how to make lasagna with bechamel sauce | Family Cuisine

Lasagna is a dish made with layers of pasta, cheese and sauce. The bechamel sauce is the base for lasagna. It's a creamy white sauce that can be used to make many different types of dishes. Here are some

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How to make lasagna with bechamel sauce

This Classic Lasagna is made with a traditional ragu bolognese and a creamy white Béchamel sauce.

This lasagna is packed full of flavor with layers of lasagna noodles, a rich beef and tomato sauce, a creamy white sauce and topped with cheese. Perfect for the whole family

Reading: how to make lasagna with bechamel sauce

Lasagna takes time, but it is definitely worth it. Plus it can be made in advance making it great for entertaining or a busy weekend.

a white baking dish on a blue table filled with lasagna

Apologies lasagna is so hard to photograph 🙁 But man it tastes good 🙂

How to make Lasagna

Lasagna consists of layers of meat sauce, long pasta sheets and a creamy white béchamel. These are layered together in a deep sided baking dish and then cooked in the oven until the pasta is cooked and everything has melted and merged together.

How to layer béchamel lasagna

To ensure the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of your dish, start with a think layer of lasagna sauce (ragu), then add a layer of the pasta sheets. On top of this add some ragu, a cup of the white sauce, then another layer of pasta. Repeat this step twice more, then on the final layer of pasta add all of the remaining white is then sprinkled with shredded cheese and the lasagna is ready to be baked.

How long to cook lasagna with béchamel for?

If you are layering up the lasagna and then cooking it straight away it will need 30 minutes in a 350ºF/180ºC you are preparing the lasagna in advance, (ie the lasagna has been uncooked in the fridge) then you will need to cook it for around 45 minutes to ensure the middle is cooked through. (I find if I make this in advance I have to tent my lasagna with foil to ensure the cheese doesn’t burn.)

a cut square of lasagna on a white and blue plate

How to reheat lasagna

Lasagna is the perfect leftovers meal, as it tastes just as good (maybe even better) when reheated for lunch the following day!

I do this in the microwave. I just add a portion to a bowl, cover with a microwave cover (or cling wrap) and then microwave for 4-5 minutes until piping hot.

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I even pop it into the kids thermos flasks so they can take it for lunch. To do this pour boiling water into the thermos and let it sit for 20 minutes so the inside is really hot. Microwave the lasagna until bubbling and piping hot. Pour out the water and add the hot lasagna, screw the lid on tightly and add to the lunchbox and don’t forget a fork. My kids say it is still perfect at lunchtime, although it doesn’t look like lasagna anymore as you kind of have to slide it in sideways to get it to fit in the thermos! But hey if it still tastes good!

close up on the layers of the lasagna with béchamel

How to make the Lasagna Sauce

The lasagna sauce, called a ragu, is cooked slowly so the flavors intensify and mellow at the same time. As the sauce cooks the dried herbs infuse into the mixture whilst the canned tomatoes lose their acidity and thanks to the addition of a little sugar become sweet and delicious.

You want to use a pan with a heavy fitting lid to ensure the sauce doesn’t dry out too much. The ragu will be wetter than for Spaghetti Bolognese, as the sauce has to have enough liquid to cook the lasagna noodles.

Beef Bouillon Cubes

The recipe calls for beef bouillon cubes, these really intensify the flavor of the lasagna sauce. My preference is for OXO cubes but use your a substitute you could use Better Than Beef Bouillon.

blue table with a plate of lasagna with béchamel sauce

How to make béchamel for lasagna

This is a classic Italian lasagna that uses a béchamel sauce rather than the American version that uses ricotta for the white layer.

A béchamel is a classic white sauce that is thickened with a roux. A roux is a butter and flour mixture and creates a silky smooth sauce that adds a beautiful richness to the lasagne.

Although a white sauces seems daunting, there is no need to panic, with a few simple tricks you will get the most delicious béchamel for lasagna.

  • Start by melting the butter in a heavy based sauce pan.
  • Once melted add in the flour and stir together (the mixture will resemble wet sand)
  • Then the milk is slowly added ½ a cup at a time.
  • After the first addition of milk, the mixture will look like a disaster, but don’t panic, just keep whisking and adding the milk slowly it does eventually come together.
  • Once all the milk has been slowly added, you need to simmer your béchamel until you have a glossy, thick luscious white sauce.
a silver pan of béchamel for lasagna

Which pasta to use for lasagna?

I like to use dried ‘No Cook’ lasagna sheets, you can find them in the pasta aisle. They are sometimes labeled Instant lasagna. I find that these sank up the ragu sauce better and leave you will a fuller flavored dish.

When using dried lasagna sheets, you will need to break them to make them fit in the baking dish in a single layer. The sheets don’t always break perfectly so it can lead to a fun game of Tetris as you try to get a full complete layer.

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Don’t worry if you can’t cover all of the ragu perfectly, it will still be great. And visa versa, if you have some overlaps of pasta don’t worry. The pasta will still cook in the 30 minutes baking time.

Try to avoid lasagna noodles that need to be cooked before hand, it is a fiddly process as you have to ensure that each sheet doesn’t stick to another when you are boiling them. (it is just an added hassle!)

You could go for fresh lasagne sheets. They are found in the refrigerator section. They tend to get softer than instant/no cook lasagna, so you will fid that your lasagna is more of a mixture of pasta and sauce rather than the defined layers. It still tastes good, but I like the distinctive lasagna does have the advantage that you can easily cut it to fit your baking dish!

If you can find the crinkle sided lasagna sheets then they are so much fun. my kids love it when I make crinkle lasagna 😉

overhead view showing a lasagna with a piece taken out

What to serve with Lasagna?

Side: We think this Classic Lasagna with Béchamel is best paired with a green side salad and some warm ciabatta. Alternatively some garlic green beans would work well.

Wine: The slow cooking of the ragu would suggest a bright bold red wine, but the cheese sauce makes the dish richer, so we suggest a Cabernet Sauvignon or a you aren’t a red fan, an unusual but great pairing would be a rich white like a Viognier.

close up on the lasagna sauce inside the layers

Enjoy x

For other delicious family favorite pasta dishes, why not try:

  • Garlic Butter Pasta with Garlic Chicken
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Pasta with Chicken Broth and Butter
  • Garlic Bacon Pasta
  • Four Cheese Pasta
  • Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
  • Pork Stroganoff with Buttered Noodles
  • See ALL 50+ Pasta Recipes

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