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French Lasagna

Original recipe from The Bonne Femme Cookbook
kept bybeberequin
recipe by

If you're in a hurry, use about 2 cups of a high-quality purchased marinara sauce in the meat sauce—simply brown the meat, add the marinara, and simmer.


For the béchamel sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ cups 2 percent or whole milk

For the meat sauce:
½ pound lean ground beef or loose Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, crushed
½ cup dry white wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained, puréed in a blender or food processor

For the lasagna:
6 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles
1½ cups shredded Comté or Emmental cheese, or a combination (can also use Gruyère)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Make the béchamel sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, a few gratings of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to make a smooth paste. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Do not allow the flour mixture to brown. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring, until thick and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Make the meat sauce: Cook the meat and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the meat into small pieces, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain off all of the fat from the pan. Add the garlic and herbes de Provence and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the white wine. Bring to a boil and boil until nearly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the puréed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cook at an active simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

To assemble, spread ½ cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish—you won't cover the entire surface, but that's okay. Top with 2 sheets of lasagna noodles, side by side. Top with one-third of the remaining meat sauce (spreading to cover the noodles as best you can) and then one-third of the béchamel sauce. Top with one-third of the cheese. Repeat the layers (starting with the noodles) twice.

Bake, uncovered, until the lasagna is bubbly and the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, covering loosely with foil during the last 10 minutes if the top browns too much. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting into four pieces to serve.



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