Recipe Review

I Tried Allrecipes’ “World’s Best” Lasagna, and Now I Understand the Hype

published Oct 27, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell | Design: The Kitchn

Claiming anything is the “world’s best” is some pretty high praise. So when I came across John Chandler’s self-titled “World’s Best Lasagna” recipe on Allrecipes, I was intrigued. If the name of the recipe alone didn’t sell me, the astounding number of reviews did. With over 13,000 reviews and a solid 5-star rating, I was beginning to think this really was the best lasagna. It features a hearty meat sauce and plenty of layers of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. So yes, I headed into the kitchen with nothing but good feelings about this one. How did it actually perform, though? Read on to find out.

Get the recipe: Allrecipes’ World’s Best Lasagna

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell | Design: The Kitchn

How to Make Allrecipes’ World’s Best Lasagna

You’ll start by cooking sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic in a Dutch oven to make the sauce. You’ll then add three kinds of canned tomatoes — crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce — along with a mix of spices, salt, and a touch of sugar, and let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Next, you’ll cook lasagna noodles in a pot of boiling water and mix together ricotta, an egg, chopped parsley, and salt. To assemble, you’ll spread some of the meat sauce into a 9×13-inch baking dish then arrange half the cooked lasagna noodles on top, followed by half the ricotta mixture and some thinly sliced mozzarella cheese. You’ll repeat these layers, ending with the last of the meat sauce, mozzarella, and some grated Parmesan cheese. The lasagna is covered with foil and baked for 25 minutes, then uncovered and baked until the top is golden-brown, 25 minutes more.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

My Honest Review of Allrecipes’ Lasagna Recipe

All in all, John Chandler’s recipes was a very solid, perfectly cheesy and saucy lasagna. If it’s any indication, gifting some to a neighbor resulted in a handwritten thank you note and a phone call to express just how delicious it was. The homemade sauce was rich and meaty, thanks to the combination of sausage and ground beef, and while I don’t normally like sugar in my sauce, it gave it a round, approachable flavor that ended up making the whole thing taste even more cozy and homey.

Where this recipe lost a point is in the fact that it’s quite time-consuming. You’ll need to spend almost two hours making the sauce before you can even start assembling the lasagna. Plus, it calls for pre-cooking the noodles. I know this step is common in many recipes, but I’ve always hated having to take out another pot to boil the pasta when lasagna usually involves multiple pots and pans as it is. I learned this fussy step could be avoided after testing the other recipes in this showdown, which is why this lasagna doesn’t get a perfect score.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

If You’re Making Allrecipes’ Lasagna, a Few Tips

  1. Make the sauce the night before to save time. Since you’ll need to simmer the meat sauce for 1 1/2 hours, consider making it a day or two ahead of time. You’ll also make double the sauce you need for the lasagna; freeze it to use with pasta for an easy dinner another night.
  2. Adjust the sugar in the sauce to taste. The sauce calls for 2 tablespoons of sugar, which does result in a sweeter sauce. Feel free to use less if you prefer a tangier sauce. I also think a generous pinch of red pepper flakes would be welcomed to balance out the sweetness.
  3. Use a block of low-moisture mozzarella cheese or buy a bag of shredded. The ingredient list doesn’t specify if you should be using fresh mozzarella or the firm, low-moisture kind. Based on the pictures, I went with the latter and thinly sliced it. I also think you’d be more than okay using a bag of the pre-shredded stuff, which would save you a few minutes of prep time and would melt even better and more evenly on the top of the lasagna.

Rating: 9/10

Have you ever made Allrecipes’ lasagna recipe? Tell us what you thought!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell | Design: The Kitchn