This Smoked Italian Sausage Lasagna is a smoky twist on a classic Italian meal. Smoked sausage combined with fresh ingredients makes for the most amazing lasagna you’ll ever have.
Italian Sausage Lasagna
Lasagna is definitely one of those comfort food classics that always sounds good and never gets old. The only problem is that it has always been prepared and cooked in the same way. One of my favorite things to do here at Hey Grill Hey is take these classic recipes and re-invent them to incorporate a smoky, wood fired element for an updated twist.
That’s exactly the course I took with this Italian sausage lasagna. I keep many of the traditional elements the same: wide noodles, tangy red sauce, creamy ricotta cheese, and fresh herbs. Then, I add in some flavor by slow smoking the Italian sausages before layering them into the lasagna. The whole thing is topped with loads of cheese for a creamy and comforting lasagna you won’t be able to resist.
How to Make Lasagna with Italian Sausage
Making lasagna with Italian sausage is a fairly easy venture that requires a couple extra steps to get that sausage nice and smoky before assembling the lasagna. Place the uncooked Italian sausages directly on the grill grates of your preferred smoker and cook them for approximately one hour. After you have delicious smoked Italian sausage, you can assemble your lasagna as usual with all the tasty layers.
Once assembled, this lasagna is baked on the smoker. Baking on the smoker doesn’t add a ton of smoke flavor as the temperature is higher, but it adds in just enough of that “cooked outside” element to make every bite irresistible.
Tips for Making Italian Sausage Lasagna
Here are some tips to making this lasagna the best you’ll ever have.
- Cook your noodles “al dente”. This means the noodles have just a little bite to them, they aren’t super soft all the way through. As the lasagna cooks, the noodles will absorb a little bit of the tomato sauce, making the whole lasagna easier to slice and serve.
- Keep the sausage simple. If you’d rather, you can simply cook ground Italian sausage in a skillet and mix it with the sauce, opposed to smoking the links and slicing. You’ll miss out on some smoky flavor, but it will make the assembly process go a bit faster.
- Give it some extra smoke! If you want to add in extra smokiness to your lasagna, you can smoke at 225 for 2 hours instead of cooking at a higher temp.
Looking for some ingredient swaps? Check out these variation suggestions below!
Italian Sausage Lasagna Variations
The best part about this smoked Italian sausage lasagna is how adaptable it is for your family. Try out these different variations to make this lasagna perfect for you and your family.
- Add some heat. If you like a little more heat, simply swap out the sweet Italian sausages for a hot variety!
- Change the cheese. If you like cottage cheese instead of ricotta, just make a straight across trade (I’m looking at my in-laws here, they are cottage cheese fans all the way!)
- Try homemade tomato sauce. You can also use whatever type of marinara sauce you like, but if you’ve got the time and some tomatoes, may I recommend my Homemade Smoke Roasted Tomato Sauce?
However you end up adding your own twist to this recipe, I hope you enjoy! It will be a family classic for years to come.
More Dinner Recipes on the BBQ
Looking for other hearty dinner recipes to make on the BBQ? Check out these tasty meals the whole family can enjoy from Hey Grill Hey.
Smoked Italian Sausage Lasagna Recipe
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Smoked Italian Sausage Lasagna
- 1 16-oz package Italian sausages
- ½ 1 pound box lasagna noodles (classic, not "oven ready")
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
- 4 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese (grated)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil (thinly sliced)
- Preheat the smoker. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. Place the Italian sausages on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees F (approximately 1 hour). Remove the sausages from the grill and slice. Set aside.
- Cook the lasagna noodles. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and carefully submerge your lasagna sheets. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until pliable, but not completely softened. Drain and set aside.
- Make the cheese filling. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley. Set aside.
- Assemble the lasagna. Increase the heat on your smoker to 350 degrees F. Begin assembling your lasagna. In a 9x13 pan, spread a tablespoon of the marinara sauce all across the bottom. Set in a layer of the cooked lasagna noodles, not overlapping. Spread the top of the noodles with one-third of the ricotta mixture. Place a layer of one-third of the sliced Italian sausage on the ricotta mixture, and then top with one-third of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle with one-third of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers of pasta, ricotta, sausage, marinara, and cheese two more times. On the top layer, after you have finished with the mozzarella, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
- Bake the Italian sausage lasagna. Place the lasagna in the smoker and bake for 1 hour, or until the lasagna is bubbly and the cheese is completely melted. Sprinkle the top with the fresh sliced basil and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
**This post was originally published in December 2017. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.