square photo of a piece of lasagna with béchamel on a blue plate
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4.34 from 6 votes

Classic Lasagna with Béchamel Recipe

This Classic Lasagna with Béchamel is packed full of flavor! Layers of lasagna noodles, a rich beef and tomato sauce, a creamy white sauce and then topped with cheese. Perfect for the whole family! Lasagna takes time, but it is definitely worth it. Plus it can be made in advance making it great for casual entertaining or a busy weekend.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 680kcal
Author: Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
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Ingredients

For the Ragu Bolognese:

  • 2 large onions - see note 1
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes - see note 2
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 cans crushed/chopped tomato (28oz/800g cans)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Béchamel (White Sauce):

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • pinch mustard powder
  • 6 cups milk
  • salt and pepper

For the Lasagna:

  • 10 oz dried lasagna sheets - see note 3
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar/Monterey jack
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • finely chopped parsley/basil - for garnish

Instructions

Ragu Bolognese:

  • Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan.
  • Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured.
  • Add in the ground beef, and use the spatula to break it apart.
  • Turn up the heat and let the beef cook and start to brown.
  • Crush in the garlic and crumble over the beef bouillon cubes.
  • Add in the red wine and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, dried oregano, Italian mixed herbs, salt, pepper and water.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the lid and cook on a low heat for 2 hours, then remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes until the sauce has softened and thickened.

Once the ragu has had 2 hours make the Béchamel:

  • Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat.
  • Add the flour and mustard powder, then whisk it constantly for a minute.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the milk to the flour mixture and mix until it is incorporated.
  • Add another 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until lump free.
  • Keep adding the milk a little at a time until it has all been added.
  • Turn the heat up and cook for 6-8 minutes stirring regularly until it has thickened.
  • Season well with salt and pepper.

To Assemble:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC
  • Spoon a thin layer of the ragu on the base of a 13 x 9 x 3" roasting dish.
  • Add a layer of the lasagna sheets.
  • Spread a layer of ragu over the lasagna sheets and then add a little over a cup of béchamel.
  • Repeat the layers twice more.
  • On top of the 4th layer of lasagna sheets, pour out the remaining béchamel. (It will be a thick layer but that is what you want. See note 4)
  • Sprinkle with the three cheeses and bake for 30 minutes until golden.
  • Let the lasgana stand for 10 minutes before garnishing with parsley and serving.

Notes

  1. You can use brown, white or red onions here.
  2. Beef bouillon cubes add so much flavor. I like OXO brand, but you can replace with any brand or use Beef Better than Bouillon.
  3. Use either 'No cook' or 'Instant' lasagna sheets. Alternatively fresh pasta sheets can be used.
  4. The top layer of your lasagna should have a nice thick creamy layer of béchamel. The recipe is generous and if you have used a little less on the middle layers you might find you have leftovers. Any remaining white sauce can be frozen.
  5. TO MAKE AHEAD:
    • Prepare as instructed then cover and refrigerate until needed. To cook, remove the lasagna from the refrigerator for 30 minutes before you cook it. Then bake the lasagna for 45 minutes to ensure the middle is cooked through. (You may need to tent your lasagna with foil for some of the cooking time to ensure the cheese doesn't burn.)
  6. TO REHEAT LASAGNA:
    • To reheat this in the microwave. Add a single portion to a bowl, cover with a microwave cover (or cling wrap) and then microwave for 4-5 minutes until piping hot.
    • You can take this for lunch in a Thermo Flask: 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 680kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1167mg | Potassium: 883mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 12.5mg | Calcium: 402mg | Iron: 5mg
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