This one pot, 30-minute meal has all the fabulous tastes of a classic lasagna but a lasagna skillet is SO much less work. It’s comfort food at it’s best: simple, hearty, and delicious!
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I love lasagna, but truth be told…I think I’ve made it twice in my whole married life. It’s just too much work. I mean, really! Who has two hours to spend making sauce, boiling noodles, and carefully layering everything into a masterpiece?
Not me. Do you know what messes a two-year-old could make it that amount of time? Come to think of it, you probably do. That’s why you’re reading this recipe and NOT one for traditional lasagna.
The reality of my life as a mom of three young boys is this:
If I can’t make a recipe in the time it takes my kids to watch an episode of Octonauts, that meal is NOT going to be a part of our regular rotation. Traditional lasagna doesn’t make the cut.
But just because I don’t have time for fancy layered lasagna, doesn’t mean I can’t get the same great taste out of a much simpler cooking method.
That’s where this super simple, one-pot lasagna skillet comes in. With this recipe, you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes and only have one pan to wash afterward.
Score for the busy, tired parents of the world!
Bonus, this recipe is incredibly adaptable. I’ve kept the basic recipe here as simple as possible, but here are some variations to consider…
Make the pasta sauce from scratch
Don’t love the idea of store-bought sauce? Or just don’t have any on hand? No problem. You can make your own pasta sauce from scratch. Just combine the following ingredients and add to the pot in place of the 24 oz. jar of pasta sauce:
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes (15 oz)
- 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar (it helps cut the acidity of the tomato)
That might seem like a lot of ingredients, but it’s mostly just throwing the spices together really quickly. If you have kids (or husbands..ahem) who don’t like tomato chunks, you can blitz the diced tomatoes with a blender (I use my immersion blender) to puree the offending chunks.
Use whatever pasta you can find
I used farfalle (bowtie) pasta, but pretty much any pasta works. If you can find mafaldine pasta, it looks like mini lasagna noodles which is really fun, but I couldn’t get it at any of the grocery stores near me. Maybe after COVID I’ll venture back to the Italian market and find it there.
If you, like me, can’t find mafalda, use whatever you want. There are lots of easier-to-find options:
Pasta sauce is a great place to add hidden veggies to your family’s diet. Try adding a cup of cooked pureed carrots, sweet potato, or zucchini to the sauce and see if anyone even notices!
You don’t have to hide the veggies either. Dice up some zucchini and stir it in along with the sauce to pack an extra healthy punch into your lasagna skillet.
- 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb. farfalle pasta (*see note)
- 24 oz. Jar pasta sauce (*see note)
- 4 cups water
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- freshly grated parmesan cheese (garnish)
- Fresh basil (garnish)
- Brown ground beef (or turkey) along with salt and pepper in a large, deep skillet.
- Once meat is cooked through, add pasta, sauce, and water to skillet and stir so that the liquid covers the pasta.
- Cover skillet with a lid and bring to a simmer.
- Turn heat down to medium low and continue simmering for 10-12 minutes, until pasta is al dente. Check occasionally to make sure that pasta isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan (add a little water if needed).
- Remove skillet from heat and add dollops of ricotta cheese evenly spaced around the skillet.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Cover again and let rest for a few minutes to let the cheese melt.
- Garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese if desired and serve immediately.
This recipe is extremely adaptable. Feel free to use whatever pasta you have on hand, make your sauce from scratch (see post for details), or add extra veggies.
Want more easy dinner recipes? Try these:
- Instant Pot cheesy chicken and rice
- 7 quick & easy make-ahead marinades for summer grilling
- Instant Pot white chicken chili
- Easy BBQ sloppy joes