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a baking dish of lasagna with fresh basil leaves

My Favorite Cheesy Lasagna

  • Author: Jenny Meier, adapted from Julia Turshen's Nice Lasagna
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


The ultimate cheesy lasagna, made extra rich and creamy by adding creme fraiche along with mozzarella and parmesan. This is the easiest lasagna recipe I know!

This recipe is adapted from Julia Turshen's lasagna recipe in her cookbook Small Victories .  Her recipe includes homemade pasta and instructions for a simple homemade marinara sauce. I've simplified the recipe by using store bought lasagna noodles and jarred marinara sauce. 



  • 8 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 24 to 25-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup creme fraiche (7.5 ounce container)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups (about 8 ounces) grated whole milk low-moisture mozzarella cheese, or a combination of mozzarella and Asiago or other Italian cheese
  • 1 16-ounce package no boil/oven ready lasagna sheets with straight edges 
  • Fresh basil



  1. Sauté the mushrooms in a wide skillet with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Lightly salt. Cook until the mushrooms are nicely browned and no moisture remains in the skillet. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F
  3. Whisk together the marinara sauce and creme fraiche in a large bowl. Stir in the mushrooms. Sometimes I add chopped fresh basil. 
  4. Combine the grated mozzarella and parmesan
  5. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the grated cheese
  6. Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinara mixed with creme fraiche.
  7. Spoon a very thin layer of sauce onto the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (about 1/2 cup)
  8. Add a single layer of lasagna noodles. If you have to break some noodles up to entirely cover the pan don’t worry about it. The broken noodles meld together as they cook.
  9. Spoon about 1 cup of marinara sauce over the noodles (just enough to cover the pasta) then scatter a thin layer of grated cheese. 
  10. Repeat this layering process - pasta, sauce, cheese - until you’ve used up the ingredients. I end up with 4 layers of noodles, then finish with the remaining sauce and cheese that I set aside spread on top.
  11. Tightly cover the dish with foil. Bake the lasagna, covered with foil, for 25 minutes then remove the foil and bake the lasagna uncovered for another 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and browned, especially around the edges of the pan.
  12. Let the lasagna sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. 


The brand of no-boil lasagna noodles that seem to always work best with this recipe is Barilla. They cook a bit faster than some other brands of lasagna noodles. 


  • Category: pasta
  • Method: Bakes
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegetarian lasagna, vegetarian pasta,