This baked sausage, pepper and onion lasagna is such a hit at our house! It's an al forno dish that is loaded with crispy spicy italian sausage, sweet bell peppers and onions and tons of melty cheese between layers of al dente pasta.
What is Sausage, Pepper and Onion Lasagna?
This sausage, onion and pepper lasagna is one of my favorite ways to upgrade this classic baked dish.
It's basically a mash up of a traditional italian lasagna mixed with a sausage and pepper hoagie. The results are so dang good!
I first had it after I had my son, Jett, was born. Our friend and local surf photographer Carol Sears brought it over and I was immediately obsessed. This is my play on her recipe!
Instead of ground beef and red sauce, we'll be beefing it up with a spicy red sauce made of italian sausage, sweet bell peppers and soft caramelized onions.
Of course, there will be ton of cheese! We're talking gooey layers of ricotta and mozzarella that can't be beat!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Spicy Italian Sausage - You could definitely use sweet Italian Sausage if you don't do spicy! Breakfast sausage, ground beef or turkey, and vegan sausage, works too!
- Onions - No real substitute for onions but you could def skip them if you don't like them! Just add another pepper to keep the texture thick and chunky.
- Bell Peppers - You could use chopped roasted red peppers to save time.
- Fresh Garlic - No real sub for real, fresh garlic! The jarred minced kid works fine but the taste isn't as delicious.
- Tomato Sauce - I use Rao's because it's my favorite... but you could use whatever brand you'd like! Or of course, you could use your own homemade red sauce if you have some on hand.
- Ricotta - No real sub for ricotta that I recommend. Mascarpone would work if you had to use it.
- Low Moisture Mozzarella - This is the kind of mozzarella that you find shredded in bags. I think it's a must on lasagna!
- Fresh Mozzarella - You don't have to add fresh mozarella but it's so good on here!
- Italian Seasoning - You could make your own italian seasoning if you don't have any on hand. I recommend this recipe.
- Egg - An egg just helps bind everything together. If you don't have one, no sweat - you can skip it!
- Lasagna Noodles - I like using real lasagna noodles that you have to boil... but you could 100% use ready-to-bake noodles to save yourself some time.
Making this sausage, pepper and onion lasagna might seem kind of complicated but it's not really!
We'll start by making the red sauce and getting the pasta water boiling for the noodles.
First, add your spicy sausage to a skillet over medium high heat.
Break it up using a spatula and then let it get crispy - which means don't touch it! You want the meat to caramelize in the pan.
Once you get a layer of caramelization, add the onions and peppers and a hefty pinch of salt. Cook this mixture down for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown.
Next, stir in the garlic and cook for another minute more.
Now add your jars of red sauce and let this mixture simmer away while you cook the rest of the ingredients.
At this point, the water should be boiling so you'll want to salt your water and add the noodles.
Cook until they'e al dente then strain and set aside.
While the noodles are cooking, add your cheeses, italian seasoning, salt and egg to a seperate bowl and stir.
Season with salt to taste - just don't taste a lot bc there is a raw egg in there!
Then once everything is ready, you can assemble the lasagna.
Grab a large 13x9 baking and begin to build it out like so:
- sausage sauce
- cheese mixture
- sausage sauce
- cheese mixture
- sausage sauce
- the rest of the shredded cheese
Now cover the lasagna (tent it so it doesn't stick to the top layer of cheese) and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
Remove the tin foil and broil for 2-5 minutes or until the top layer is bubbly and browned.
How long is lasagna good for?
If you're wondering how long lasagna lasts, refrigerated lasagna lasts for 5 days.
It can last longer if you have it tightly covered and keep it in the back of the fridge.
But obviously, if it looks like it's molded, smells weird or seems too watery, it's probably best to throw it out.
If you want to save it for another time, you can assemble it (but not bake it) and freeze it for up to 3-5 months.
What goes with lasagna?
Try some of these yummy side dishes for lasagna- burrata caprese, these crispy fried artichokes, or these cacio e peppe roasted green beans and carrots.
Want more tasty Italian recipes? Try this spicy vodka rigatoni, Rigatoni all Amatriciana - Pasta Tossed in Spicy Red Sauce Laced with Bacon, some risotto cacio e pepe, or this bucatini bolognese!
What is the lasagnas internal temp?
You'll know the lasagna's internal temperature is reached when it hits 165F degrees.
To figure this out, simply stick a thermometer probe in the middle of the lasagna - making sure that you don't stick the probe to the bottom of the pan.
You want the reading to be made within the sauce and cheese - not the baking dish.
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Sausage, Pepper and Onion Lasagna
- 2 lbs spicy italian sausage ground
- 2 medium onions roughly chopped
- 2 medium bell peppers (I used orange and red) roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 25 oz jars tomato basil sauce
- 2 cups ricotta
- 4 cups low moisture mozzarella divided
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella torn into small pieces
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1 medium egg
- 1 lb lasagna noodles cooked al dente
- Preheat your oven to 375F degrees.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high and add the ground sausage. Break up with a spatula and let it cook (untouched!) for a few minutes until a golden brown crust develops.
- After that, break it up into even smaller pieces and add the chopped peppers and onions and a hefty pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 more minutes or until the peppers and onions are soft and beginning to caramelize.
- Add in the garlic and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant then add in jarred sauces and turn the heat to medium-low so that it simmers while you prep the rest of the dish. Be sure to season with salt and pepper if needed!
- Meanwhile, make the cheese mixture by adding 2 cups ricotta to a large bowl. Then add 2 cups low moisture mozzarella, the hand torn fresh mozzarella, minced garlic, italian seasoning, egg and 2 hefty pinches of salt.
- Now assemble your lasagna by adding a bottom layer of the sausage sauce to a 9x13” pan. Top with 3 cooked lasagna noodles, a layer of cheese, 3 more noodles, a layer of sauce, 3 more noodles, a layer of cheese, 3 more noodles, a layer of sauce and 3 more noodles.
- On the top layer, add the remaining 2 cups of shredded mozzarella and carefully use some tinfoil to cover the lasagna - i recommend creating a tent so that the cheese doesn’t stick.
- Bake lasagna for 45 minutes at 375F degrees then take the foil off and broil for 2-5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and browning.
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes or until cool enough to slice.