Skillet Lasagna

5 from 16 votes

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Love Lasagna but hate how long it takes to make it? Try my Skillet Lasagna! This is a shortcut recipe that has all that delicious slow cooked flavor but made in less than half the time of my Classic Lasagna Recipe. Whether you’re making this on a busy weeknight or part of a lovely Sunday dinner, you will love this recipe. Highly recommend serving this with some garlic bread and salad!

skillet lasagna in a skillet

Skillet Lasagna | A Quick Weeknight Meal!

Today I’m sharing with you a delicious dinner idea for Skillet Lasagna. While I love a lasagna, I don’t always have the time to make it. So I made a fake-out lasagna that has all the yummy flavors you’d get in a typical lasagna recipe but with less time!

This makes a great family weeknight meal because it comes together quickly and you can typically add in any kind of vegetables you have lying around without anyone noticing. I added in zucchini because that’s what I had on hand, but feel free to add what you like. I’ve done this before with grated carrot and small broccoli florets. (My kids happen to love broccoli so I didn’t have to worry about hiding this one.)

cheesy skillet lasagna

Main Ingredients Needed

Quick and healthy? This dinner is a win-win situation for you! Here is everything you need for Skillet Lasagna:

  • Short Cut Pasta – I used these cute mini lasagna-shaped noodles (called Mafalda) but Campanelle is a great alternative if you’re wanting that lasagna-esce look.
  • Butter – this is an optional ingredient but it helps make the sauce so creamy and decadent.
  • Ricotta + Mozzarella Cheese – two types of cheese for maximum flavor.
  • Parsley – used as a garnish!

For the Sauce

  • Ground Beef – I used a 93/7 blend. But you could also sub this out for ground turkey if you’re trying to eat a little healthier.
  • Onion + Garlic – two flavor packing ingredients.
  • Zucchini – I snuck in some grated zucchini into the sauce (don’t tell my kids!). If you need even more ideas on how to make your kids eat their veggies see the corresponding section below!
  • Marinara Sauce – my favorite brand to use is Rao’s marinara sauce, but you can use whatever brand you like best.
  • Bay Leaf, Basil + Oregano – three herbs to take this sauce to the next level.
  • Salt + Pepper – and don’t forget to season as you go!

Can You Substitute Cottage Cheese for the Ricotta Cheese?

Yes, you absolutely can! Some people don’t like the flavor or texture of ricotta cheese in lasagna (or a lasagna skillet) so cottage cheese is a great alternative. Substitute the cheese 1:1. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, so you’d substitute 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.

close up of skillet lasagna

How to Make Skillet Lasagna

For full details on how to make Skillet Lasagna see the recipe card down below 🙂

1. Cook Pasta

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and stir in pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Make the Sauce

While pasta is cooking, heat a very large skillet to medium-high heat. Break meat apart in the hot pan and cook until brown. Stir in onions, garlic, and zucchini. Saute until onions are tender.

Stir in pasta sauce, water and seasonings. Simmer until pasta is done.

3. Mix Pasta with Cheese

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and immediately return pasta to the cooking pot.

Stir in butter, ricotta, and mozzarella until well incorporated and cheese starts to melt.

4. Create Your Lasagna Skillet!

Remove bay leaf from pasta sauce. Pour the entire pot of pasta into the hot sauce and stir to coat everything thoroughly. Top with more cheese if desired and serve hot topped with a bit of fresh parsley.

scooping pasta out of a pan

Adding Extra Veggies

I love adding vegetables into recipes that have a tomato sauce base because they tend to get colored by that deep red color and go undetected if they are cut small enough.

Choose vegetables that could potentially dissolve in the sauce as it cooks and you might surprise yourself at how many veggies you can slip into this Skillet Lasagna. Here are a few ideas:

  • mushrooms- cut them small and they will look like ground beef after cooked
  • zucchini or yellow squash- grate and wring out before adding
  • carrots- grate these! Carrots add a great sweet flavor.
  • cauliflower- the texture might be noticeable on this one, so I’d suggest adding mashed cauliflower.
  • bell peppers- the red peppers are easier to hide, but green peppers work just as well (and I love the flavor of green peppers in all sorts of pasta sauces.)
  • spinach- while spinach is a great, mostly tasteless veggie, it’s green. Chop it small and hope for the best.

Storing Skillet Lasagna | Freezing Directions

After making this recipe in its entirety, transfer leftovers to an airtight container and in the refridgerator for up to 5 days.

To freeze, transfer fully cooked recipe to airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply microwave until hot and cheese is melty.

Skillet Lasagna on a white plate

More Lasagna Recipes to Try!

This recipe makes a lot of food- at least 6-8 servings- so make sure to use a large skillet! I think this would make a great Sunday meal. We Brennans get together with family on Sunday afternoons and this is the kind of food we all like. Do you get together on Sundays with your family too or is it just us?

Either way, enjoy your day! Happy cooking! 🙂

5 from 16 votes

Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna is a shortcut recipe that saves time while making a super tasty family dinner! Perfect for sneaking in all sorts of veggies.
servings 6 Servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients

for the sauce-

  • 1 pound ground beef I used 93/7
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 small zucchini diced (optional)
  • 24 oz marinara pasta sauce I used Rao's, plus about 3/4 cup of water to rinse out the jar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the pasta-

  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese grated (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • parsley chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and stir in pasta.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat a very large skillet to medium-high heat. Break meat apart in the hot pan and cook until brown. Stir in onions, garlic, and zucchini. Saute 5-6 minutes or until onions are tender.
  • Stir in pasta sauce, water and seasonings. Simmer until pasta is done.
  • Cook pasta until al dente (according to package instructions for al dente). Drain and immediately return pasta to cooking pot.
  • Stir in butter, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese until well incorporated and cheese starts to melt. Remove bay leaf from pasta sauce. Pour the entire pot of pasta into the hot sauce and stir to coat everything thoroughly. Top with more cheese if desired and serve hot topped with a bit of fresh parsley.

Nutrition

Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 954mg | Potassium: 921mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1075IU | Vitamin C: 15.9mg | Calcium: 295mg | Iron: 4.2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: skillet lasagna

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34 Responses
  1. This looks great!(and congrats on the TK feature, you’re tearing it up, lauren! 🙂 )
    The Mister adores lasagna but once in a while it just seems like too many “steps” for a quick weeknight meal…I will definitely give him a taste of this…thanks for the tip on the cheese/pasta tossing method…we can all use little yummy shortcuts to make life better.
    Keep ’em coming.
    cathy b.

  2. Faith

    I love your Lasagna. It looks like a piece of art. I know my hubby would want me to make it when he sees it.

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  3. Peggy

    We make up a “skillet” casserole similar to this but I never thought to add the cheese 1st! Thanks for the great tip… (now I need to go sneak some grated cheese and zucchini into our next batch!!)

  4. Jill from Our Seven Dwarfs

    This looks absolutely delicious. I love that zucchini was added in too. I will definitely be making this soon! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. Tweets that mention Lasagna Skillet - Lauren's Latest -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lauren Brennan, Lauren Brennan. Lauren Brennan said: {new post} Lasagna Skillet– Just like Lasagna but easier and with less waiting! http://su.pr/2KegGk […]

  6. Mary

    5 stars
    I love a good skillet dinner and this one is remarkable. This is my first visit to your blog and I just wanted you to know how much I like the food and recipes you feature here. After browsing through your earlier entries I can tell you I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  7. Chris L.

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for your ideas! It really helps me out when I’m struggling for a dinner idea, like someone whispers an idea in my ear! I made your little cheesy bisquits to go with my soup on super bowl sunday, and your nine layer dip for a quick get together with friends. They were both super easy, quick and DELICIOUS! Lots of compliments, so THANK YOU for sharing!
    I’m going to whip this one up for dinner tonite. Love it.

  8. Tracy Twidwell

    5 stars
    Okay…..this is soooo good, I cheated on my diet tonight!! I’ve been good making my family dinners and eating my own…..this one broke my willpower!! Thanks, Lauren…..I think! 🙂

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  13. Laura Estel

    5 stars
    This was the first recipe of yours that I ever tried and it is still a favorite at our house!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Looks like I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow!

  14. Lesley Jacksch

    5 stars
    This sounds so good. Will definitely be making it.
    Rao’s has just come to our Costco and it is on sale. Have bought quite a lot of it and gave some to my daughter she just loves it. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  15. Richelle

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and I snuck in 3 grated carrots and a whole yellow pepper. I used ground turkey and cottage cheese. My picky stepsons said it was the best lasagna they ever had. Thanks Lauren!

  16. Kim

    5 stars
    Awesome! It is very easy to put together, and my family loved it. Adding the cheese to the hot pasta was mind blowing. I do have one question. How much water do you add to the sauce? This recipe is a definite keeper.

    1. Lauren

      I rinse out the jar of marinara with a little bit of water. I added this to the recipe card. Sorry for the confusion!

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