How Much Does it Cost to Make Lasagna?

Last Updated on February 19, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Lasagna is one of the most beloved Italian comfort foods. With its rich layers of pasta, cheese, and sauce, a hearty homemade lasagna makes for a satisfying family meal. But between the ingredients, kitchen tools, and time required, what is the true cost of making lasagna from scratch?

This comprehensive guide breaks down the expenses and provides tips for budget-friendly lasagna making.

How Much Does it Cost to Make Lasagna?

The ingredients represent the bulk of the cost of lasagna. Let’s look at the price breakdown for each component:

Pasta Sheets

Dried lasagna noodles range from $1-$3 for a 12 oz box. The full recipe requires 9-12 noodles.


  • Ricotta (15 oz) – $3-$6
  • Mozzarella (1 lb) – $3-$8
  • Parmesan (1/4 cup grated) – $0.50-$1


  • Ground beef (1 lb) – $4-$8
  • Italian sausage (1 lb) – $3-$6

Tomato Sauce

  • Canned (28 oz) – $2-$4
  • Homemade – $2-$5

Vegetables, Herbs & Spices

Onions, garlic, basil, parsley, etc – $2-$5

In total, a meat lasagna serves 8-10 and costs $20-$40 for ingredients. Vegetarian is $15-$30.

According to Kitchen Seer, the cost to make a pan of lasagna is between $10 and $90. The cost per serving of non-organic lasagna with store-bought ingredients is around $1.50 to $2.50.

A Reddit discussion notes that the cost of making lasagna from scratch can vary depending on the ingredients used. One user reported that their healthy version of lasagna, made with whole wheat flour, zucchini, turkey tomato sauce, and ricotta cheese, cost $11.62 and could be cut into six servings.

Lasagna Overview

Lasagna consists of wide pasta sheets layered with cheese, meat or vegetables, and tomatoes or sauce. The dish is assembled in a pan, often with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan layers, then baked until the cheese is melted and browned.

Traditional meat lasagna uses ground beef. Vegetarian or vegan versions exclude the meat, substituting vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, or eggplant. With so many components, lasagna making requires planning and careful budgeting.

Shopping Strategies: Get the Best Deals

Use these tips to save on ingredients:

  • Buy pasta, canned tomatoes, and spices in bulk. A restaurant-sized can of tomato sauce can be under $3.
  • Check sales and coupons at grocery stores. Stock up if ricotta or mozzarella is on sale.
  • Purchase fresh mozzarella and Parmesan blocks, and grate them yourself. Much cheaper than pre-shredded bags.
  • Shop at wholesale clubs for bigger discounted packs of ground beef. Portion and freeze extra.
  • Buy in-season fresh vegetables like zucchini or spinach when prices are lower.
  • Grow your own herbs like basil and parsley to cut costs.

Equipment Needed for Preparation

A Finished Lasagna on PlateYou likely have most of the supplies needed to make lasagna. Here’s the essential gear:

  • 9×13 baking pan ($10-$20)
  • Large pot and colander for boiling noodles
  • Knivescutting board, kitchen tools
  • Grater for cheese
  • Oven and baking sheets

Allow $30+ for any new pans or appliances. But the initial investment pays off after multiple uses.

The Effort of Home Cooking

Operating the oven uses electricity. Baking a lasagna for 50-60 minutes at 350°F uses about $0.60-$0.75 in energy costs.

Hands-on prep and cooking time is 1-2 hours. Factor cost of your time, approximately $15-$25 per hour.

While not free, homemade dishes save over takeout or frozen options. Plus, cooking lasagna is rewarding!

Budget Friendly Lasagna

These tips produce an economical lasagna:

  • Use broken lasagna noodles for a jigsaw puzzle look. Reduces waste!
  • Add more ricotta, a lower cost cheese, and less mozzarella.
  • Substitute half the ground beef with mushrooms for a meaty texture.
  • Make tomato sauce from canned crushed tomatoes. Skip jarred sauces.
  • Swap sausage for ground turkey or textured vegetable protein.

With smart substitutions, you can make tasty lasagna for under $2 per serving.

Lasagna Cost Per Serving: Get Your Money’s Worth

Homemade lasagna serves 8-10 generously. With a $30 ingredient total, each serving is only $3.

We also have articles on the cost of escargot, Hell’s Kitchen dinner, and the most expensive foods in the world.

Compare that to $8-$12 per serving at restaurants! Portioning freezer-friendly lasagna into single servings for quick meals later also saves time and money.

Making a double batch and freezing half is a great way to get two meals while only doing the work once.

DIY vs Store-Bought: Which is More Affordable?

Pre-made frozen lasagna costs $15-$20 for a 2 lb pan, or about $4-$6 per serving. That’s comparable per serving to homemade. But homemade has higher quality ingredients. Check labels for preservatives and sodium levels in frozen lasagna.

Restaurant lasagna runs $12-$18 for a single serving. While convenient, you pay a premium per plate.

Nothing beats homemade for cost savings and nutrition. Kids can even help assemble for fun family time in the kitchen!

Saving Money Making Lasagna

  • Use lasagna leftovers creatively. Crumble into salads, stuff into omelets, or bake into lasagna frittatas.
  • Save vegetable trimmings for making free homemade stock for soups or sauces.
  • Purchase ingredients on sale and cook in bulk. Portion and freeze for quick future meals.

With strategic shopping and recipes, lasagna can be budget-friendly. For an Italian classic with amazing flavor, make it yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to make or buy lasagna?

Homemade lasagna is cheaper per serving compared to restaurant delivery or pre-made frozen lasagna. With strategic shopping and recipes, ingredients for a 9×13 pan of lasagna cost around $30 total or $3 per serving. Pre-made lasagna costs $4-$6 per serving but lacks quality of homemade.

How much lasagna per person?

A good serving size is approximately 8 oz or a 4-inch by 3-inch piece of lasagna. For a 9×13 pan that serves 8-10 people, cut lasagna into 10 equal portions. This allows for generous 8 oz servings with potential leftovers.

Is homemade lasagna worth it?

Absolutely! While homemade lasagna requires an investment of time and effort, it pays off in terms of cost savings, ingredient quality, and family enjoyment. Home cooking with fresh ingredients is always more nutritious.

And assembling lasagna is fun family bonding. With efficient preparation and budget-friendly recipes, homemade lasagna is well worth the effort.

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