Expert Recipe: Skillet LasagnaPublished on 10/01/2023 · 5 min readLooking for a quick weeknight dinner for the whole family? This easy skillet lasagna recipe is packed with flavor and ready to serve in just under an hour!
Cast Iron Skillet Lasagna dinner is served! Photo by Kate Wilson
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- Serving Size: 4
- Featured Gear: Viking Cast Iron 8" Fry Pan, mixing bowl, Cangshan Chef Knife
There's no comfort food that hits quite like lasagna, and the timeless dish is made even better with this simple skillet recipe! No need to assemble layers or pull out all the cookware – this method is perfect for when you are craving a satisfying, calorie-rich meal without the fuss. But have you ever wondered how the idea of lasagna got started in the first place? It’s actually known to have started back in ancient Rome, where they feasted on a dish called “Laganum.” This was a dish made from layers of pasta and a tomato-less sauce. Over time, the recipe evolved to include more ingredients, like herbs and cheese, but it wasn’t until the 16th century in Italy that sauce made from tomatoes was added. Eventually, the recipe transformed into the classic dish that we know and love today.
As expected, cultures around the globe have made their own version of layered meals. Filipino lasagna is similar, but with the addition of sliced hotdogs, and Mexican enchiladas layer tortillas instead of noodles, but always with veggies or meat, sauce, and cheese! Even the Greeks have their version in the form of moussaka, which includes eggplant, ground meat, and sauce. These and many more cultures have recognized the beauty of layering ingredients to create a hearty, delicious meal.
Growing up, I had my share of lasagna in the traditional form. Coming home to find the counter covered with pasta, herbs, cheeses, and what seemed like every cooking vessel in the house meant two things: that an amazing dinner was on the way and that there would be a sinkful of dishes for me to do afterwards. Fortunately, one-pot meals have become popular over the years, making both cooking and cleanup much more manageable. I personally use regular lasagna noodles because I love the texture and simplicity of just popping the prepared dish into the oven until hot and bubbly.
What You’ll Need
- Cast iron skillet - This is my go-to for most meals that require finishing off in the oven. Not that a traditional skillet isn't capable – as long as it's oven-safe, it's absolutely fine to use – but I started making these classic recipes in cast iron and love how consistent the meals turn out in them.
- Mixing bowl: A medium-sized bowl is perfect for combining the ricotta cheese and herbs.
- Chef knife: Chopping onions, garlic, and herbs is a breeze with the right knife. The Canghan Chef Knife is a staple around our house!
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1lb ground Italian sausage
- 1/2c onion, chopped
- 1tsp fresh thyme
- 1tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/2tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 24oz jar of Raos Homemade Marinara Sauce
- 15oz ricotta cheese
- 1/4c fresh parsley, chopped
- 2tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2tsp garlic powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2tsp pepper
- 6 lasagna noodles
- 8oz fresh mozzarella ball, sliced to 1/4in
- 1.5c mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2c parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add lasagna noodles.
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add onion, Italian sausage, oregano, salt, and thyme. Saute until onions are tender and the sausage is browned halfway, then add garlic. Once the sausage is fully browned, add marinara sauce. Adjust heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes.
While the meat sauce is simmering, mix ricotta, parsley, basil, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Drain the pasta, cut it into smaller pieces, and add it to the sausage mixture. Stir to combine, making sure the noodles are mixed in well. Remove from heat.
Layer with shredded mozzarella, fresh mozzarella slices, and parmesan, then dollop 5-6 large spoonfuls of the ricotta around the spots with less cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes on the top rack or until the cheese is light brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven, let rest for 10 minutes before serving, and top with red pepper flakes if desired.
Tips & Substitutions
- Italian sausage can be substituted with ground beef, pork, or ground turkey.
- A large, nonstick pan can be substituted as long as it's oven-proof.
- No-bake noodles can be substituted: break them into small pieces, add 1/2c water or beef broth to the sausage and tomato sauce mixture, and increase the bake time to 35 minutes.
- Cottage cheese can be used as a substitute for ricotta.
- Extra veggies offer multiple variations and a boost of nutrition, too:
- Fold 2c spinach in with the sauce.
- Chop mushrooms or zucchini and saute with the sausage mixture.
- Mix things up even more! Substitute chicken for the Italian sausage and alfredo for the marinara, and add some fresh spinach for an absolutely divine alternate version of this recipe.
Final Thoughts on this Skillet Lasagna Recipe
The best part of this recipe is that it's just as good as the traditional version without the fuss. Grab the kiddos, your partner, or your favorite playlist, and try this recipe out the next time you're craving a hearty meal. Leftovers aren't likely, but this can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for the perfect midweek lunch or dinner – you only have to prep the salad or garlic bread!
If you need any of the tools to make this recipe or maybe something for one of your own, reach out to any of the Kitchen Experts here on Curated. We will make sure you have everything you need to create some magic in your kitchen, too!