This is the best, easy venison lasagna. A classic recipe with a balance between sauce, meat, noodles, and cheese.
For the sauce:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 lb. ground venison
- 4–5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes
For the cheese filling mixture:
- 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup full-fat ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
To assemble the lasagna:
- 12 lasagna noodle sheets (cooked according to packaged directions)*
- ¼–½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- parsley, for serving
Start by making the sauce (see notes if you want to use store-bought sauce). Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute until the edges start to brown.
When the onion starts to brown, add the ground venison and brown that. Then, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes before deglazing the pan with the balsamic vinegar.
Finally, add the crushed tomatoes and let the sauce simmer covered over low heat while you prepare the cheese mixture and noodles.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles. Drain and set aside. You can toss them in a little bit of olive oil if they’re sticky so they don’t clump together.
Mix together all of the cheese filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Remove the sauce from the heat and make an assembly line with the sauce, cheese filling, and noodles.
Start by pouring 1/4 of the sauce on the bottom of the dish. Then, lay 4 noodles on top of the sauce, overlapping them a bit so they all fit, and cover the bottom of the dish. Next, spread half of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles. You can just kind of sprinkle it around the best you can. Then, add another 1/4 of the sauce. Then, top with 4 more noodles.
Repeat this whole process one more time. Then, cover the exposed noodles with the remaining sauce and parmesan cheese. Make sure the sauce goes all the way to the edge of each noodle so the edges don’t dry out.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and then bake for an additional 10 minutes until everything is bubbly and melted. Slice & enjoy!
- If you’re short on time the shortcut to take is using the premade, store-bought sauce. Brown venison in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pot. Then add 2 jars (about 24oz each) of any sauce you like. Follow the remainder of the directions exactly.
- Use regular lasagna noodles, not the no-boil kind. I tested this and it’s just not the same, too dry. If you’re short on time, see above and use store-bought sauce.
- If you have an abundance of ground venison Italian sausage, this is a fantastic use for that! I often have people come to me asking what to do with it and this is a great recipe. Sub it exactly, 1:1, for the ground venison.
- To freeze it, for best results, assemble it freeze before baking. Then, when you’re ready to serve, account for about an extra 20 minutes of bake time so it can thaw.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Oven/Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian American
Keywords: lasagna, venison, deer, deer meat, pasta, italian