Last updated on September 26, 2023

Lasagna alla Bolognese 👨‍🍳 Traditional Italian recipe

Gianni from All Italian - Author
Gianni from All Italian

Lasagna is a type of Italian baked pasta typical from the region Emilia, and an icon of the Sunday meal in the homes of many Italians. We prepare the easy recipe step by step

Home made Italian lasagna
The lasagne we make step by step on this page

Baked lasagna: lasagna al forno

Many pasta recipes that we published on All Italian are quite quick to make: well-known dishes such as pasta alla Carbonara or a Amatriciana are ready within half an hour; and that's why we like to make them often.

Instead, lasagna is a dish that well represents the Sunday meal in Italy: not because it is a difficult recipe, but because it requires some preparation, especially the ragù.

It's totally worth it: because the smell of lasagna with bolognese sauce envelops the entire house and lures the whole family to the table.

A little planning is enough, especially when preparing Bolognese sauce and bechamel, which are also the main ingredients of the classic lasagna with ragù.

On this page we share all the tips for preparing homemade lasagna and make the recipe, step by step.

On this page

Learning Italian 🇮🇹

The Italian words we use on this page:

🔊 Lasagna Lasagna
🔊 Pasta al forno Baked pasta
🔊 Ragù bolognese Bolognese sauce
🔊 Besciamella Bechamel

The traditional lasagna from Emilia

Lasagne alla Bolognese, also called lasagne al forno, is a traditional dish from Emilia, in central-northern Italy; as well as Bolognese sauce and fresh egg pasta, the same pasta as tagliatelle.

Lasagna with Bolognese sauce is the classic and the most famous, but in Italy we make many different types of lasagna: local ingredients are used depending on the region.

In Liguria, for example, they make it with basil pesto; in my region Trentino and Veneto we call it 🔊 Pasticcio and we make it with red chicory.

Lasagna alla bolognese 👨‍🍳 Recipe with ragù and bechamel sauce

(8) reviews

  • 👩‍🍳 Easy
  • 45 min preparation
  • 🤗 Guaranteed result

Making home made lasagna with bolognese sauce and bechamel is very simple and also fun: the preparation consists of assembling sheets of pasta, held together by sauce and cheese.

The full list of ingredients is a bit long, but in the end you only need four to put together the lasagna: in addition to the lasagna sheets, the bolognese sauce, the bechamel sauce and the Parmigiano cheese. All typical specialties from the Emilia region, in central-northern Italy.

The longest – but not really difficult – part of the recipe is preparing the Bolognese sauce and the bechamel sauce.

You can also buy them ready-made and make lasagna with products you buy in the supermarket, according to our preparation steps.

Or like we do: with a little planning you can prepare both the bolognese sauce and the béchamel at home, for an exceptional lasagna.

Tips for preparing lasagna

Both bolognese sauce and béchamel can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days: which is why we like to prepare the ragu in advance, so that when we make it on Sunday we only have to assemble the lasagna .

For example, we make Bolognese sauce during the week when we are at home: after preparing the ingredients, the ragù must cook for at least two hours and you only have to dilute it and mix it every now and then. It is a very cozy thing that fills the house with a wonderful scent.

Bechamel sauce, on the other hand, is easier to make if you have some practice. Sometimes we also prepare the béchamel sauce the day before and store it in the refrigerator covered with cling film.


A baking pan or oven dish with medium-high edges in which you can assemble the lasagna, large depending on the portions you want to make.





Ingredient image Ingredient name Cups Grams Ounces
ground-beef Ground beef 18 oz 500 g
pancetta Pancetta 8.8 oz 250 g
carrot Carrot 2.8 oz 80 g
celery Celery 2.8 oz 80 g
onion-white White Onion 2.8 oz 80 g
peeled-tomatoes Peeled tomatoes 17.6 oz 500 g
olive-oil Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4 tablespoon
wine-white White wine 3.5 oz 100 g
stock-cube-vegetable Vegetable soup 28 oz 800 ml 0.8 US quarts
salt Salt 1 pinch
pepper-black Black Pepper 1 pinch
milk-whole Whole milk 28 oz 800 g
wheat Wheat 2 oz 60 g
butter Butter 2 oz 60 g
lasagna-pasta Lasagna pasta 14 oz 400 g
cheese-parmigiano Parmigiano cheese 4.2 oz 120 g

Fresh or dried lasagna pasta sheets

Lasagna pasta are thin rectangular dough sheets, made from fresh or dried pasta.

You can find fresh lasagna pasta in the refrigerator section of the grocery store; instead, the dried lasagna is on the shelf where dried pasta, such as bucatini and rigatoni.

Both can traditionally be made with egg pasta, or only with durum wheat semolina, such as orecchiette.

Outside Italy you can easily find both. We used dried lasagna in our recipe because we were curious to try it; However, for an exceptional result we recommend using fresh lasagna.

Dried lasagna pasta, on the other hand, is handy: it has a long shelf life and you can add it raw directly to the lasagna, as long as the sauce is sufficiently liquid.

👉 As indicated on the package instructions, it is not necessary to cook the lasagna pasta sheets before using it to assemble the lasagna.


  1. Make the Bolognese sauce

    To make the ragù Bolognese you need about three hours: half an hour of preparation, and then at least two and a half hours of cooking.

    For this reason we prepare it in advance: you can keep it in the refrigerator for a few days or even freeze it to use when you need it.

    When adding it to the lasagna, the Bolognese sauce should be well thawed, and therefore warm or at room temperature.

    👉 Here is our original Bolognese sauce recipe with ingredients and step-by-step instructions.

    In the Bolognesesaus recipe, milk is an optional ingredient. If we make ragu for lasagna we don't add milk, because we already put the béchamel in the lasagna.

  2. Make the bechamel

    Homemade béchamel sauce makes the lasagna definitely tastier.

    You need only three ingredients: butter, flour and milk; flavored with a pinch of salt and nutmeg. The preparation is quick, only 15 minutes, but requires some practice because the béchamel sauce easily forms lumps. And instead the texture should be smooth.

    👉 View our recipe for easy bechamel sauce without lumps, shown step by step.

  3. Prepare the ingredients

    When you are ready to assemble the lasagna, place the ingredients around the baking dish in which you will place the lasagna.
    This way you have everything you need at hand.

    Prepare the ingredients
    A group photo before we start making the lasagna: Bolognese sauce, bechamel, lasagna pasta sheets and grated Parmigiano cheese

  4. Place the first layer of Bolognese sauce

    We first place a layer of ragù at the bottom of the lasagna.

  5. Add a sheet of pasta

    Add a layer of lasagna pasta. We used dried lasagna, and as suggested on the package we put it directly dry, without boiling it first.

    Add a sheet of pasta

  6. Add another layer of Bolognese sauce

    Place the ragù on the pasta layer. We used a spoon because our lasagna is small, for 2-3 people. To spread the ragu over a larger lasagna, it is best to use the back of a ladle.

  7. Add the bechamel

    Cover the ragù with a layer of béchamel sauce.

    Add the bechamel

  8. Add Parmigiano cheese

    Add a few tablespoons of grated Parmigiano cheese on the bechamel.

    Add Parmigiano cheese

  9. Build the remaining layers

    Continue to assemble the lasagna in this order: a sheet of pasta, bolognese sauce, bechamel sauce and grated cheese.

    On the last layer, on top of the lasagna, generously sprinkle with the bechamel sauce and especially with the grated Parmesan cheese.

    In Italy we like to make lasagna with a crispy crust: the dried cheese on the crust has a name and is called 🔊 gratinatura.

    Build the remaining layers

  10. Bake

    Place the lasagna on the middle shelf of the oven, well preheated and ventilated.

    Lasagna cooking times:

    • If you are using fresh pasta lasagna, set the fan oven to 356°F /180°C for 40 minutes.

    • For the dry pasta lasagna, we set the electric fan oven to 392°F / 200°C and bake for 35-40 minutes.

    Check the cooking status of the lasagna occasionally: to get a crispy crust, you'll probably want to leave it in the oven for a few minutes longer.

  11. Serve

    Before dividing the lasagna into rectangles and placing it on the plates, wait a few minutes: this way the slice of lasagna solidifies a little and stays in better shape.

Your lasagna al ragù Bolognese is ready 👨‍🍳

Fresh home made lasagna Bolognese
Our freshly made lasagna alla Bolognese

Did you like it? Rate this recipe

In the restaurant in Italy, when you finish eating, the waiter will ask: 🔊 andava tutto bene? (was everything fine?)

Recipe rating Italian translation
🔊Abbastanza buono
🔊Non molto buono
🔊Non buono
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How to store baked lasagna

We usually don't make the lasagna the day before; instead, we simply prepare the bolognese sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for one or two days; this way we can make lasagna and eat it straight away, as soon as it comes out of the oven.

If you have leftover baked lasagna, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a day, covered with cling film. With one advantage: the lasagna becomes slightly more compact in the refrigerator, and it is also very tasty the next day.

👉 Before you put the lasagna in the refrigerator, we recommend letting it cool down thoroughly, and therefore not putting the lasagna in the refrigerator while it is still warm.

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Hi! We are Italian expats and have been living abroad for years, currently in the Netherlands. Wherever we go, we carry part of our tradition with us. And we often notice that Italy, its heritage and its lifestyle, are very popular.
Now that we understand a little better the culture of the countries we live in, we want to offer an account with original content about our home country.
We are also writing this blog to practice English, so you will find our writing a little «creative» at times. Grazie mille!