Lasagna is a love language. Everything it calls for—from the slow-simmered ragu to the creamy bechamel, assembled with lasagna sheets like a layer cake—requires care and patience. It results in a warm, hearty dish that you can dress up or down. Lasagna is the crowd favorite at any holiday dinner party; the leftovers make a cozy companion the morning after. This is a dish that loves you back.
For an extra cheesy pasta, this lasagna replaces traditional béchamel (the French mother sauce of flour and milk) with a cream cheese-based sauce: a mixture of Arla Cream Cheese, whipped cream, and full-cream milk.
This recipe encourages leftovers, which you should toast in a pan for bonus crispy edges. To push it further, we start the pan with a thin layer of melted Arla Cheddar Cheese, which crisps up into a cheesy crust on your lasagna.
What makes Arla cheeses so good?
Arla Cheese is made with 100% real natural ingredients—strictly no additives, colorants, and preservatives. This gives their products a rich and distinctly fresh taste at an affordable price. You’ll immediately taste the difference in your pastas, sandwiches, and dips!
How to Make Lasagna with Crispy Cheese Crust
Serves: 6-8 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Meat Sauce / Ragù
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 500g ground beef
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 400g-cans crushed tomatoes
- leaves from 1 sprig basil
Cream Cheese Sauce
- 1 ½ cup Arla Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cup Arla Whipping Cream
- 1 cup of Arla Full-Cream Milk
- 1 cup grated Arla Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 ½ cup grated Arla Cheddar Cheese
- 1 box lasagna sheets, cooked
Crispy Cheese Crust
- Grated Arla Cheddar Cheese
- Sear ground beef: Heat olive oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Season ground beef with salt and pepper, then add it to the pot. Sear beef until a golden brown crust forms all around. Remove beef from pot and set aside.
- Make meat sauce: Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, carrots, and celery to the same pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables until softened. Add tomato paste and stir into the vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes to caramelize the tomato paste and cook out its raw taste. Return cooked beef to the pot. Add crushed tomatoes. Stir everything together, then add basil. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer sauce for 20–30 minutes. You should have enough meat sauce for assembly and serving.
- Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.
- Make cream cheese sauce: Add cream cheese and whipping cream to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Add milk to the bowl, whisking to incorporate it into the sauce. The consistency should be similar to a classic bechamel sauce: thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, while fluid enough to spread with ease.
- Assemble lasagna: Spread a thin layer of cheese sauce across the bottom of a deep sheet pan or casserole. Add cooked lasagna to the bottom of the dish, overlapping by 1 inch or trimming the pasta as necessary, until you have a flat, even layer. Spread a thin portion of meat sauce over the pasta, followed by an even portion of cream cheese sauce. Sprinkle with a bit of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers (a layer of lasagna topped with meat sauce, cream cheese sauce, and shredded cheese) in the same order, about 3–4 more times. You will have some meat sauce left over. Finish lasagna with a final layer of cream cheese sauce and shredded cheese.
- Bake: Transfer lasagna to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow lasagna to cool in the pan completely before covering and transferring to the fridge, up to 4 days.
- Make crispy cheese crust: Slice a square serving of lasagna, then keep it in the fridge until ready to use. Heat a small nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add a small mound of grated cheddar cheese at the center. Spread the cheese out with a rubber spatula into an even circle. Let the heat fully melt the cheese and slowly start to crisp it up. Add sliced lasagna, top side down, directly on top of the cheddar. Let cook until the cheese slowly releases from the pan, then crisps up into a cheesy crust on the lasagna. Flip lasagna once the cheese crust is golden brown. Cover pan until lasagna is fully heated through.
- Serve: Ladle remaining meat sauce in a deep plate. Place cheese-crusted lasagna at the center of the plate, over the sauce. Serve immediately.
Want to wow your family with another pasta dish? Enjoy the fresh taste of Arla’s natural cheeses in these other Naturally Filipino Pastas: