With layers of fluffy ricotta together with a flavorful meat sauce, this best Gluten-Free Lasagna recipe is everything you could want for a family dinner! It’s ultra easy to make with shortcuts included below, and even better, there’s no need to boil the noodles. You’ll find this classic Italian comfort food made both easier and gluten-free will quickly become a family favorite. It’s very good paired with simple side dishes like my Easy Green Salad. Or with a cooked veggie like my Garlic Green Beans or Roasted Broccoli.
A perfect homemade lasagna recipe that works every single time has been my goal for a while now! I grew up with a mom who was a great cook, but like most great cooks, she didn’t measure much. So it’s no surprise she made a great lasagna but of course… there was no recipe for it.
One thing that tends to happen without a recipe is sometimes the lasagna is perfectly juicy and other times it’s on the dry side. And then there’s the complete disaster when it’s basically soup. All this is easily avoided now that I’ve got the perfect measurements down pat.
You’ll even find my new favorite variation below using fresh mozzarella in the center for an ultra-cheesy version. Because after all… who can say no to more cheese?!
It turns out the secret to making the perfect gluten-free lasagna is actually a shortcut. It’s simple… simply don’t boil the noodles, and you’ll have the best texture.
So simple, yet definitely a game changer for gluten-free lasagna. And no we’re not using the ‘no boil’ gluten-free noodles which tend to be mushier, and also have some not so great additives in them.
We’re just using 100% brown rice lasagna noodles, but there’s no need to pre-cook them before you assemble the lasagna. So let’s get to it and make this cheesy wonder.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Italian sausage – I like to use mild, but you can use hot Italian sausage as well. I know ground beef is traditional in American-style lasagna, but I find that Italian sausage is much tastier overall.
- Lasagna noodles – I’ve made this recipe with both Jovial and the Tinkyada 100% brown rice gluten-free lasagna noodles and both work great. I don’t recommend other gluten-free pasta brands using corn because they tend to fall apart more easily. You don’t need to find no boil or oven-ready noodles, 100% brown rice pasta works perfectly without the need to boil the noodles.
- Ricotta cheese – whole milk ricotta has the best flavor and is more readily available than it used to be. However if you can’t find it, try using whole-milk cottage cheese. My mom used to do this back when ricotta was definitely not at our local grocery store. You can mash it with a fork to break up the curds a bit or pulse it in a mini food processor until it more closely resembles ricotta.
- Eggs – are mixed together with the ricotta and it helps it to set up as its own layer in the lasagna.
- Mozzarella – freshly grated will give you the best texture, but you can use pre-grated as well, it’s just a bit tougher and rubbery.
- Parmesan – again freshly grated has the best flavor, but pre-grated works here as well, just avoid the ‘green can’ kind.
- Tomato sauce – You can use cans of fire-roasted tomatoes blended to make tomato sauce. Or you can take the shortcut listed in the recipe and use your favorite jarred tomato sauce instead. This does save a bit of time, but making your own is more cost-effective and only takes a few more minutes of simmering.
- Onions & garlic – are for your homemade tomato sauce, you can omit them if you’re using a pre-made sauce.
- Italian seasoning – I add this to the homemade tomato sauce for extra flavor, but I still recommend using it if you use a pre-made tomato basil sauce. If your pre-made sauce has oregano in it, omit the Italian seasoning.
How to make this recipe step by step
Step 1: Start by preheating the oven to 375ºF. Next stir together the ricotta, eggs, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese in a medium-sized bowl.
Step 2: Then sauté the Italian sausage before removing it from the pan. Next, sauté the onion and garlic in the same pan you cooked the sausage and cook until it’s golden brown. You may need to add a touch of olive oil if your sausage is lean.
Then add the Italian seasoning, blended fire-roasted tomatoes, and cooked sausage, and simmer until thickened, 10-15 minutes.
If you’re using pre-made jarred sauce, you can skip the simmering and add the browned sausage to the jarred sauce along with the Italian seasoning. Omit the Italian seasoning if your sauce already contains oregano.
Step 3: For the first layer, spoon enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish or similar-sized casserole dish. Then place a layer of dry noodles on top of the sauce, straight from the box, no need to boil them first.
Use any broken noodles for the short side as pictured above, or break noodles as needed.
Step 4: Spread half the ricotta cheese mixture over the top of the noodles, followed by 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan for the cheese layer.
Step 5: Then spoon about 2 cups of sauce over the ricotta layer and add another layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat the above layer with the remaining 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1.5 cups mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, and followed by more sauce and a final layer of noodles.
Step 6: Finally spoon the remaining sauce over the last layer of noodles and top with the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan.
Step 7: Bake covered until bubbly and the noodles are mostly tender, about 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is browning on top.
When the lasagna is done, let set for 10 minutes, then cut it into slices and serve. You can also serve it immediately, but the few minutes of cooling to set up helps you to lift the pieces out more easily.
Ways to serve this
Yes, but I don’t recommend them because they often have additives. Try buying 100% brown rice lasagna noodles instead, but don’t boil them! This recipe is formulated so there’s enough sauce to properly cook the noodles as the lasagna bakes.
Yes and no! The 2 brands I recommend are 100% brown rice and no one can tell this lasagna is gluten-free. The texture of these brown rice noodles is almost identical to traditional lasagna noodles. You’ll want to steer clear of any brands containing corn or ingredients like quinoa which can have a very strange flavor in pasta.
The key is to bake the lasagna covered for 40 minutes, then another 10-15 uncovered for a total of 50-55 minutes when you don’t boil the noodles.
- To store – place the leftovers into a sealed container and refrigerate for 4-5 days.
- Reheat – covered in the oven at 300ºF until heated through, or microwave. I’ve also placed a slice into a small skillet, added a bit of water, covered the skillet, and steamed it for 8-10 minutes to heat through.
- Freeze – place the leftover lasagna into an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the container from the freezer into the fridge overnight before reheating.
Tips & Tricks
- Use your favorite jarred pasta sauce to speed things up. My favorite flavor for lasagna is tomato basil sauce, but a jarred marinara sauce is good too. Try to avoid anything that already has oregano in it like pizza sauce which is too overpowering.
- Try my ‘ultra’ cheesy version in the recipe notes that adds a layer of fresh mozzarella in the middle. It’s seriously the most decadent lasagna, and always gets compliments!
- Sprinkle the top with a bit of chopped fresh parsley for a bright pop of color. Or if you keep living herbs around, (you can read about how to keep them alive for months in my post) you can pinch off a sprig of basil for a garnish.
- Place a piece of aluminum foil on the rack underneath your lasagna in case of spillover.
More family dinner recipe inspiration
- Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Roast Chicken and Vegetables
- Sausage Broccoli Pasta
- Easy Pizza Stuffed Chicken
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
I really hope you enjoy this Gluten Free Lasagna! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Gluten Free Lasagna
- 9 ounce package gluten free lasagna noodles - see notes
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 onion - finely diced, 2.5 cups
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning - see notes
- 56 ounces cans fire roasted tomatoes - blended until mostly smooth, 2-28 ounce cans, see notes
- 1 tsp sea salt - less if using jarred pasta sauce
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 15 ounces ricotta - full fat
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 cups grated mozzarella cheese - 1 pound, see notes
- Garnish: 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley - or sprigs of fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Sauté the sausage in a large saucepan over medium high heat, then remove it from the pan and set it aside. Add the diced onion and garlic to the same pan and cook until translucent and just beginning to brown.
- Then add the Italian seasoning, blended fire roasted tomatoes, and sausage to the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so to let the flavors blend. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, mix together the ricotta, eggs, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and set this mixture aside.
- Now it’s time to begin layering the lasagna. Spoon just enough sauce into a 9″x13″ baking dish to cover the bottom of the pan. Then add 4 lasagna noodles (do not boil them) over the top of the sauce, breaking the noodles as needed to fit the baking dish.
- Top the lasagna noodles with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, using a spatula to spread it evenly over the noodles. Then top the ricotta with 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Next spoon about 2 cups of sauce over the top of the cheese layer, then add another 4 lasagna noodles.
- Top the lasagna noodles with the remaining 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, followed by another 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Spoon another 2 cups of sauce over the cheese mixture, then top with the remaining 4 lasagna noodles. Top this last layer with the remaining sauce, followed by the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan.
- Cover the baking dish with an oven proof lid, or you can also use aluminum foil. If you use the foil, try greasing the side that touches the cheese so it doesn’t stick as it bakes. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the rack underneath your lasagna in case of spill over.
- Bake the lasagna covered for 40-45 minutes, or until the lasagna is beginning to bubble and the noodles are mostly tender. Then uncover the lasagna and bake for an addition 10-15 minutes until the cheese is browned on top.
- Let the lasagna cool on a wire rack about 10 minutes, then slice and serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or basil sprigs for garnish if desired. You can also serve it right away, but it can be a bit more difficult to lift out of the pan in whole slices.
This recipe was published in 2022, but has been updated in 2023 with more tips and information.