Recipe Review

I Tried Ree Drummond’s “Best Lasagna Ever,” and It’s Definitely on My Christmas Menu

published Dec 20, 2023
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slice of lasagna with stringy cheese being pulled out of pan
Credit: Kiersten Hickman

I’ve never found a lasagna recipe that I’ve totally loved. I’ve sure tried a lot of different variations of lasagna, but none of them really stood out to me as my go-to recipe. So when the opportunity arose to try Ree Drummond’s “best” lasagna recipe, I had to give it a go. Could this finally end my hunt for my go-to lasagna? Is it truly worth the title of “best” in the eyes of this picky Italian American?

With hope in my heart and a belly ready for meat, pasta, and cheese, I gave this lasagna recipe a try — and was honestly shocked by the results.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

How to Make Ree Drummond’s Lasagna

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef, hot breakfast sausage, and minced garlic cloves. Once the meat is browned and ground up, add in canned whole tomatoes, tomato paste, dried parsley, dried basil, and salt. Mix together and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat, and let the sauce simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is simmering, beat some eggs in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix in low-fat cottage cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and dried parsley. Set aside.

In a large pot, boil salted water. Once boiling, add in a package of lasagna noodles and cook the noodles until al dente — about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain, then drizzle olive oil on top of the noodles to keep them from sticking.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a 9×13-inch casserole dish, add a single layer of cooked lasagna noodles to cover the bottom. Spoon in half of the cottage cheese mixture, then add a layer of sliced low-moisture mozzarella cheese (the deli cheese kind). Spoon in 1/3 of the meat sauce. Repeat the entire process one more time. Then add one more layer of lasagna noodles, mozzarella cheese slices, the rest of the meat sauce, and top with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling. 

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

My Honest Review

Honestly? This is the best lasagna I’ve ever made. No, I’m not exaggerating just because Ree Drummond is a Food Network icon. This recipe is truly one to keep; maybe to even replace that lasagna recipe that your mom or grandma passed down to you. You may love those recipes, but I promise that you may just love this lasagna better.

This recipe is made to be meaty, and without the mixture of the ground beef and hot sausage, it just wouldn’t be the same. So if you’re an omnivore, this is your lasagna.

Also, as a firm believer in using ricotta cheese in a lasagna, I really appreciate the use of cottage cheese in this recipe. In all honesty, I like the taste and texture of cottage cheese, and using it in this recipe just worked. Additionally, I was skeptical of the use of sliced mozzarella cheese instead of shredded or even fresh mozzarella. However, adding a layer of mozzarella with the sliced cheese not only helped with the structure of the overall lasagna, but also the taste. Every bite was consistent and cheesy. I mean, how could you resist a slice of lasagna with a cheese pull like that?

All in all, this recipe is a new fave, and I already can’t wait to make it again.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

3 Tips for Making Ree Drummond’s Lasagna

  • Feel free to use diced tomatoes: While this recipe calls for cans of whole tomatoes, I did have to break them up with my wooden spoon in order to get an even sauce. If you want to save time, you could use an equivalent amount of canned diced tomatoes here instead to save yourself some effort.
  • Do not skimp on simmering the sauce: Ree suggests simmering the meat sauce for 45 minutes; do not skimp on this step. Simmering the sauce helps to mix and elevate all of those flavors together, making a rich sauce that is divine with every bite of the lasagna.
  • Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes or more: It is very tempting to want to slice into that lasagna right away and devour it, but I learned the hard way. If you let the lasagna sit for at least 15 minutes (or 20 or 30 if you’re not impatient like me), the sauce will set and you’ll get cleaner slices that are easier to plate and serve.