Sweet & Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna

This Italian sausage lasagna is my family’s recipe and it is fit for all lasagna lovers! Thin pasta noodles layered with rich marinara, sweet & spicy Italian sausage, and three Italian cheeses. You’ll find this recipe full of irresistible flavor and lots of fresh herbs!

Cheesy lasagna with a piece cut out of it.

This sweet & spicy sausage lasagna is quite the show-stopper. It is rich in flavor, very easy to prepare, and a true crowd-pleaser!

Each layer of this recipe has a little bit of spiciness and sweetness, three Italian cheeses, and lots of fresh basil for freshness.

I have lots of fond memories growing up of helping my mom layer lasagna or being the “sauce stirrer” as it simmered throughout the day for the lasagna. They are irreplaceable memories that really gave me the love for Italian food I have today.

I am so happy that my mom and I were able to develop this recipe together. It is absolutely DELICIOUS and uses my favorite sausage from Brooklyn Pork Store. Their meats are outrageously good and I have my aunt Valerie to thank for introducing me to their incredible products!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Lasagna noodles: use either boiled noodles and cook until “al dente” in texture or use no-boil/oven-ready lasagne noodles!
Italian sausage: this recipe calls for two links of spicy and two links of sweet Italian sausage.
Marinara: I always recommend using a quality marinara for lasagna. For homemade use our San Marzano Tomato Sauce or our favorite store-bought brand!
Mozzarella: mozzarella doesn’t bring a lot of flavor but it gives the melted cheesiness that is a must for lasagna! Gruyere cheese could work as well.
Parmesan: this cheese brings a ton of flavor to lasagna and is always the best partner to mozzarella.
Ricotta: this cheese is used for the “filling” – but I always recommend using a light layer so it doesn’t overwhelm your lasagna. You can also use mascarpone in place of ricotta.
Fresh basil: I add fresh basil to every baked pasta recipe because it adds such a bright & fresh flavor. I do not recommend replacing with dried basil because it will not bring that freshness we want.
Oregano: you can use either fresh or dried oregano!
Garlic: make it easy by using garlic powder or swap for 2-3 garlic cloves!
Egg: this is used to help bind the ricotta filling together.

Make Your Own Tomato Sauce

What makes this recipe so special, is making it with my family’s San Marzano Tomato Sauce. This sauce is rich in flavor, less acidic than most tomato sauces, and is the most delicious tomato sauce I’ve ever had. Use it to elevate your Italian sausage lasagna or any other Italian recipe! If you like a little spice, try our Italian Arrabbiata Sauce instead.

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Tips for Success and Recipe FAQs

  • Lightly layer ricotta filling. Most lasagnas have thick layers of ricotta cheese – which can sometimes take away key flavors in lasagna – in this lasagna you really want to taste garlic, herbs, and the sweet & spicy Italian sausage flavors. So in order to keep your lasagna light, fresh, and full of flavor keep your ricotta on the light side when layering. In the end it will add up to be just the right amount of cheesy consistency and the perfect balance of flavor!
  • Use lots of fresh basil. Fresh basil is key to any pasta dish and it really brings this whole lasagna together with it’s herby flavor. Layer chopped basil on every layer of the lasagna as well as the top for a fresh and savory basil flavor!
  • Use no boil noodles. This will save a ton of time and hassle – these noodles require no boiling and are oven ready right from the box to layer in your Italian sausage lasagna. I’ve done lasagna both ways – fresh boiled noodles or oven ready noodles. Both have given me great results.
  • What kind of sausage is best for lasagna? Sausages come in a lot of different flavors and levels of spice. For this recipe I recommend using 2 links of sweet Italian sausage and 2 links spicy Italian sausage. Ground beef can also be an option – but you will not get the level of flavor when using Italian sausage.
  • Don’t like ricotta? You can completely remove it from the lasagna and layer with just the sausage, marinara, and mozzarella & parmesan.

Best Tips for Storing Leftovers & Freezing Lasagna

Keeping leftover lasagna fresh: allow lasagna to cool before storing in an airtight container and keep chilled in refrigerator for 3-5 days. 

How to freeze & reheat lasagna (two ways): You can prepare the lasagna (do not bake), freeze ( 2-3months) then thaw and reheat as instructed. Or you can prepare and bake the lasagna then allow it to cool – freeze for 2-3 months then thaw and reheat in oven at 350F (covered) until center is hot. 

A baking dish with lasagna.

Why did my lasagna turn out dry?
Not having enough sauce can cause your lasagna to dry out after baking. Avoid dry lasagna by always having a little extra sauce on hand. Sometimes with lasagnas it’s hard to gage how much sauce you need, I always make more than what I think I need – but for this recipe you will need around 8-9 cups. This question also has to do with how you bake your lasagna – which I explain below.

Why did my lasagna turn out watery?
Bake covered for half the time and bake uncovered for the remaining time. For this lasagna I bake for 20 minutes covered to contain the right amount of moisture, and then 20 minutes uncovered so that the cooking process is even. I split the time so that I’m avoiding both the lasagna drying out or becoming too watery.

More Italian Favorites: 

This amazing Italian sausage lasagna has it ALL. It’s EASY, takes 1 hour to make, and it’s the perfect crowd pleasing dinner

Close up of lasagna cut into slices.

If you tried this Sweet & Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

Close up of lasagna cut into slices.

Sweet & Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna

5 from 11 votes

 A family favorite  –  Sweet & Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna. Layered with lots of fresh basil, three gooey cheeses, and sweet & spicy Italian sausage. Comforting, irresistible flavors and an absolute crowd-pleasing recipe! 

Servings 10 slices
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Tags: italian lasagna, sausage lasagna
Calories: 375 kcal
Author: Bethany Kramer


  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 8-10 cups tomato sauce (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 links spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 links sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped

Cheese Filling


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium size pot on medium heat, remove sausage from skin and break up in pan. Saute until fully cooked through about 5-7 minutes. Stir sauce in with sausage. 

  2. Mix all of the cheese filling ingredients together in a bowl.

  3. In a large 13×9 baking dish, layer: 1 1/2 cups sauce, lasagna noodles, spread ricotta filling (1 1/2 inch size scoops in center of each noodle)*, mozzarella cheese, fresh chopped basil. Repeat process until done. Layer top with rest of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 

  4. Bake for 20 minutes covered with foil and 20 minutes uncovered. Serve with fresh basil on top and parmesan cheese. 


Tomato Sauce – use my family’s famous San Marzano Tomato Sauce in this recipe. It’s the most popular recipe on my blog with so much rich flavor, fresh herbs, and is easily the best tomato sauce I’ve ever had.

Ricotta –  Use a cookie scoop to easily measure out the ricotta filling when adding to the lasagna.

This can serve 8 bigger slices of lasagna or 10 smaller portions. 

Nutrition Facts
Sweet & Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 102
% Daily Value*
Fat 11.3g17%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 45.7mg15%
Sodium 725.8mg30%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 36.3g12%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 33.3g67%
Vitamin A 0IU0%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 0mg0%
Iron 0mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Did you make this recipe? Share your photos and tag @asimplepalate #asimplepalate.


Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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Recipe Rating


  • Avatar for Jackie Jackie says:

    Hi! Can we substitute ground sweet and hot Italian sausage for the links? If so, how many ounces each or total? Thank you!

  • Avatar for Nicole Nicole says:

    5 stars
    I’ve never been a fan of lasagna. It was always boring and I don’t like ricotta cheese. I could never find a recipe that was adaptable to my tatsebuds. This recipe has CHANGED THE GAME! It was delicious. I subbed cottage cheese for the ricotta. This recipe change my entire outlook on lasagna. Thank you!!!!

  • Avatar for Danielle Danielle says:

    Hi Bethany, I would like to make the homemade sauce for the lasagna and also for a pot of meatballs to simmer them in. How much would I need to increase the sauce by to make all of it together? I didn’t know if the lasagna recipe uses the whole batch of sauce or if any leftover.

  • Avatar for AmandaG AmandaG says:

    5 stars
    This is truly outstanding! I went semi-homemade by using Bertolli organic tomato basil sauce. I also used a mix of sweet and spicy chicken and pork sausage. I used both fresh basil and dried, and minced garlic. I love the lightness of the ricotta – all other lasagna I’ve made and tried was too heavy on it and the restrained use of it here really does let the flavors shine through. The parmesan also gives the recipe some depth of flavor. I’m keeping this recipe for life!

  • Avatar for Speters Speters says:

    What is the final number of noodles? How many noodles per layer?

  • Avatar for Rich Rich says:

    5 stars
    I can’t believe the huge difference using the San Marzano tomato’s. This is the best thing I’ve ever made. I have 2 huge zip lock bags of the gravy to freeze and use for all kids of dishes. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  • Avatar for Albertina Albertina says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this great recipe. I made them today for the 2nd time and they were amazing. Perfect recipe and instructions too.

  • Avatar for Larry S. Larry S. says:

    I see you cook your lasagna in a glass dish… Does this work better than the stainless steel pans?

  • Avatar for Ree Ree says:

    Can I prepare this and leave uncooked till tomorrow.

  • Avatar for christall christall says:

    5 stars
    WOW! i took a photo and tagged you on instagram! this is the most amazing lasagna that i have ever eaten and i will probably refuse to try anyone elses after this. I dont even eat pork sausage, but i wanted to follow the entire recipe and it was AMAZING! the sauce, i some how had some left over so im freezing it for idk what later on but i cant wait! I’m going to save your site because i love some good italian homeade food!

  • Avatar for Tammy Tammy says:

    5 stars
    Love. Love. Love this recipe!!

  • Avatar for Doreen Doreen says:

    Hi Bethany, question, when I make the tomato sauce do I add in the liquid too from the cans or just the tomatoes?

  • Avatar for Monique Monique says:

    Hi Bethany,
    I am planning on making this dish ahead of time for Christmas. Am I better off freezing it unbaked or after it is baked and cooled?

    • Hi Monique! That’s a great idea. You can do both ways – but I personally like to bake it first then let it cool and freeze. Then reheat and enjoy it sooner! 😉

  • Avatar for Erin Erin says:

    Recently made the chicken Parmesan topped with homemade sauce recipe and it’s amazing! So I decided to made the lasagna for our family beach vacation. Plan on freezing then cooking there. Of course I forgot to add the meat after assembling, so I lifted the noodles up as much as possible and added the meat. I also used ground beef instead. Hope it comes out as good as the recipe looks! 🙂

  • Avatar for Rebecca Phaneuf Rebecca Phaneuf says:

    Hi we can use boiled lasagne noodles in this recipe correct? This is my first time making lasagna

  • Avatar for Doccindo Doccindo says:

    5 stars
    I’ve never commented on a recipe before today. This was absolutely delicious! I made the tomato sauce as well. I actually forgot to add the egg and perhaps this would have made the cheese mixture easier to spread. This is the lasagna I’ve been looking for all these years! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. (Sorry, too late to take a photo.)

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Woot woot! So happy to hear that. And honored to be your first recipe comment 🙂

  • Avatar for Ashlee Ashlee says:

    5 stars
    Bethany, I want to thank you so much because I made this lasagna, as well as your marinara sauce, for Christmas! It was a huge hit! Seriously, everyone couldn’t stop talking about it. Thank you for such an outstanding recipe! I can’t wait to make this again!

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      yay! I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂 They are special recipes to enjoy for the holidays. Thanks, Ashlee!!

  • Avatar for Karly Karly says:

    Delish! Love the sweet and spicy sausage combo!

  • Avatar for Sandy Sandy says:

    This sounds so good. Can you expand on what size the large baking dish is (measurements)?

  • Avatar for Jen Jen says:

    5 stars
    Made this for friends we had over and it was a HIT!! The sausage added so much flavor too. Will make again.

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