When is the last time you took your classic beef lasagna recipe and mixed it up a bit? Recently, we did just that with our Beef + Italian Sausage Lasagna with Caramelized Onions. The onions gave this easy lasagna recipe lots of savory flavors! This is one extra meaty lasagna and it gave us life! Isn’t time you took your lasagna game to the next level? Get the recipe below and give it a try!
Beef + Italian Sausage Lasagna With Caramelized Onions
Issathing, when either myself or the wife remembers to take out some type of meat for dinner early in the morning so it will be thawed by the time dinner prep rolls around.
Recently, it has come to our attention, courtesy of our 2nd twin, that we need to add more variety when it comes to our dinner menu. Well, la dee da! Who died and made this guy in charge of the supper menu? The nerve! Anyhow, at some point lasagna comes up as a possible choice and when lasagna enters the conversation, forget about it, we couldn’t let it go. Here’s what we did!
I added the Italian sausage to the lean ground beef and finished browning our protein combo of choice, Moo and squeal! Sorry, not sorry, vegans! After the meat had finished browning, I strained off the excess grease and set it aside.
Next, I sat a large stock pot of water on the stovetop in preparation for the pasta. As the water heated, I began caramelizing the onions in a hot skillet with melted goat butter, sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Once the onions began to brown slightly, I turned the heat to low and slowly let them do their thang. Over the next 40 minutes, I pre-cooked the pasta, and finished prepping the rest of the ingredients and the onions took on a whole different and delicious vibe. Caramelized onions are just the absolute best of the best. If the boys don’t like this, I am sending them back to the hospital. Honest!
I always brush the bottom of the lasagna dish with extra-virgin olive oil and ladle in two cups of sauce. This does two things, it is a foundation built on flavor, and it prevents the lasagna from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Win and win!
Next, I add the lasagna pasta. I only cooked these in boiling water for five (5) minutes and cooled them in an ice-water bath. This ensures you aren’t working with pasta that is going to fall apart, and unlike working with uncooked pasta, which is an actual thing, the cooked lasagna will expand and will fill up space without leaving any gaps at both ends or the sides of the pan, who wants gaps? Not I.
And since this is a Ricotta cheese lasagna, at least mostly, I am using lots of ricotta. I prefer the Ricotta to reach room temperature only because it makes it spreadable and easier to work with. I also used Mozzarella and fragrantly pungent Parmigiano-Reggiano too.
Next time, I think I am only going to use ricotta and caramelized onion. What do you think?
I was seriously thinking about stopping the whole procedure at this point and just dig in!
Lots of lean ground beef and savory Italian sausage went into this lasagna, and I ain’t even mad!
The colors are lit, and the fresh peppers and green onions only add to the already bursting flavor profile!
I topped the whole thing off with a ton of shredded Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Clearly you understand why?
Out of the oven and time to dig in! But you know what? It will only taste better tomorrow! But only if there are leftovers to be had. Fingers crossed!
How to make Italian Sausage & Caramelized Onions + Ricotta Lasagna
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 large sweet red bell pepper
- 5 green onions, sliced
- 1 16-ounce container of ricotta cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 medium yellow onions
- 1 package of lasagna pasta, cooked for 5 minutes in boiling water,
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons goat butter
- sea salt
- freshly cracked black peppercorns
- fresh parsley, chopped
- Prep the green and red peppers, and garlic. Grate the cheese, and mince the parsley. Set these ingredients aside or if you are not using them right away store them in the fridge. Make sauce if making your sauce from scratch. I used jar pasta sauce for this recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, rinse with cold water, and slice four (4) yellow or sweet onions, place a large skillet over med/high heat and add butter. When the butter has melted add the sliced onions, add sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste. When the onions start to brown, reduce the heat to low and cook for thirty-five (35) minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Set a large stockpot over high heat and when the water is boiling add a pinch of sea salt and the pasta, allow the pasta to cook for five (5) minutes, strain off the hot water and run cold water over the pasta. Keep the pasta submerged in the pot with the cold water to keep the lasagna pasta from sticking together. Set aside.
- Brush the bottom of the dish with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Spoon a jar of pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish and add one layer of lasagna pasta until the bottom of the pan is covered, add ricotta cheese, caramelized onions, ground beef and Italian sausage mixture, then more pasta sauce, add another layer of pasta, pasta sauce, ground beef and Italian sausage mixture, mozzarella, diced green and red peppers with minced garlic. Repeat the layers until you are on the final layer, then top with shredded mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
- Place the lasagna on the center rack of a 350 degree preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the time has expired remove the lasagna from the oven and allow it to cool for 15-minutes. Serve with garlic bread, fresh chopped parsley, and more shredded cheese, and good red wine doesn’t hurt either. Salud!
What wine to drink with a red sauce lasagna?
I prefer more full-bodied reds like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah/Malbec blend, as of late I have been enjoying Spanish wines a lot too, in my opinion, wines hailing from Espana are some of the best and most underrated wines being produced today. If you are a fan of red wine, give a nice Rioja Crianza a try!
When the smell of just out of the oven lasagna is filling up the house, I went looking for wine and found this Farmer’s Red we picked up in Ohio a few summers ago. It was a bit sweet for my taste, but it worked out just fine. Cheers. Let’s eat! Oh, it turns out our boys loved this dish, so I don’t have to return them to the hospital. Lucky me… I really hope these pics are making you so hungry! Yes, didn’t you know? I am slightly malicious too!
Let me tell you, adding caramelized onions to this mix of wonderful flavors was SO the right choice. Worth. The. Wait!
After decanting the wine for 15-minutes I took another sip, the wine had opened up a bit more. What could be better than a delicious home-cooked lasagna and a glass of wine? Not much. Cheers!
When’s the last time you made lasagna at your house? Give our recipe a try and come back and let us know!
Pin to your Pinterest board for later: