9 Best Cheeses for Lasagna Recipes: Perfect Your Italian Classic

One cannot fathom the idea of making lasagna without cheese. The intricate layers of this classic Italian dish boast a savory symphony of flavors, in which cheese holds a starring role. However, not just any cheese will do. The right cheese can turn your lasagna from a simple weeknight dinner into an unforgettable culinary experience.

Let’s explore the 9 best cheeses for lasagna recipes to transform your next kitchen endeavor into a gastronomic masterpiece.

So, what are the best cheeses for lasagna recipes? The best cheeses for lasagna recipes include Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Parmesan for traditional flavor profiles. For added depth, Provolone, Fontina, and Pecorino Romano can be used, while Gorgonzola, Taleggio, and Mascarpone offer unique tastes and textures. These choices can transform your lasagna from a weeknight dinner to a gourmet masterpiece.

1. Mozzarella

Undeniably, Mozzarella is the veritable hero of lasagna cheese, unchallenged in its supremacy. This cheese is characterized by its gooey, stretchy consistency that lends an unmistakable allure to every mouthful of lasagna. Every bite reveals a creamy taste that gracefully entwines with the varied flavors of lasagna’s assortment of ingredients, creating a unique symphony of flavor on the palate.

One cannot discount its amazing melting capacity either, which imparts lasagna with that tantalizingly oozy, bubble-studded top layer that we find irresistible. If you’re after an even more exquisite flavor, choosing the fresh version of this cheese can give your lasagna a soft, milky richness that takes the dish to soaring new heights.

2. Ricotta

Ricotta cheese offers lasagna a texture that is decadently smooth and rich, making it a must-have ingredient. Produced from whey, Ricotta exudes a subtly sweet and creamy flavor that adds an extra dimension to the lasagna experience.

As it fuses with the array of other cheeses and ingredients, it introduces a remarkable creaminess to the layers of your lasagna that makes each slice a moment of pure culinary joy. The traditional recipe often pairs it with an egg, and sometimes even a scattering of parmesan, to concoct the delightful, irresistibly cheesy lasagna filling we’ve come to know and cherish.

3. Parmesan

Regally grated over the top as a grand finishing touch, Parmesan is a hard, granular cheese whose presence in a lasagna can’t be underestimated. This cheese provides a beautifully sharp and nutty flavor that adds a delightful twist to the creamy ensemble.

Its lower moisture content endows it with the ability to withstand the oven’s high temperatures without losing its form, hence providing an appealing textural contrast to the creamier, more yielding cheeses within the lasagna. A liberal dusting of Parmesan creates a crisp top layer for your lasagna, injecting an addictive crunch that keeps you reaching for more.

4. Provolone

Provolone, a semi-hard cheese renowned for its slight tang and superior melting capabilities, is a hidden gem in the world of lasagna. This cheese introduces an unexpected depth of flavor to your lasagna that aligns perfectly with the vibrant tomato sauce, making it a delectable surprise in every bite.

For those who seek a slight twist on tradition in their lasagna recipe, Provolone emerges as a stellar alternative that balances the familiar with a unique taste profile, all while maintaining the classic comfort of a well-baked lasagna.

5. Fontina

Hailing from the picturesque Aosta Valley in Italy, Fontina is a delightful cheese, crafted meticulously from cow’s milk. It possesses a gentle, nutty flavor that whispers tales of its origins, paired with an incredible melting quality that is simply mesmerizing.

Once melted, its texture morphs into something dreamy and velvety, imparting a sense of lavishness to the layers of lasagna that it graces. For those who wish to take the traditional lasagna recipe up a notch, Fontina makes for the ideal choice, transforming a homely dish into a gourmet masterpiece.

6. Gorgonzola

If your taste buds thrive on exploring the bold and unexpected, Gorgonzola is the cheese you need. An iconic blue cheese originating from Italy, it is made from unskimmed cow’s milk and packs an invigoratingly sharp, spicy flavor. It can infuse your lasagna with a spirited, punchy note that sets it apart from its more conventional counterparts. However, due to Gorgonzola’s powerful taste profile, it is wise to use it in moderation and pair it with milder cheeses that can temper its potency.

7. Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian cheese that’s meticulously crafted from sheep’s milk. Often utilized as a Parmesan substitute, it boasts a similar texture but introduces a saltier, more assertive flavor to the dish. Even a light sprinkling can provide an exhilarating flavor enhancement to your lasagna. This is particularly true for those who appreciate a cheese that commands attention with its vivid, pronounced character.

8. Taleggio

Taleggio is a distinctive semi-soft, washed-rind, Italian cheese, famed for its potent aroma and surprisingly mild flavor. The way it melts is nothing short of beautiful, lending a rich, tangy nuance to your lasagna that bestows upon it an elevated, sophisticated edge. It showcases its talents best in vegetable lasagnas, where its intense, profound flavor engages in a delightful dance with the earthy ingredients, producing a harmony that is pure perfection.

9. Mascarpone

And lastly, but far from the least, we have the Mascarpone. This thick, creamy Italian cheese is often seen gracing sweet delicacies like tiramisu, but its versatility allows it to shine in lasagna as well. Its rich, buttery flavor pairs surprisingly well with the typical lasagna ingredients, infusing an added layer of sumptuousness.

Combine it with Ricotta for an extra creamy touch, or let it replace the traditional bechamel sauce for a luxurious twist. Either way, Mascarpone brings a delightful creaminess and a hint of sweetness to your lasagna that makes each bite heavenly.


1. What types of cheese are traditionally used in lasagna?

The characteristic, savory depth of traditional lasagna comes from a harmonious medley of cheeses, including the richness of melt-perfect mozzarella, the bold, nutty essence of Parmesan, and the sweet creaminess of ricotta.

2. Can you substitute cottage cheese for ricotta in a lasagna recipe?

In the culinary world, versatility is key. With its similar creamy texture, cottage cheese proves to be an effective stand-in for ricotta in lasagna recipes. Its slightly tangier flavor can add a unique twist, making it a preferred choice for some lasagna lovers.

3. What is the role of grated cheese in lasagna?

The addition of grated cheese, like Parmesan or Romano, serves a twofold purpose in lasagna: to contribute to the dish’s overall savory flavor and to create a tantalizingly crispy top layer, thanks to its lower moisture content that withstands the heat of the oven.

4. Do Italians use cheddar cheese in lasagna?

Traditional Italian lasagna doesn’t typically feature cheddar cheese. Its unique taste and meltability, while enjoyable, don’t quite align with the traditional profiles of mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan. However, non-Italian interpretations of lasagna might experiment with cheddar.

5. Is mascarpone cheese suitable for lasagna?

The inclusion of mascarpone, a luxuriously creamy Italian cheese, can elevate your lasagna. More commonly found in desserts like tiramisu, mascarpone brings a rich, buttery undertone and a hint of sweetness to lasagna, serving as a magnificent addition to ricotta or a stand-in for bechamel sauce.


Cheese and lasagna are an inseparable duo, as iconic as they are delectable. The careful choice of cheese can vastly influence the final taste, texture, and overall appeal of your lasagna. With these nine cheese recommendations at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to explore the full potential of this classic Italian dish. Whether you stick to the classics like Mozzarella and Ricotta, or venture out with Gorgonzola and Taleggio, each offers a unique twist to enhance your lasagna’s depth of flavor.

So, the next time you’re in the kitchen, preparing your favorite lasagna recipe, remember – the cheese makes the dish. Each slice should ooze with the creamy, melty goodness that these cheeses bring. Bon appétit!

Featured image for an article about best cheeses for lasagna

Best Cheeses for Lasagna Recipes

Discover the 9 best cheeses for lasagna recipes, including Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Parmesan for traditional flavors, and Provolone, Fontina, and Gorgonzola for unique tastes. Elevate your lasagna to gourmet perfection!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1


  • Mozzarella
  • Ricotta
  • Parmesan
  • Provolone
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Taleggio
  • Mascarpone


  • Make your meat sauce and allow to simmer while you prep the cheeses.
  • Grate or shred mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Use about 1 pound each.
  • Layer your lasagna as usual with noodles, sauce, ricotta mix, and shredded mozzarella.
  • Top with extra parmesan cheese to help prevent over-browning.
  • Bake lasagna according to recipe until hot and bubbly, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Allow lasagna to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Garnish with extra shredded parmesan and fresh basil or parsley if desired.
Keyword Best Cheeses for Lasagna Recipes

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating