How Many Layers Should Lasagna Have?

Lasagna is a filling, flexible, flavorful, and adaptable dish that never fails to please a crowd. Lasagna has been a popular dish long before any of you reading walked the earth. According to La Cucina Italiana, archeological evidence has been uncovered that suggests an ancient version of lasagna was enjoyed by the early Etruscans. There is also a written recipe for a layered pasta casserole in the "Apicius's De Re Coquinaria," the West's oldest surviving cookbook.

Lasagna and its numerous variations, from the classic ricotta and Bolognese sauce to béchamel and porcini mushrooms, have been staples not just of native Italians, but Italian Americans as well. It's integrated into the culture so well that it is the second most popular Italian dish after garlic bread, according to a YouGov poll. Still, the question remains — just how many layers should a lasagna have? The answer is as adaptable and flexible as the meal itself.

Finding the sweet spot

The amount of layers in a lasagna essentially boils down to personal preference. Betony Kitchen says you could make lasagna with as little as two layers for a quick lasagna that doesn't take long to bake. Many, however, would consider this skimping. Most recipes you'll find for lasagna call for a minimum of three layers, which seems to be the universal standard. Anything less, at least according to Bon Appétit, cannot be considered a true lasagna.

There are two important factors that you need to take into consideration when it comes to deciding how many layers deep to make your lasagna. First and foremost, you need to determine how many people you're cooking for. More layers yield more servings, and most people will want more than one. Second, you want a pan that's large enough to fit all of your layers. 

You don't want a flimsy, skinny-looking lasagna in a large pan as much as you don't want an overflowing small pan that's going to turn your oven a gooey nightmare. It's best to have a pan that's large enough to make around six servings, which ends up being a 9 x 13-sized baking dish (via Home Cook World). Keeping these and other tips in mind, feel free to experiment and see what works best for you and your family and you'll end up with a lasagna that's got the right amount of layers for you.