my “old school ” ways.

lasagna pan

Since this recipe is all about feeding a large party size crowd I recommend using a large roasting pan, about the size 15 x 11 x 4 inches deep or close to those dimensions, I’ve seen 16 x 12 inch roasting/baking pans on Amazon, even the blue speckled kind that I have.

One of the benefits of using this type of pan is that the filling is contained so well with no drip overs or spillage, plus you can make it several layers deep and it’s easy to cut.

lasagna ingredients

I would advise making your meat sauce one or two days ahead of assembly day so it’s done and you’re ready to go!

pasta layer

Make sure the pasta completely covers the whole bottom of the pan.

pasta layers

Spread your meat sauce and ricotta, you don’t need to completely cover each layer, with six layers deep it all gets covered in the end.

cheese layer

Mozzarella and pecorino cheese a must.

party size lasagna

Almost to the top!

prepped lasagna

Six layers deep all prepped for the next day.

deep layered lasagna

At this point just top it with foil and stick it into the fridge.

cooked lasagna

Baked to perfection the next day.

lasagna layers

A real crowd pleaser! Serve it as a main with a big green salad on the side along with some crusty bread.

sliced lasagna

The secret ingredient is love ❤️

Party Size Lasagna
 
There's nothing like a big lasagna to get the party going!
Author:
Ingredients
  • MEAT SAUCE
  • 1 lb. mild Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 4 - 28 oz. cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • fresh basil
  • 3- 1 lb. boxes of curly edge long lasagna noodles
  • RICOTTA FILLING
  • 3 lbs. good ricotta from an Italian deli which should be drained overnight so liquid is released
  • I heaping cup of grated Pecorino, plus extra for each layer
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped basil,
  • or ½ cup chopped frozen spinach that has been squeezed of all liquid
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • heaping ½ cup of shredded mozzarella, (dry, not fresh) plus an additional pound or so for the layers.( depending how cheesy you want it, I tend to go lighter).
  • olive oil
  • NOTE; YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SO EXACT, THIS IS JUST AN APPROXIMATE AMOUNT.
Instructions
  1. Make your meat sauce ahead of time 2 or 3 days before assembling the lasagna.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed pan, brown your two meats together, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon.
  3. When meat is brown, remove onto a paper towel to soak up any grease and wipe out any excess grease from pan.
  4. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan along with the chopped garlic, when golden add in all your tomatoes with a teaspoon of salt per can, use an immersion blender to make it smooth or squish them down.
  5. Add the meat back in along with some fresh basil and let it simmer for an hour or so.
  6. ********
  7. The day of assembly add your drained ricotta into a large bowl along with the grated Pecorino, ½ cup of shredded mozzarella, parsley, basil or chopped spinach. (at this point taste it for seasoning
  8. before you add the raw eggs, maybe you like more salt and pepper or more grated cheese, do it to your liking). Mix the. eggs and everything together well.
  9. Prep the noodles 1 lb. at a time, unless you have a huge pan, cooking them in salted water and a short drizzle of olive oil in the pot to prevent sticking, boil until the noodles are limp then pull them out one by one with tongs and place onto an oiled rimmed baking sheet to cool down.
  10. Repeat. Add more water to the pot if need be and get it to boil again before adding more pasta.
  11. *****For Assembly***
  12. Have your noodles, meat sauce, ricotta mixture, shredded mozzarella and additional Pecorino assembled in front of your roasting pan.
  13. Oil the pan on sides and bottom.
  14. Add sauce enough to cover the bottom of the whole pan.
  15. Add pasta noodles.
  16. Top with sauce then ricotta mixture, sporadically placed.
  17. Spread the shredded mozzarella and pecorino all over on top.
  18. Repeat up to six layers.
  19. Top layer will be sauce and pecorino.
  20. At this point, cover with foil and refrigerate.
  21. *****
  22. When ready to bake remove from fridge an hour before to take the chill out.
  23. Loosen the foil and place in a pre-heated oven at 375F.
  24. After 30 minutes remove the foil and top it with shredded mozzarella, as much to your liking and bake in for another 20- 30 minutes, then check it.
  25. The middle needs to be hot so check with a thermometer, temp should be at least 165 internal in the center and all around,
  26. Cook more if needed.
  27. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes or so, you want. nice cuts.
  28. Garnish with basil and more pecorino.
  29. Serve with extra warmed sauce on the side.
  30. Servings depend on how big you cut them, 15ish or so.
  31. You might have extra pasta sheets left over but you definitely need more than 2 boxes.
  32. NOTE: You can also make this with a marinara sauce as well and eliminate the meat. (I have a recipe on my website.)

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sharing is caring!

Signature
 
Italian Sauces My Way E-Book

Comments

  1. Marie, Thank you for posting this lasagna recipe will all the pictures and detailed instruction, so helpful especially with a dish that isn’t make often. Your process will definitely improve my lasagna trouble spots. Using the large pan to contain everything is great, I’m sure I have one of those stashed somewhere! Under cooking the noodles and tastier cheese will correct other issues I have. Couple of questions… When you pull the limp noodles from pot I am assuming they are not cooked through or boiled as the box suggests. Would you say as little as half the time, any indicator you can suggest? Are all your layers covered completely with noodles as you have pictured on the bottom layer? Have you taken the sausage out of casing or just cut into small pieces/”nickles”? Your use of pecorino will perk up this special casserole, I’ve been using parm which is too subtle and “gets lost” in this dish. Thank you, Happy New Year 2022!

    • The large pan is great! If you don’t have one you can look on Amazon, they have roasting pans/baking pans 16×12 even in the speckled blue that I used. The noodles are definitely not cooked according to the box. I honestly just watch them, when they start to limp with some flexibility I take them out, check at half time. Yes all my layers are completely covered with noodles, and the sausage I use is out of the casing. Pecorino is the way to go for this, hope this helps.

  2. Marie, not everyone if fortunate to have an Italian deli/store near buy. I recently moved to Fishers,in and people look like a three heads when I ask them for one 🤪. Ok h how I miss Capotos and Frankie’s!

    • Sharon, I feel bad you don’t have a good Italian deli near by, I guess I’m really spoiled!I have a friend that lives in Florida and she actually orders cheese from here on a regular basis throughout the year, that might be an option for you.

Please leave a comment

*

Rate this recipe: