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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 | 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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
- 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.