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(67 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 3 hrs, 10 mins Plus milk infusing


Serves 8
Little is more satisfying than cooking a classic to perfection - Sarah Cook gives us a lesson in how to make lasagne

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal794
  • fat38g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs63g
  • sugars16g
  • fibre4g
  • protein48g
  • salt2.74g
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  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 carrot (about 100g/4oz) finely chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 140g pack cubetti di pancetta



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 500g pack beef mince (we used 10% fat)



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • 500g pack pork mince or British veal mince
  • 200ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 rosemary sprig



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 2 thyme sprigs


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 tsp dried oregano



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 500ml red wine
  • about 400g dried pasta sheets



    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…

  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

For the bechamel sauce

  • 1½ l milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 1 onion, thickly sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 100g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 100g plain flour
  • good grating of nutmeg


  1. First infuse the milk for the béchamel sauce. Put the milk, onion, bay and cloves into a large saucepan and bring very gently just up to the boil. Turn off the heat and set aside for 1 hr to infuse.

  2. For the meat sauce, put the oil, celery, onion, carrot, garlic and pancetta in another large saucepan. Gently cook together until the veg are soft but not coloured. Tip in all the mince, the milk and tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon, stir together and break up and mash the lumps of mince against the sides of the pan. When the mince is mostly broken down, stir in all the herbs, the stock cubes and wine, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hr, stirring occasionally to stop the bottom catching. Uncover and gently simmer for another 30 mins-1 hr until the meat is tender and saucy. Taste and season.

  3. To finish the béchamel, strain the milk through a fine sieve into one or two jugs. Melt the butter in the same pan then, using a wooden spoon, mix in the flour and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the strained milk, a little at a time – the mix will thicken at first to a doughy paste, but keep going, adding milk gradually to avoid lumps. When all the milk is in, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly (if you have lumps, give it a quick whisk). Gently bubble for a few mins until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spread a spoonful of the meat sauce over the base of a roughly 3.5 litre baking dish. Cover with a single layer of pasta sheets, snapping them to fit if needed, then top with a quarter of the béchamel. Spoon over a third of the meat sauce and scatter over a little Parmesan. Repeat the layers – pasta, béchamel, meat and Parmesan – two more times to use all the meat sauce. Add a final layer of pasta, the last of the béchamel and remaining Parmesan. Sit the dish on a baking tray to catch spills and bake for 1 hr until bubbling, browned and crisp on top.

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Comments (74)

cshobbs's picture

Great recipe! I increased the amount of carrots and omitted the celery. However I need to increase the amount of liquid as my gluten free lasagne was rather tough and hard. The rest was suberb. The recipe might have taken a while but there was nothing very arduous and the results were worth it.

forestnuter's picture

The meat sauce certainly benefited from being simmered and reduced for a good amount of time. Although the wine initially made the dish rather boozy, after the sauce has been reduced it became part of the depth of flavour of the dish. Could try again. In all, quite a tasty dish

clarissaG's picture

I made this yesterday though without the bechamel - I used a ready made white sauce as the cost of ingredients was already high without cloves, bay leaves and nutmeg which I didn't have. I did NOT put 500ml of red wine in! I reluctantly put 250ml in and to be honest, the liquid consistency was already at a worryingly watery level so it didn't need more (which suited my desire to part with it!). If I made it again, I would brown the mince, it just felt wrong when it was all floating raw in the milk. Half of the family loved it, half not (the kids) I think it was too meaty and too rich for them. The second draw back is the time it took, but I suppose good things come to those who wait! (or don't if you are my kids!)

arwen9747's picture

So, you haven't done the recipe. I can understand why wasn't a success.

suzieemc's picture

I've been using Good Food recipes for many many years and this is just about the only failure that I've had. Taste was very good but the consistency was so so disappointing. The bechamel sauce didn't thicken (is it really meant to be one and a half litres of milk???) and the meat, despite being simmered for a lot longer than the recipe called for, was far too liquidy. Disappointing, particularly as it took so long to make.

abcdefghijord's picture

Try 1200ml of milk next time. I usually do 300ml to every 25g butter/flour and always comes out lovely.

aimsy123's picture

I've made many many lasagnes in my time, some from recipes and some of my own invention. This was just the best! Definitely worth the extra effort. The meat part looks worryingly fluid for a while, but keep simmering it (I did it uncovered) and it boils down to a lovely moist mix. (I used a splash of port instead of wine though - didn't have any I wanted to "waste"). The layers held together fantastically. Lots of compliments. Will definitely be making it again. Great flavours.

vlatus's picture

Meat part really tasty even without wine (had none left!), but still too much liquid even though I used 200ml veg stock instead of milk and omitted wine (not adding extra fluid to compensate!). I didn't use the bechemel sauce recipe as I don't do wheat or dairy (made my own version of that). Also used turkey mince instead of beef/pork and omitted pancetta, and I browned the mince. 2 extra rich beef stock pots and fresh thyme, rosemary and basil, along with a splash of Tabasco Chipotle sauce gave a lovely rich flavour to the turkey mince. Will definitely revisit this one as flavourings are lovely.

smile1980's picture

I found the meat sauce too liquid but with real depth of flavour. Perhaps a bit too much wine. I only used beef as I couldn't find veal or pork mince.
Bechamel sauce was really nice and with a good texture. Used mozzarella on the top layer which worked really well. Will make again, for dinner with friends perhaps, as it is more "special" than my usual recipe - but also much more time consuming! Couldn't give it 5* though as a few tweaks necessary I think.

Char25's picture

Brilliant lasagne. Made yesterday evening for friends and it was a real winner. Great tasting meat sauce. Plenty of flavour throughout the lasagne. I will only use this recipe now.

torialovescakes's picture

I read all the mixed reviews and thought I'd give this a go as the list of ingredients made it sound like it would be packed with flavour. Unfortunately it was really disappointing. Followed the recipe to the letter but the result was sloppy and milky. In fact I think the milk played a big part in spoiling it, there was just too much. In my opinion this is just not worth the effort involved, would certainly never make again.

mandy-j-b's picture

This is the worst lasagne I have ever made. I have been making lasagne for years and my family love it. I had my whole family coming over so decided it would be worth the extra time that this lasagne took. I followed the recipe exactly and it wasn't even a close match. It was edible but definitely the worst lasagne I have made. The meat tasted soft as it had been cooked in the milk, next time I will stick to my normal recipe and brown the meat so it has some texture to it.

carodarcy's picture

This is a terrific recipe. I fiddled with the quantities as I was making it for 10 people and I also made one or two minor adjustment, to suit my personal taste. It felt odd not to brown the meat, so I did. I also put in less red wine, but added a jar of Loyd Grossman Tomato and Basil sauce, and I left out the thyme, because I felt it might overpower the other herbs. The end result was the best lasagne I've ever made. Fairly time consuming, but not at all difficult and most definitely worth the extra trouble.

glynisbrown23's picture

Very tasty, adding milk to the meat sauce really breaks up the mince, next time I'm adding the pancetta,left out as had guests who don't eat pork

ellie1789's picture

I halved this receipt and used just beef mince, bacon bits instead and mozzarella on top. I found the white sauce was difficult to create the right consistency and the whole receipt was quite some work. I would advise people to add more veg into it like mushrooms. There were leftovers for the next day. Wasn't a popular one in the family.

jacquisamob's picture

I have never been a fan of lasagne but decided to make this for my husband. Now I have, I am a complete convert, it's so delicious..!
This recipe is time consuming and ingredient heavy. On the advice of another reviewer I added a good squirt of tomato puree and followed the recipe tip and added ham. Also, I only used beef mince, not beef & pork. The hardest part for me was parting with 500ml of my favourite tipple (red wine) but I concede, it was worth it....
Also, I'm not sure if I did something wrong but I seemed to have an awful lot of the bechemel sauce so I think next time I will only use 1 litre of milk.
I also used dry herbs & parmesan (my aim is to choose a recipe using what I have in my fridge/freezer cupboards without having to shop) and the outcome was amazing...!
This recipe involves 'cooking' in the proper sense and I will only ever use this recipe to make lasagne in future.

fegregory's picture

This was worth taking my time over. All the family lapped it up and it tasted amazing.

888emma's picture

Well worth the effort, whole family loved it.

lizfisher56's picture

I made this when we had friends round on New Year's Eve and it all went. I used all beef mince as one person doesn't eat pork. I have to admit that I usually make Delia's lasagne recipe but this was quicker ( and cheaper!). I will definitely make this version again.

endearingchaos's picture

Made this yesterday for my family. While it was quite time consuming and involved, what lasagna isn't? I needed to alter it a bit due to what was available to me. I used Lean Ground Beef, Mild Italian Sausage and Prosciutto in lieu of the mince and pancetta. I also used Feta cheese that I had on hand in place of the Parmesan.

On the final simmer of the meat sauce I added a can of Tomato Sauce to make it a bit more "Saucy". I didn't have cloves on hand so I used 3 Star of Anise for infusing the milk with the Bay Leaves and Onion, and I needed to add a bit more flour to the bechamel to have it thicken properly but that was all, the recipe is FANTASTIC!

My husband who has traveled the world and dined in all the best restaurants said it was the best lasagna he has ever had....ever; even my daughter who isn't a fan of lasagna took some for lunch today. My complements and thanks for posting this recipe - definitely a keeper!


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