Olive Garden Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is definitely a dish that doesn’t require much introduction, but when it comes to Olive Garden Lasagna Classico, it takes this traditional Italian dish to a whole new level.

Olive Garden is an oasis for all of us who appreciate a good Italian-American cuisine mix, and it is well known for its pizza, pasta, and famous chicken and gnocchi soup.

When it comes to perfectly executed dishes such as this one, you may think that you’d never be able to replicate them at home. However, what’s standing in the way between you and a perfect Olive Garden lasagna is a foolproof recipe.

How to make Olive Garden Lasagna

When it comes to the Olive Garden lasagna recipe, we’d say that the secret is in the perfect blend of seasonings, dried herbs, and of course – high-quality beef and parmesan cheese.

As with any lasagna recipe, it is necessary to properly brown, then slow cook the meat to get the perfect sauce texture and to allow the meat to release all its natural juices and flavors.

Another important factor is the cooking time of the assembled lasagna, as it needs to be baked for at least 30 minutes total to marry all of these different aromas and textures together.

Also, keep in mind that some lasagna sheets/noodles require cooking before you assemble the dish. If you’re in a rush, you can always use a no-boil brand instead.

However, some people choose to briefly boil these noodles as well, as the no-boil ones tend to turn out al dente.

Ingredients:

(12 servings)

Instructions:

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 325°F while you assemble your lasagna.

Grab a large skillet, then add olive oil, minced garlic, and diced onion, and allow them to get soft. Make sure to adjust the temperature to prevent them from burning, as that could develop a really bitter, off-putting taste.

Step 2:

Once the garlic and the onion are soft and fragrant, it is time to add the meat – both the ground beef and the Italian sausage.

Set the heat to medium, then stir all of the ingredients together and allow the meat to cook for at least 15 minutes.

There may be some excess fat to drain, so make sure to do that before you proceed with adding other ingredients.

However, make sure to leave some of the natural meat sauce, as it is packed with beautiful, savory flavors and that irresistible beef aroma.

Step 3:

Pour in both cans of crushed tomatoes, as well as 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, and stir well.

At this point, you can lower the heat and allow the Olive Garden lasagna sauce to simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, season the lasagna sauce with pepper and salt to taste, then set it aside.

Step 4:

Add ricotta cheese, 1 beaten egg, as well as 1/2 tsp of oregano in a mixing bowl, then whisk the ingredients together to create a cohesive mixture.

You also want to add a pinch of salt and the desired amount of pepper.

Grab your baking dish and grease it with some olive oil to prevent the lasagna noodles from sticking to the bottom.

You also want to add a tablespoon of the cheese mixture to the bottom of the dish before going in with the lasagna sheets/noodles.

Step 5:

The lasagna layering process should go as follows: a layer of noodles, then a layer of cheese mixture topped with the meat sauce.

Continue layering until you’re left with the last layer of lasagna sheets, which should be topped with meat sauce and shredded mozzarella for a cheesy top layer.

Step 6:

At this point, the oven has reached the required temperature. Cover the baking dish with a piece of aluminum foil, which will allow the noodles to cook without drying them out.

Bake the covered Olive Garden lasagna for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to get a golden, crispy, melting top layer.

Ingredient substitutions

One of the many advantages of Italian cuisine is that it is quite flexible when it comes to ingredients, as well as the cooking methods.

While we certainly feel that this classic, traditional recipe is the most famous one for a reason, a little twist here and there can’t hurt.

If you aren’t too fond of any of the mentioned ingredients, or you simply feel like this Olive Garden lasagna recipe lacks your favorite seasoning or cheese – you’re more than welcome to follow your instinct and try something different.

1. Ground pork

Don’t like the beef? You can always go with pork as one of the most versatile, convenient alternatives there are.

Many people aren’t too appreciative of the strong aroma beef has, so they gravitate toward the more neutral ground pork which is extremely easy to combine with many different ingredients.

You can always add your favorite seasonings to enrich the meat sauce and make it more to your liking.

2. Pork sausage

Once again, pork produce comes as a neat replacement for a lasagna ingredient. In this case, pork sausage would be a pretty good substitute for Italian sausage.

Keep in mind that Italian sausage is often more on the spicy, peppery side, as opposed to pork sausage which is usually quite mild (but you can always look for the hot variant).

3. Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce is an excellent replacement for crushed tomatoes if you’re worried about developing the flavors yourself.

This sauce comes pre-seasoned, so you don’t have to worry about adding any additional seasonings or herbs to your meat sauce to achieve that complexity and depth of flavor.

However, we suggest you taste the marinara sauce before you add any additional salt and pepper.

What to serve with Olive Garden lasagna

Can anything you serve with this cheesy lasagna beat its complex flavor profile and intoxicating aroma?

We’d say that the lasagna will remain the focal point no matter what you decide to pair it with, but there are certain side dishes that could complement it.

Garlic bread

Carbs on carbs? Why not! Hot garlic bread fresh out of the oven is a delicious snack no one will be able to say no to.

There are many variations of garlic pastry, including garlic breadsticks and garlic knots, that could be paired with your Olive Garden lasagna.

Parmesan cheese

You can never have too much cheese in your lasagna, so why not top it off with some freshly grated parmesan cheese?

Parmesan cheese on top of the lasagna will intensify the aroma of the cheese mixture in the lasagna, and also add more texture to each bite.

Veggie salad

We wouldn’t blame you if you decided to add a simple veggie salad on the side of your lasagna to brighten up the dish, as it is quite heavy and flavor-packed.

Make sure to keep the dressing as simple as possible, as you don’t need any additional flavors in this combination.

How to reheat Olive Garden lasagna

Since this recipe serves 12 people, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you had some leftovers, no matter how delicious it was.

Here’s how you can heat up your lasagna without drying it out and making the noodles rubbery and chewy.

How to reheat Olive Garden lasagna in the microwave

We’d recommend microwaving your lasagna one piece at a time, as this method will give you the best results.

Place a piece of lasagna onto a microwave-safe dish, then pour two tablespoons of water on top to preserve the moisture.

Heat up the lasagna on high heat for about 90 seconds. If necessary, repeat the process, making sure to use shorter intervals.

How to reheat Olive Garden lasagna in the oven

This may be the most convenient method if you’re reheating a bigger batch of lasagna. It is also the method that shouldn’t dry out the lasagna too much if you do it correctly.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the leftover lasagna on a baking tray, then sprinkle some water on top and cover with aluminum foil. You can also add more shredded cheese on top.

Bake the covered lasagna for 15-20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes to get a crispy top layer.

How to store Olive Garden lasagna

Many people prefer to make a big batch of lasagna they can store and reheat whenever they’re craving Italian lasagna.

If stored properly, you will be able to enjoy your Olive Garden lasagna for months to come.

Store in the fridge

Allow the lasagna to cool down completely at room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container.

Refrigerated lasagna should be used up within 5 days.

Store in the freezer

Transfer your leftover, cooled lasagna to an airtight container, or a freezer bag, and make sure it is completely sealed.

Frozen lasagna can last for up to 2 months.

olive garden lasagna recipe

Olive Garden Lasagna Recipe

This copycat Olive Garden lasagna recipe will fill your house with aromas of melted cheese, oregano, and meat sauce. It is an ideal choice if you're hosting a big dinner, or you want something special and extremely filling for a holiday feast. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 people
Calories 422 kcal
Equipment
  • baking dish
  • Knife
  • mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
Ingredients
  
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 12 lasagna sheets
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 oz onion finely chopped
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (around 28 oz)
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 egg beaten
  • TT salt
  • TT pepper
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F while you assemble your lasagna.
    Grab a large skillet, then add olive oil, minced garlic, and diced onion, and allow them to get soft. Make sure to adjust the temperature to prevent them from burning, as that could develop a really bitter, off-putting taste.
  • Once the garlic and the onion are soft and fragrant, it is time to add the meat - both the ground beef and the Italian sausage.
    Set the heat to medium, then stir all of the ingredients together and allow the meat to cook for at least 15 minutes.
    There may be some excess fat to drain, so make sure to do that before you proceed with adding other ingredients.
    However, make sure to leave some of the natural meat sauce, as it is packed with beautiful, savory flavors and that irresistible beef aroma.
  • Pour in both cans of crushed tomatoes, as well as 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, and stir well.
    At this point, you can lower the heat and allow the Olive Garden lasagna sauce to simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
    After 20 minutes, season the lasagna sauce with pepper and salt to taste, then set it aside.
  • Add ricotta cheese, 1 beaten egg, as well as 1/2 tsp of oregano in a mixing bowl, then whisk the ingredients together to create a cohesive mixture.
    You also want to add a pinch of salt and the desired amount of pepper.
    Grab your baking dish and grease it with some olive oil to prevent the lasagna noodles from sticking to the bottom.
    You also want to add a tablespoon of the cheese mixture to the bottom of the dish before going in with the lasagna sheets/noodles.
  • The lasagna layering process should go as follows: a layer of noodles, then a layer of cheese mixture topped with the meat sauce.
    Continue layering until you're left with the last layer of lasagna sheets, which should be topped with meat sauce and shredded mozzarella for a cheesy top layer.
  • At this point, the oven has reached the required temperature. Cover the baking dish with a piece of aluminum foil, which will allow the noodles to cook without drying them out.
    Bake the covered Olive Garden lasagna for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to get a golden, crispy, melting top layer.
Nutrition
Calories: 422kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 48gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 1899mg
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