Homemade no boil lasagna bechamel with bolognese and mushrooms is the best lasagna recipe yet! This union of two traditional sauces and the world’s favorite casserole is a match made in heaven! Shall we?
(Recept na bosanskom: Lazanja Bešamel i Bolonjez (Sa Gljivama i Tijestom Bez Kuhanja))
Everyone loves lasagna! What’s not to love?
This beloved casserole is all about comforting layers of pasta sheets softened with decadent toppings. Topped with endless cheese, of course.
There are many, many ways to make it. However, today’s lasagna with no cook sheets will quickly become your favorite. That’s a guarantee!
This (almost) from scratch recipe is a perfect union of traditional and modern. Except for the noodles, everything is homemade!
It’s stuffed with bolognese and bechamel sauces for that traditional rich and juicy taste. For the modern twist I used the no-boil noodles and a semi-hard edam cheese instead of parmesan.
A word of warning! This dish requires patience, attention and caressing. In that vein, if you only have 30 minutes to make dinner, you’re better off trying our chicken and rice casserole or leek risotto.
Lasagna, in the words of a Washington Post article, “has never been an everyday dish!”
Why this recipe works?
1. Like all the best lasagnas this one is made with two excellent sauces: bechamel and bolognese!
- Bechamel is a basic, white sauce belonging to French mother sauces. It’s made with milk (or heavy cream) that’s thickened with a roux (paste made with equal parts flour and fat). Bechamel is used by itself, or to enrich other sauces.
- Bolognese is the best known Italian meat sauce, known also as ragù by the Bolognese. Although recipes vary, the best kind is made by a long simmer of ground or minced beef (and fatty pork), over onions (and other vegetables) until a thick aromatic sauce forms.
2. No-boil sheets will become your go-to!
- Nothing beats homemade lasagna sheets! Homemade is best.
- BUT! If you’re choosing between regular and oven ready lasagna sheets, choose the second kind. While no cook noodles didn’t use to be great (they were thick and dry back in the day!), today they’re the best. Perfectly thin, combined with rich sauces this no boil pasta comes out soft and delicious.
3. Instead of the parmesan (or Parmigiano-Reggiano) I’ve used edam!
- Lasagna is usually made with either bechamel sauce or ricotta cheese. (Bechamel is usually topped with parmesan.) So bechamel vs ricotta, which one should you use?
- It’s a matter of preference. If you like a grittier taste, go with ricotta. Just know that the texture of baked ricotta is different than the fresh.
- Myself, I’ve always been the bechamel lasagna type of girl. And, while I like parmesan, I love edam! It’s a Dutch cheese, and has nothing to do with Italian cuisine. But for whatever reason, it makes the dish taste divine.
- Bolognese meat: Sub with ground turkey or pork. For a stronger taste, add 2-3 ounces diced bacon to the beef.
- Bechamel: Sub the sauce with ricotta but be aware that the texture is gritty and dry, especially when baked.
- Mushrooms: Sub with cremini, shiitake or a mix of. Not a fan of mushrooms? Sub with diced zucchini.
- Cheese: Sub with parmesan for a more Italian taste. Otherwise, use gouda. For freshest taste shred cheese at home.
No boil lasagna noodles instructions and tips!
What are no cook lasagna sheets like: In looks and taste these are closer to homemade lasagna than the regular. These thin noodles don’t require cooking ahead. Finished they’re soft and smooth.
They soften during baking: They soften by being baked in topping juices. As long as your sauces are juicy (if you follow our recipe they will be!) the sheets will soften perfectly. No boil lasagna doesn’t expand, but instead behaves just like homemade.
Soaking ahead: No need to soften or soak no-boil noodles ahead. If you really insist, boil them for 1-2 minutes only. Again, not necessary at all!
Substituting sheets: Substitute no boil for regular sheets easily by skipping the boiling step, and layering them as they are.
Assembling: Layer this lasagna the same way as any other. Think several rich layers of bechamel, bolognese and cheese nicely divided by lacy layers of no-boil lasagna noodles.
Baking time: No boil lasagna doesn’t require longer baking! Bechamel and bolognese soften the noodles during the 15-20 minute bake.
Make ahead: Assemble just before baking. Bolognese can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Bechamel should be made just ahead of the assembly.
Storage: Keep leftover lasagna in the fridge up to 2 days in a tightly sealed plastic wrap.
Freezing: If you’re wondering how to freeze lasagna with no boil noodles, after baking, allow it to cool down, put into freezer bags (or containers), then freeze. You can cut it up, or freeze it whole up to 1 month. To bake, thaw completely. Bake for 20 minutes, top with cheese, and bake another 5-10 minutes.
Reheating: Heat in the oven (highly preferred!) or microwave. If it was frozen, let thaw completely before baking.
How to make today’s no-boil lasagna with bechamel and bolognese? (Super quick instructions!):
How to make bolognese sauce for no boil lasagna:
- Heat up oil. Caramelize garlic and onion.
- Add ground beef. Simmer.
- Add mushrooms. Simmer.
- Add tomato sauce, herbs and spices. Simmer. Remove off heat.
How to make bechamel sauce for no cook lasagna:
- Melt butter.
- Add flour. Whisk until a smooth paste forms.
- Whisk in milk.
- Finally, whisk in heavy cream. Stir until the sauce thickens. Remove off heat.
How to assemble lasagna with no cook noodles:
- Line baking pan with no-boil lasagna sheets. Heat oven.
- Cover lasagna sheets with bechamel.
- Spread bolognese over bechamel.
- Top bolognese with grated cheese. Repeat 3 more times, but leave cheese off the last layer. Bake lasagna 15 min.
- Add remaining cheese on top. Bake 5 more min.
- Serve warm.
Want more layered recipes?
Would you do me a favor? If you make this recipe leave a rating, comment or tag @balkanlunchbox on IG. (P.S. I read every comment!) Prijatno (aka bon appetit)!Print
Homemade no boil lasagna bechamel with bolognese and mushrooms – two traditional sauces in the world’s favorite casserole. What’s not to love?
- 6 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion (larger, diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 16 ounces ground beef
- 10.5 – 12 ounces portabello mushrooms
- 7 ounces tomato sauce
- Herbs and spices to taste (parsley, celery, basil, oregano, salt, pepper or about 1/2 teaspoon each)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 16 ounces milk (warm)
- 7 ounces heavy cream (warm)
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 14–16 ounces cheese (gouda, edam, or other hard yellow cheese, grated)
- No boil lasagna sheets (I used 12 sheets sized 3.5×7 inches)*
- In a large pan, heat up oil over medium (2 min). Add onion and garlic and simmer until crystalized (3-5 min).
- Add ground beef and simmer until no longer pink, stirring occasionally (5 min).
- Add mushrooms, stir well and simmer until mushrooms sweat (6-7 min).
- Stir in tomato sauce, herbs, spices and sugar. Simmer (2-3 min), and remove off heat. The sauce should have more liquid than the usual bolognese.
- In a large, wide pan melt butter on low to medium (2 min).
- Add flour and whisk vigorously to prevent lumps from forming while forming a paste (1-2 min). The mix should achieve a golden color and be smooth.
- Stir (or whisk) in milk.
- Stir (or whisk) in heavy cream and salt. Continue stirring (2-3 min) and watching the thickness. When the sauce is about the thickness of tomato sauce, or thinner it is done.* Remove off heat.
- Line bottom of a baking pan (9×13 inch or 22x33cm) with lasagna sheets.* Heat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Add a layer of bechamel (roughly 1/4 of the sauce), and evenly distribute, covering lasagna sheets completely.
- Add a layer of bolognese (roughly 1/4 of the sauce) over bechamel, and evenly distribute.
- Top bolognese with cheese (1/4 of grated cheese). Repeat steps 1-4 three more times, but don’t put the cheese on the top most layer right away. (Layer 1: lasagna sheets, bechamel, bolognese, cheese; layer 2: lasagna sheets, bechamel, bolognese, cheese; layer 3: lasagna sheets, bechamel, bolognese, cheese; layer 4: lasagna sheets, bechamel and bolognese.) Bake 15 minutes.
- Take lasagna out and top with remaining cheese. Return to oven for 5 more minutes.
- Serve warm.
*Bechamel step 3: If the sauce is too thick add more milk. If it’s too thin simmer longer or add a little more roux. However, for this recipe it’s preferable that bechamel runs on a thinner side.
*Assembly step 1: The number of sheets will depend on the type of lasagna you buy. We needed 3 sheets each layer, and had 4 layers for the total of 12 no boil lasagna sheets.
Ingredient notes: Sheet size: adjust these to your pan. I used 12 sheets (3 per a layer) sized 3.5×7 inches as these fit my pan. Bolognese meat: Sub with ground turkey or pork. For a stronger taste, add 2-3 ounces diced bacon to the beef. Bechamel: Sub the sauce with ricotta but be aware that the texture is gritty and dry, especially when baked. Mushrooms: Sub with cremini, shiitake or a mix of. Not a fan of mushrooms? Sub with diced zucchini. Cheese: Sub with parmesan for a more Italian taste. Otherwise, use gouda. For freshest taste shred cheese at home.
Method notes: Regular vs no boil sheets: You can easily substitute no boil for regular sheets. You simply skip the boiling step, and layer them as they are. Make ahead: Assemble lasagna just before baking. Bolognese can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Bechamel should be made just ahead of the assembly. Storage: Keep leftover lasagna in the fridge up to 2 days in a tightly sealed plastic wrap. Freezing: After baking, allow it to cool down, put into freezer bags (or containers), then freeze. You can cut it up or freeze it whole up to 1 month. To bake, thaw lasagna completely. Bake for 20 minutes, add cheese on top, and bake another 5-10 minutes. Reheating: Heat in the oven (highly preferred!) or microwave. If it was frozen, let thaw completely before baking.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
- Serving Size: (1 of 5 servings)
- Calories: 1082
- Sugar: 11.7g
- Sodium: 1952mg
- Fat: 71.8g
- Saturated Fat: 34.8g
- Carbohydrates: 46.7g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Protein: 62.1g
- Cholesterol: 242mg
Keywords: no boil lasagna, bechamel lasagna, bolognese lasagna with mushrooms