Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna

Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna I’ve always been talkative. I spoke my first word – hot -  at ten months old and never really stopped talking after that point. In fact, I talked so much…to myself, anyone who would listen, my stuffed animals, the walls…that one time when I was about seven, my own mom paid me $1 to be quiet for an hour so she could get some work done. This is a true story.

And in school, I didn’t cause much trouble…except for talking…a crime for which I probably received a weekly detention. So naturally, I became a teacher because as a teacher, your very job is to talk. All day long. And you have an entire audience  classroom that pretty much has to listen to your every word.

Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna

But now I’m a stay-at-home mom. And for much of the day, if not the entire day, I have no one to talk to except an almost-nine-month-old whose only response is either (feigned) indifference or the words “da-daaa-daa-da-ba-bab-da.”

Needless to say, I do a lot of talking to myself…and a lot of making myself laugh. You’d be surprised how many baby-related puns there are to be had.

Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna

For example, Owen’s, well, a little gassy. Maybe it’s the lentils, maybe the oatmeal, but he really knows how to let one rip. A few weeks ago, I heard him from across the room, and I said, “Take it easy there, Farty McFly.” To nobody…but myself. And I laughed with nobody… but myself.

These puns are not limited to bodily functions. We’re classier than that. Take for example, the fifteen times a day that I put socks on Owen because he continually kicks/grabs/bites them off his own feet. I am constantly saying, “Let’s put some socks on ya, Socksonya Baiul.”

lasagna I could do this all day, folks…and I do. I laugh. Owen looks at me questioningly. I often call Eric and inform him of my genius, and he usually manages an audible smirk, and I usually say, “You just had to be there,” as though Owen and I had shared this great inside joke moment with out him.

One of my go-tos lately has been, “Let’s get some clothes-on-ya, Lasagna.” He doesn’t really get it. Probably because he doesn’t know how often we eat lasagna around here. Seriously, it’s like twice a month. And yet, this blog remains suspiciously lasagna-less.

I guess I’ve been hesitant to make a lasagna post because it just seems so inauspicious. Who doesn’t have their own lasagna recipe? And my recipe isn’t all that fancy…we’re not working with artichokes and hard-to-find cheeses here. It’s just noodles + sauce + cheese: lasagna 101. And then we like to add Italian sausage because what doesn’t Italian sausage improve? Plus some lightly sautéed onions and bell peppers (handily available in frozen form all year long).  We go a little overboard on the cheese because I like my lasagna to be pizza-ey. But that’s it. It’s one of the simplest and easiest recipes I have, and we make it often.

Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna

There’s a lot of different lasagna recipes out there, but this one, hands down, is our very favorite lasagna…we both grew up with different versions of lasagna, that we liked, but once we toyed with those variations and settled on this version, we’ve never gone back, and I warn you…you might not either.

*Note: The recipe is listed for one 9×13″ pan; I made (and photographed) two 8×8″ pans…just to avoid any confusion.

Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna

Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna

(recipe by me!)

(yields one 9x13" pan)

This lasagna is easy to put together with a short list of ingredients. We mix our sauce with sauteed onions, peppers, and Italian sausage to give it a robust flavor! We like to serve this with some crusty garlic bread and a simple salad of greens. You can easily split this into two 8x8" pans and freeze one for later like I did in the post.


cooking spray

two 24-oz. jars tomato pasta sauce

9 oven-ready or traditional lasagna noodles

1 lb. sweet italian sausage

1 large onion (chopped)

2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (if using frozen, thaw first)

1/4 - 1/2 c. grated or shredded parmesan cheese

8 c. shredded mozzarella


If using traditional lasagna noodles, boil according to package instructions, drain, and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350*.

Brown sausage over medium heat until almost completely cooked, and drain grease off. Add the onions and peppers to the pan, and saute together over med-high until sausage is no longer pink (about 2-3 minutes). Pour the sauce (except for about a 3/4 c.) into the pan and heat through, about 1 minutes. Remove from heat.

Grease 13x9" pan throughly with cooking spray. Pour reserved 3/4 c. of sauce into the pan and spread around the bottom of the pan with a spatula.

Layer 1:

Place 3 noodles over the top of this sauce.

Top noodles with sausage/pepper/sauce mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan, then shredded mozzarella.

Layer 2:

Place 3 noodles over the top of the cheese.

Top noodles with sausage/pepper/sauce mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan, then shredded mozzarella.

Layer 3:

Place 3 noodles over the top of the cheese.

Top noodles with sausage/pepper/sauce mixture.

Cover entire top of lasagna with a solid layer of shredded mozzarella.

(Note: You can freeze the lasagna at this point. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. When ready to use, thaw all day and bake as directed below. I suggest freezing in a metal pan!)


Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until edges begin to brown and bubble.

[At this point, I like to run mine under the broiler (on low setting) for just 1-2 minutes until the entire top is brown and bubbly, but this step is totally cosmetic - but be careful; it can burn quickly!]

Let rest for ten minutes before cutting.

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20 thoughts on “Cheesy Italian Sausage Lasagna

  1. Wow!! Lovely recipe. The comments you say to Owen… one day, he will appreciate your humor :) I still ask my mom to this day if my dad was “that funny” when we were kids – and he was… I just don’t remember it! You had me laughing out loud, especially about the figure skater!

    • Haha..I know…I can’t wait to find out what Owen’s first word will be. My money’s on “bus.” He’s obsessed with the busses that go by our house all day!

  2. Thanks Liz! I made this last night for our dinner and it was sooo good!
    I liked your idea of using two smaller pans.
    Made one in 8×8 and the other in 5×9. Why haven’t I thought about that before I don’t know

  3. If you are from the Outer Banks, please let me know. I am an older woman who retired about 10 years ago. I have had little experience in the kitchen and have a husband who is extremely picky. I love having company then I can try all kinds of things and he just apologies for me not wanting to cook a roasted chicken or a steak for company. I love reading your column and if you need help sometimes preparing a feast, let me know I would love to meet you and help with prep or serving. I also live on the Outer Banks in Pt Harbor. You have a beautiful site and offer this old gal a lot of support. Lorraine

    • Unfortunately, I am not from the Outer Banks, but what a sweet comment! Keep up the kitchen experimenting (I have a fairly picky dad, so I can imagine your situation pretty well!) And if I ever make it out to Pt. Harbor, I’d love to swing by and cook up something fantastic with you!

  4. Absolutely mouthwatering! Even the photos reflect such an Italian feeling if you know what I mean. Anyway, I have been looking for a recipe for lasagna for so long. It may sound weird but I have been attending a course on Italian cuisine at a place called Dirty Apron which offers one of the best cooking classes in Vancouver, but surprisingly it doesn´t include this dish. How is this possible? I mean we had pasta arrabbiata, different pizzas ot Italian cabbage soup, but not this one. That means I have to try it out as soon as possible, probably this weekend! Although you don´t know me, thanks a lot for your help.

    • That course sounds so great…I’d love to take a cooking class sometime! Sounds like you are becoming an Italian pro! Hope you like the lasagna :)

      • I’ve made lasagna w/o boiling the noodles before, but not the oven ready type. I like the texture and thinness. My better half says I should do more layers next time to make it a bit more noodly. Oh, I did add about 7 cloves of chopped garlic to the onion and peppers. All in all a very easy and tasty entree’. Thanks!

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