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For the ultimate Italian comfort food, you’ll love this Gluten Free Lasagna. It has layers of rich and hearty meat sauce, three kinds of cheese, and gluten free lasagna noodles. Once you learn which brand of pasta to choose and how to make it, there’s no doubt that you’ll be calling it the World’s Best Lasagna recipe ever!
Short on time? Make Gluten Free Instant Pot Lasagna!
Best Gluten Free Lasagna Recipe
My kid went through a phase where he was obsessed with Garfield. This love of Garfield led to neverending requests for a lasagna dinner.
When I went gluten free, I tried to satisfy my lasagna cravings with Lasagna Stuffed Meatloaf or Lasagna Stuffed Acorn Squash, especially since those are quicker to make. But my kiddo’s cartoon cat-inspired craving was the motivation I needed to turn it into an amazing homemade gluten free lasagna recipe
And it is guaranteed to be the best lasagna recipe you’ve ever had. By making it with the best gluten free lasagna noodles, you won’t even know the difference. This hearty Italian comfort food is always a family favorite. Now everyone can enjoy the layers of pasta, meat sauce, and creamy, gooey cheese, even if you have to eat gluten free. It is truly a labor of love.
Making Gluten Free Lasagna
There are some traditional lasagna recipes that call for a bechamel. This is a white cream sauce traditionally thickened with a roux made with flour and butter. The recipe I make does not have a bechamel sauce, so that is not a concern when making this gluten free lasagna. But you do still get that creaminess in this recipe with a ricotta cheese mixture instead. Ricotta cheese is gluten free, and it is simply mixed with egg, salt, and fresh parsley.
The other factor is the pasta itself.
The Best Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles
Hands down, I only recommend Barilla Gluten Free Oven-Ready Lasagne noodles. These are no-boil noodles that you just layer in a baking dish with the other ingredients. I recommend these for several reasons:
- No-boil noodles are less work.
- No-boil noodles absorb some of the liquid in the sauce while cooking so you can add plenty of sauce to keep it moist and flavorful, and still end up being able to cut nice slices.
- Other brands do not have as good of a flavor and rice noodles tend to have a grittier texture. Plus they do not hold up well to the process of boiling and baking and can leave you with a pile of mush.
Where can I buy Barilla gluten free lasagna noodles?
I’ve already told you why these are my favorite gluten free lasagna noodles, but now the question is where to get them. I have often seen them at my regular grocery stores and even at Target, but you can also order from Barilla Gluten Free Oven-Ready Lasagne from Amazon!
In this overview, I’ll tell you about the ingredients, as well as anything specific you have to look out for to make sure everything you put into the lasagna is gluten free. You’ll find the full amounts and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
For the sauce:
- Pork or turkey sausage and ground beef: Do read the labels on your sausage, but most that I’ve seen are gluten free. If you buy pre-packaged ground beef, there is the possibility of added fillers. This is why I typically buy it ground in the store or I do check the labels on any pre-packaged meats.
- Onion, garlic, and fresh parsley: These fresh ingredients are always gluten free.
- Canned tomato sauce, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes: In most cases, these products are gluten free. Do be aware of added seasonings in tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. I usually use Tuttorosso, in particular for Crushed Tomatoes because it is my favorite.
- Dried herbs and seasonings: This is another case where most brands are safe, especially for single herbs. But mixes, such as the Italian Seasoning, can be a risk. So check your labels. McCormick has all of its information on its website, and the only concern is occasionally the blends or other mixes. But all of the ingredients in this recipe are gluten free, including the Italian Seasoning.
For the ricotta cheese mixture
- Ricotta cheese: Typically ricotta is gluten free, but always check that there are no added ingredients.
- Parsley: Fresh is best, but dried can be used in a pinch.
For assembling the lasagna:
- Gluten free lasagna noodles: You’ll need 12 sheets of those Barilla Lasagna Noodles
- Shredded mozzarella cheese: I do recommend shredding your own mozzarella as it melts better than pre-shredded.
- Grated Parmesan cheese: If you buy pre-grated parmesan cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese, just check your labels for additives or fillers.
How to make gluten free lasagna
All of the instructions you need are in the recipe card for making the sauce and cheese mixture. But if you want to really know all the details, tips, tricks, and substitutions, I recommend you check out the World’s Best Lasagna recipe, which has all of that information.
Let’s start by making the meat sauce.
Brown the meat. In a large Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until cooked through and browned. Drain any excess grease, if needed
Finish the sauce. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water, followed by sugar (if using), basil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and parsley. Cover and simmer for at least an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer a long as possible to truly develop the flavors. You can even do this the day before.
Make the ricotta cheese mixture. In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, and salt until smooth. Then refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the lasagna.
How to layer lasagna
Here is a quick overview of layering the lasagna. I like three layers of noodles with a good amount of meat sauce and all of the cheeses in between. Plus you can’t forget a golden and gooey mozzarella layer on top. Here is how it goes.
- Start with a layer of sauce on the bottom.
- Add one layer of noodles.
- Top with sauce, half of the ricotta mixture, one-third of the mozzarella, and one-third of the parmesan.
- Add the second layer of noodles
- Repeat with more sauce, the other half of the ricotta mixture, plus half of the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
- Add the final layer of noodles.
- Top with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.
Bake the lasagna. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven at 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes, until the noodles are tender, the middle is hot, and the cheese is melted and golden. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips for Success
- Use your favorite sausage. I typically use turkey sausage to make it a little less greasy and cut out a few calories (and mainly because my husband can’t eat much pork). But any kind of Italian sausage is fine. Like a little more heat? Use hot Italian sausage.
- Sugar is optional. The original recipe calls for a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Some say that this helps balance the acidity in the sauce. I don’t feel that it is necessary, so it’s your call whether you use it or not.
- Simmer as long as possible. I like to simmer the sauce for no less than an hour and a half. In fact, I’ll often make it the day before I assemble the lasagna and refrigerate it over ight.
- Make it in advance. Besides the sauce, you can also mix the ricotta in advance and keep it in the fridge overnight if you want to assemble the lasagna the next day. You can also assemble the entire lasagna and refrigerate or freeze it. Then bake it when you are ready. If froze, you’ll need to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Take it out of the refrigerator to let it warm up a bit before you bake it. It may need some extra time in the oven.
As is common with gluten free pasta, the texture does change slightly when it isn’t eaten right away. However, this lasagna, when using the Barilla lasagna noodles, has held up well to reheating and even freezing and reheating.
If you want to refrigerate any extras, just wrap it with plastic wrap or place individual slices in airtight storage containers. You can microwave it or pop it back in the oven until it is steaming hot.
It can also be frozen baked or unbaked. You will want to wrap it tightly with foil first, to prevent moisture and freezer burn. This foil can be left on the pan when you put it in the oven. Then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap over the foil and freeze for up to two months. Individual slices can also be frozen/
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
I love to serve lasagna with a Caesar salad and some Gluten Free Garlic Breadsticks. But you have many options to make it a meal.
Have veggies on the side. Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli or Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms with Balsamic Vinegar make lovely side dishes for gf lasagna.
Shop the Recipe
- Don’t forget to grab those noodles.
- While we’re at it, Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes have always been my favorite.
- A good, heavy enameled cast iron Dutch oven is great for letting that sauce simmer.
- I like to bake my lasagna in a nice, deep stoneware baking dish so that it cooked evenly and doesn’t overflow.
World’s Best Gluten Free Lasagna
For the meat sauce:
- 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion , minced
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso is recommended)
- 12 ounce can tomato paste (or two 6 ounce cans)
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons sugar (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
For the ricotta cheese mixture:
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablepsoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For assembling the lasagna:
- 12 Barilla Gluten Free Oven-Ready Lasagne Noodles
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
For the meat sauce:
- In a large Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until cooked through and browned. Drain any excess grease, if needed.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water, and stir everything together.
- Add sugar (if using), basil, Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and 2 Tablespoons parsley, and stir to combine.
- Simmer, covered, for at least 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. I usually try to simmer for as long as possible.
For the ricotta cheese mixture:
- In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 2 Tablespoons parsley, and ½ teaspoon salt. Refrigerate until needed.
For assembling the lasagna:
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- To assemble, spread 1½ cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange a single layer of three noodles over meat sauce.
- Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Spoon 1½ cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes.
- Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
More gluten free pasta recipes
I’ve made all of these recipes with gluten free noodles, so give them a try and enjoy your favorite pasta dishes as part of your gluten free lifestyle.