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This delicious lasagna is made with cottage cheese, spicy sausage, plump tomatoes and lots of melty Mozzarella. It is sure to be a hit at your dinner table!
Featured With This Recipe
Our dear Aunt Lana always made the very best lasagna, the best I ever remember tasting! It was a treat every time we visited her house, and we were so thrilled when she agreed to share her delicious recipe with us. Hot sausage, plump tomatoes, cottage cheese, Italian spices and lots of glorious mozzarella cheese layered between tender pasta, this recipe is easy to make and always a crowd pleaser! Serve it with a big green salad and some of our Pizza Factory Bread Sticks and you’ll have a warm comfort meal your family will request again and again.
Why Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is mild and light compared to ricotta cheese and usually cheaper and easier to find. It gives the lasagna a creamy layer that is similar to ricotta or a béchamel. For best results use a full-fat cottage cheese instead of low-fat cottage cheese. This will make the lasagna much less runny after it cooks and will hold the layers together better. Of course, if Ricotta is what you have on hand, you can always use that instead. It will still taste great!
Ingredients in Cottage Cheese Lasagna
This easy lasagna recipe uses simple ingredients that can be found at any supermarket.
- Ground beef
- Italian sausage
- Diced tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Lasagna noodles
- Tomato sauce
- Whole milk cottage cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and black pepper
- Mozzarella cheese
What Kind of Cheese to Use in Lasagna?
There are so many types of cheese in this rich, delicious dish! For the “binding” cheese layer we use cottage cheese and parmesan. For the melty cheese, I like to slice fresh mozzarella into thin strips (it seems to melt easier that way) and several handfuls of fresh Parmesan cheese (or better yet, Parmigiano Reggiano).
Storing the Leftovers
If your baking dish has a lid, simply place the lid on tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you only have a few serving left, remove from the pan and store in a smaller airtight container.
Can I Freeze Lasagna?
Yes! This homemade lasagna recipe makes a huge batch, so we usually freeze leftovers in individual servings in Ziplock bags. They make the perfect lunch or dinner. Just thaw how many pieces you’ll need and re-heat in the microwave and enjoy! You can also make an extra batch then cover in freezer safe foil and wrap and freeze the entire pan until you want to bake it. You can thaw the lasagna or bake from frozen. Just allow extra baking time if baking from frozen, probably an extra 40-60 minutes.
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More Favorite Italian Recipes
There’s nothing better than a big bowl of pasta, cheesy recipes and dashes of oregano. Try a few of our very favorite Italian dishes and see for yourself:
FAQs About Lasagna with Cottage Cheese
It really comes down to personal preference. Many people can’t even tell the difference between the two. Ricotta is thicker, has a richer flavor, and a slightly different texture. Cottage cheese is more mild in flavor, has larger curds, and may have less fat and calories.
Yes! Full-fat cottage cheese is a great substitute for ricotta in lasagna. Simply substitute straight across at a 1:1 ratio.
Yes, most traditional lasagna recipes in Southern Italy use ricotta. Some traditional Italian recipes omit ricotta altogether and use a béchamel instead.
How to Make Lasagna with Cottage Cheese
Lasagna with Cottage Cheese
- Conventional Oven
- 9 X 13 inch Pan
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage (if you like it a little spicier, you can use hot Italian sausage)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cans (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces tomato paste
- 10 ounces lasagna noodles
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups cottage cheese
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese SLICED thin (it always comes out better when I use the sliced rather than the shredded cheese) Parmesan cheese
- Brown beef and sausage in a large skillet. Slowly, spoon off excess fat. Add onion and garlic. When onions are clear, add basil, salt, tomato paste, and tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. For the best flavor, allow to simmer up to an hour. If the sauce gets too thick you can add a little pasta water to thin again.
- Meanwhile, boil noodles in large amount of boiling, salted water until tender approximately 10-12 minutes. Lightly drain and set aside. Beat eggs; add remaining ingredients, except mozzarella.
- Open the 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and pour it on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. This keeps the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Layer ⅓ of the noodles over the sauce. Overlap lasagna noodles, using 4 noodles per layer. Spread with ⅓ of the cottage cheese mixture. Add ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese and ⅓ of the meat sauce.
- Repeat two more times (noodles, cottage cheese, mozzarella, meat sauce). Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 35 min. Uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow lasagna to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- For best results use full-fat cottage cheese. Low-fat or Non-fat will water down the lasagna.
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I absolutely loved this lasagna! I’m a college student, so I wanted to bake something that would leave me with leftovers so I didn’t have to cook throughout the week. I didn’t get tired of it after having it for four days (I freezed the leftovers). Personally, I don’t care for cottage cheese so I used ricotta instead and it tasted AMAZING! Thanks 🙂
What brand of HOT Breakfast sausage did you use in this recipe. Also, for the basil and parsley is that fresh or dried.
I think I used Jimmy Dean but any hot sausage works. The spices were both dried. Hope this helps!
My husband HATES lasagna. I made your recipe anyway. He ate it and hasn't stopped raving about it. He's converted 🙂
@ Close's – That is awesome! I am so glad he liked it. I am flattered!
Great recipe! I've been making lasagna for many years and the last time I made it I was disappointed. (it came out more runny then normal) So I used this recipe! The cottage cheese mixture made ALL the difference. WE LOVED IT! The only difference is that I used one package sweet itilian sausage and one package of hot breakfast sausage. 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and a good handfull or two of parsley in the cottage cheese mixture. I will start making my lasanga this way EVERY time! Such a hit! Thank you! We love your blog!
@Steffani– Thank you so much! I like the modifications you did and will have to try them next time. Great suggestions!
Made this a week ago and LOVED IT! Had to add a little liquid so I could simmer it but it was AWESOME! Making it again tonight at my husbands request — we're having the missionaries over for dinner and he wants them to 'experience the goodness'! LOL!
Thanks so much!
made this and it was DELICIOUS!! My husband LOVED it as well. Thank you so much. Seriously, I look at your site almost daily to get new recipes and ideas. I pretty much make your Mac and Cheese on a weekly basis 🙂 Love LOTS of your recipes. Thank you for sharing them 🙂