I think cooks must be divided into two camps when it comes to Lasagna. Those that toss it together with no problem (and yeah, I’m jealous of them) and those that think, “Yeah, it’s great, but it’s a production and the mess!” That’s me. Love Lasagne – hate making it. Raise your hand if you’re with me, here!
And to the rescue, in under 30 minutes, Skillet Lasagna. All the taste of a great home-made Lasagna, none of the hassle. Now there are lots of variations of this easy week night Lasagna recipe but I just happen to like this one. I used to make it all the time for the kids when they were at home. I want to say this was originally a Cook’s Country recipe…but maybe it was America’s Test Kitchen or Cook’s Illustrated. All those entities – all so confusing!
But this Skillet Lasagna – it hits all the right comfort notes for me and I like to personalize it a bit with very own favorite Italian Herb Blend. It makes me feel like a boss. If you’d rather, just use a good jarred sauce with all your herbs in it. If it’s not 28 ounces like the tomato in this recipe, add a little water to make up the difference so noodles have plenty of moisture to soak up.
Another thing that makes me feel like a boss? This recipe uses broken up Lasagna noodles – they’re thicker and heartier than egg noodles and give such a nice bite. Really, you’ll feel like you’re eating that first messy piece of Lasagna right out of the pan.
As I revisited Skillet Lasagna, I realized the one cup of Ricotta is an obnoxious amount. I’ll be cutting it back next time I make it. Which is even better because can we say pricey? Look for coupons, stock up when on sale and freeze it. Yeah. Same goes for the Italian sausage, which is generally at a low in the fall.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, or to taste
- 1 pound of lean ground beef or a mixture of beef and Italian sausage
- 10 ounces lasagna noodles broken into 2″ pieces
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese plus a little extra for serving
- 1/2 to 1 cup Ricotta
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thinly
Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and the 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onions are translucent and just starting to brown a little, about five minutes. Add garlic, red pepper, black pepper and Italian seasoning and cook for another minute.
Add ground beef or meat mixture and cook, breaking up, until no longer pink, about four minutes.
While the meat is cooking, pour the canned tomatoes and juice into a one quart measuring cup. Add water to bring the level up to one quart. Set aside.
Once the meat is cooked, scatter broken noodles across the top but do not stir. Pour the quart of diced tomato/water mixture and the tomato sauce over the top of the noodles. Again, do not stir. Cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and maintain simmer, stirring occasionally, very gently, until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings and stir in the shredded mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Dot with spoonfuls of Ricotta, cover and let sit off heat for three to five minutes until cheese is warm and melty. Sprinkle with basil and serve from the pan with a little extra Parmesan.
Adapted from Cook’s Country