Thursday, March 5, 2015

Better Homes & Gardens Lasagna (1953 Classic)

Today is a classic lasagna recipe with just a small tweak or two that made the best lasagna I've ever made. The recipe comes from the 1953 edition of Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. I found the recipe over at Chez Bonne Femme, who recommended it highly.

A delicious lasagna with a rich sauce and creamy filling that is great served with garlic bread and a green salad on the side.


~I used cottage cheese since I had that on hand and I think the filling turned out wonderful.

~I used a 28 oz. can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes in place of the 2 cans of diced tomatoes. Look for a brand that says "Product of Italy." The brand I got is Cento from Walmart. Chop up the tomatoes into small pieces and add all of the sauce from the can to the recipe. I would highly recommend this substitution as I feel it improved the flavor of the sauce tremendously.

~I had planned on using traditional noodles that are cooked first but no-boil noodles are what came back from the grocery store. I used them and they turned out fine. The recipe calls for two layers of noodles which was only half of the box of noodles. I was a bit worried about this, but I thought the end result was the perfect ratio of noodles to filling, as I don't like lasagna with an over abundance of noodles.

Better Homes & Garden Lasagna (1953 Classic)
Makes 12 servings


  • For the sauce:
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaf, crushed
  • Salt to taste (go easy, as this can get salty)
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
  • For the rest:
  • 10 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups fresh Ricotta or creamy cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shredded Mozzarella cheese


  1. Brown the meat; drain excess fat. Add the next 5 ingredients. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients, except the Mozzarella cheese.
  4. Place half the noodles in a lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish; spread with half the ricotta filling; add half the Mozzarella cheese and half the meat sauce. Repeat the layers.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in a 375°F oven about 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated through. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting into squares (filling will set up slightly). 

Make-Ahead Directions: You can assemble as directed; cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Add about 15 minutes more to the bake time.

Slightly adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, 1953 edition.


  1. I love lasagna and I love cooking from old recipes. This looks great!

  2. I've used this recipe since the 70s. A friend of mine were talking about lasagna recipes one day and I said I just couldn't find a good one. She said her sister made the best lasagna, so we got on the phone and called her... and this is the one it was. She was right. It is the best!

    1. Recipe Addition: I ALSO have used this from the 1970s and from the very same cookbook!! I was 18, newly married, and my first cookbook. It was amazing and my hubby loved it!! (we will be married 50 yrs next June! ha) Altho I have tweaked it (use ricotta now) in past years, it is always a favorite memory of ours. and is still the best...

  3. oh my! as I write, my lasagna is still in the oven, I've never used the no-boil noodles-left for half an hour, and not cooked through yet, so I covered them with foil, for 40 minutes, and see how well noodles cook through. I tasted some, and it's delicious! wow, can't wait to eat-the family is waiting! Tell you all how it turned out

    1. Hi Dolores! I hope you enjoy the lasagna. You brought up a good point I forgot to note -- I kept my lasagna covered for 40 minutes then uncovered for an extra 5-10 of baking. That seemed to work great for the no-boil noodles.

    2. Hi Ali, me Dolores-well good thing I used my past experience by covering my lasagna, and last 15 minutes, uncover for that great baked brown look. We all ate late, oh well it was delicious! and those Cento tomatoes did make a difference. Today for lunch, we'll really enjoy our Lasagna, the flavors will probably be better. Thank you so much for your recipe-it's a keeper!

    3. So glad to hear it! We loved it as well.

  4. Saw this on See ya in the gumbo.

    I had to laugh when I saw the recipe. I've been making this for ages. If I didn't stick to the same recipe my family would be upset.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe so others can enjoy it also.


  5. Lasagna has always been one of my favorites. It's one of the first thing I learned how to make. Have never tried no-boil noodles b/c I'm stubborn like that. But convenience may win out one day!
    Thanks for sharing, Ali!