Skillet Lasagna

Beef, Italian, Main Courses, Pasta / Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Unless you’re cooking for a school cafeteria or a firehouse, homemade lasagna can be a hassle. There’s just SO MUCH OF IT. The first night, it’s great. The second night, it’s fantastic. The third morning, you’ve barely put a dent in it, but it HAS to go. Especially when you’re cooking for two, and you ask your husband if he wants lasagna for lunch, and he looks at you like you’re Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest,” serving that same plate of rare steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner. NO LEFTOVER LASAGNA, EVER!

Our compromise is Skillet Lasagna. One pan. One layer of each ingredient.

The pasta layer is fairly thick, so by the time I stir the ingredients together, we’re not missing the nicely layered rectangle. No, we’ve learned to settle for the occasional big, warm bowl of spicy meat and pasta slathered in tomatoes, Parmesan and gooey Ricotta. With a little fresh basil. One pan. Less than an hour. It’s hard, but we’re making due.

Skillet Lasagna

Adapted from “Cook’s Country”

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • Salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound meatloaf mix, ground sirloin or Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  1. Pour tomatoes with their juices into 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add meat and cook, breaking apart meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
  3. Scatter pasta onto meat but do not stir. Pour diced tomatoes with juice and tomato sauce over pasta. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons of ricotta, cover, and let stand off heat for five minutes. Sprinkle with basil and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve.

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26 thoughts on “Skillet Lasagna

  1. I make lasagna roll ups instead of regular lasagna. It’s perfect to make when you need to feed two people or need to feed a handful of people. I like it more than regular lasagna. It’s perfect because I can make my own roll cheesier than my husbands. I got the recipe from Kraft Foods.

  2. I feel the same way about lasagna. Not only is there so much of it to eat, but it takes so much effort to make! I will try this one – looks great!!

  3. Great idea. It’s just two of us at home, so making lasagna is definitely a four day eating extravaganza. I started cutting out big portions to freeze to eat several weeks later; it made my husband hate lasagna less. This is a great idea too that I’ll definitely try.

  4. I’ve gone to doing the skillet version of lasagna too – much better for 2 people, and doable on a weeknight. But if I don’t stir the noodles, they always end up glued together. So I tend to stir frequently for the first 5 minutes.

    I usually blot up the fat after cooking the meat, otherwise it seems a bit greasy. And since I’m not fond of ricotta, I throw some small fresh mozzarella balls on top at the end.

  5. Great idea! I can’t tell you how often I feel like lasagna, but don’t feel like the hassle of lasagna. I will definitely give this a try!

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  7. I’ve just bought soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s, and I think it would be great in this. (Make sure you remove it from the plastic casing!)

  8. Hot damn that looks delicious! Anything with a healthy does of ricotta, Italian sausage and Parmesan definitely catches my eye. I adore your blog, too. Verrry nice work. :-)

  9. Joeli: This one’s a definite yum. If you have leftovers, they’re better the next day.

    Heidi: Thanks for the question! I just used regular noodles.

    Lisa: I’ll have to try the roll-ups. Thanks!

    Kristin: Yes, homemade lasagna was taking too long to make and too long to eat. Hooray for shortcuts!

    My First Kitchen: I envy your mad freezer skills. Once I put things in the freezer, they’re pretty much forgotten. Except for ice cream. Funny how that works …

    Pat: I’ll have to try the fresh mozzarella. Stirring the noodles – yes, we learned that one the hard way.

    Cathy: I think it’s a great alternative. Let me know what you think!

    Shannalee: Yesss, I love not having lasagna around for three days.

    Amy: I’m with you. Let me know what you think!

    gaga: You weirdo. ;)

    Chere: Try it! And let me know if you come up with any fun changes to the recipe.

    Reine de Saba: Soy chorizo would be amazing in this. Let me know how it turns out! Thanks! It’s a sauté pan that comes with a lid.

    Stacy J.: Hot damn, it IS delicious. Thanks!

    [eatingclub] vancouver || js: Make it, and let me know how it turns out. Especially if you make any changes. We’re always looking to change it up.

  10. At my house, there’s five of us and we’re often busy. We generally don’t shell out much for fancy(er) cheeses like ricotta. So I generally cook the meat, toss in a can of Hunt’s spaghetti sauce, throw in some noodles (whatever kind we have on hand will do; I’ve done it with shells, pene, farfalle, etc.), toss in some cheese – if we have mozarella, yay, if not, we’re stuck with cheddar. Then I mix it up and serve. Simple, cost-effective, and easy.

  11. this looks like a great idea! i made it for our supper tonight, although i accidentally opened a can of CRUSHED tomatoes….so it was rather thick. and we had whole wheat lasagna noodles. but it was delicious! still made quite a bit for us!

  12. My mom just got me a cast iron skillet from a public sale and I've been looking around for recipes and I am so excited to make this. I love lasagna, but also hate how the leftovers last practically all week! Can't wait to try it :)

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