The Best Lasagna (without Ricotta)

This lasagna combines sausage, smoked mozzarella, and from-scratch tomato sauce for the best lasagna recipe without using ricotta cheese.

lasagna with layers of sausage and ricotta visible and red 9 x 13 pan in background

My mom is Italian and I have always thought of myself as a pretty good Italian cook. When I was first married I made tons of lasagna, ravioli, and other filled pasta.. But one day, my husband informed me that actually he doesn’t like ricotta cheese. I was appalled. It still doesn’t really make sense to me, because I don’t think ricotta has that much flavor.

But he hates it, and asked me to make a lasagna recipe without it. I tried substituting sour cream, and that was okay, but the best option was actually cottage cheese.

I use half smoked mozzarella and half plain, but if you can’t find smoked or don’t like, using all plain is great too. Look for one made with whole milk.

Also, I used to go through the whole charade of boiling classic lasagna noodles, and one day I tried the no-bake kind and I actually think they are way better! So don’t be afraid of that shortcut.

To complete the meal:

Here’s the recipe!

The Best Lasagna without Ricotta

Print Recipe
Prep Time:45 mins
Cook Time:50 mins
Total Time:1 hr 35 mins
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For the sauce:

  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage casings remove
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

To make the lasagna:

  • 12 no-bake lasagna noodles
  • 1 15 ounce container whole milk cottage cheese
  • 1 cup smoked mozzarella shredded
  • 1 cup whole milk mozzarella shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


  • Cook the ground beef and sausage and in a large skillet over medium heat.  Transfer to large bowl and pour out excess grease.
  • In the same pan, heat the olive oil and cook the onion until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.  Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and return the cooked meat to the sauce.  Simmer 15 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Combine cottage cheese and 1/2 cup of each type of mozzarella in a medium bowl.  Mix in the egg and 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush a 13 x 9 pan with olive oil.  Layer 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom, 1/4 of a cup of the cheese, 1 tablespoon of the parmesan, and 3 lasagna noodles.  Repeat 3 more times.  Sprinkle the top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and the remaining tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
  • Cover tightly and bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving, and serve immediately.


To make ahead, assemble completely and refrigerator for 1 day or freeze, unbaked, for up to 1 month.


Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 403mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 382IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian- American
Keyword: lasagna with sausage, lasagna with smoked mozzarella, lasagna without ricotta
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartscontentfarmhouse so I can see!

It’s a great recipe and I hope you like it!

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Click here to subscribe By on November 21st, 2019

5 thoughts on “The Best Lasagna (without Ricotta)”

  1. This is a blog to watch for sure. I think you have a really awesome writing style by the way. Very easy to read. Your blog design is so clean too! Thank you all the hard work!

  2. My husband also hates ricotta. He says it’s the texture. I have always made lasagna with no bake noodles and cottage cheese. No bake noodles are really good! The cottage cheese doesn’t bother my husband in the lasagna, but he won’t eat it plain. Go figure!


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