This no-bechamel beef lasagna is filled with layers of rich tomato-based beef ragu and covered with creamy mozzarella. It is so quick to make as I share a trick that cooks the meat faster.
No-bechamel beef lasagna using my secret equipment
Most classic lasagnas call for that cheesy bechamel to be poured on top for added richness and creaminess. However I have swapped the creamy sauce for extra tomato sauce as a healthy twist. If you have a super rich tomato-based sauce you do not need to pour bechamel over your lasagna. It also saves you time in the kitchen.
I am always looking for ways to cut down cooking time without compromising on taste and quality. I have used my time-saving equipment which is the PRESSURE COOKER! It not only helps soften the meat but it also saves 20 minutes of cooking time, and the result is a rich and super flavourful beef ragu that tastes like it has been simmering for several hours.
What you will need to make this delicious tomato-based lasagna
- Beef: Use lean minced beef. It is not only healthier but it also saves time as there is no fat to skim off.
- Tomato: Passata sauce works well with lasagna. You can use any tomato sauce.
- Lasagna sheets: Fresh lasagna sheets are softer and have a shorter cooking time than dry ones. If you are using dry precook them in boiling water for a few minutes until soft before assembling the lasagna.
- Cheese: For this recipe I have used mainly mozzarella as it melts nicely and you get the cheese pull effect. You can try with a combination of cheeses such as cheddar, or parmesan for a stronger flavour.
- Onion and garlic: These ingredient make the base of the sauce and add flavour to the beef.
- Beef stock: You do not need much seasoning if you are using beef stock. It adds richness and lots of flavour to the ragu sauce.
- Herbs: Use a combination of herbs. I find thyme, parsley or basil work really well for this recipe.
Tips and tricks for a flavourful lasagna
- Use lean minced beef as it cooks well, it is not fattening and it saves you time from skimming off fat.
- Less layers and more filling make the perfect lasagna. Don’t be tempted to add more layers of lasagna sheets if you have enough filling. Three layers work well for this recipe. The lasagna needs room to cook as it expands and absorbs some of the sauce during cooking.
- Make more than enough tomato sauce: You want to end up with enough sauce that coats the lasagna when it comes out of the oven. As we are not using bechamel in this recipe, we need more sauce to coat the layers of lasagna.
- You can prepare ahead and leave the lasagna to sit in the sauce before baking. It allows the flavours to further develop before baking.
- 250g fresh lasagna sheets
- 500g lean minced beef
- 400g tomato sauce
- 300ml Beef stock
- 1 mozzarella ball
- 150g grated mozzarella
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Small bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp oil
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and sweat the onions. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the minced beef and brown in 2 batches.
- Once browned stir in the tomato sauce. Pour the beef stock and cover the pressure cooker with its lid. Pressure cook on medium to high heat for 10-15 minutes. This will result in soft minced beef and rich tomato sauce, perfect for the lasagna. Ensure there is enough sauce and the
- Add the parsley to the cooked beef and mix well. Season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. In a rectangular baking tray add some beef ragu at the base. Cover with a lasagna sheet and spread more beef on it, making sure the lasagna is covered in sauce. Spread some grated mozzarella, and repeat until you have used all the sauce. Shred the mozzarella ball and scatter on top of the lasagna, with more grated mozzarella.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the cheese has browned on top. Rest for a few minutes before serving.
1. Stock: You can use stock melt as an alternative to beef stock. Add the stock melt to the beef with 300ml of water.
2. Tomato sauce: Ensure that the beef ragu has got plenty of sauce, as the lasagna will need some liquid to cook.
3. Lasagna sheets: You can use dry lasagna sheets as an alternative. Ensure they are precooked and al-dente before assembling.
4. Do not overbake: As soon as the cheese has browned on top take the lasagna out of the oven to ensure it is perfectly baked and soft. You want a lasagna that is cooked, without drying out the sauce.
Serving Size:4-6 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490
If you enjoyed the Beef lasagna, why not try other beef recipes such as this tasty Thai Chilli Beef which is packed with flavours of basil and red chillies.