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Quick and Easy Skillet Lasagna

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This easy skillet lasagna is a hearty comfort dish that is way easier to make than traditional lasagna. It has all the delicious lasagna flavors from ingredients like Italian sausage, marinara sauce, pasta, and ricotta cheese in a convenient skillet meal.

Serving lasagna skillet with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.
Table of Contents

If you have been following me for a while then you already know my love of a good skillet meal.  On busy weeknights, this skillet lasagna recipe is such an easy dinner option served with Cheesy Breadsticks.

There are few dishes more comforting than lasagna, but it can take a while to bring it all together. Cooking the meat, boiling the noodles, layering all the ingredients, baking time… it’s quite the process!

That’s why this delicious skillet lasagna is my favorite way to get all those classic lasagna flavors. Made entirely on the stove top, this recipe comes together in a flash. And that creamy ricotta mozzarella mixture on top? To die for.

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What goes into this Recipe

  • Italian Sausage: I used Italian sausage for an extra punch of flavor, but you could also use ground beef if you prefer.
  • Marinara Sauce: To make the dish extra simple, the recipe uses jarred marinara sauce.  There really are some great options out there {Barilla is my favorite brand}, so use your favorite pasta sauce. It is also in this Tortellini Crock Pot Soup recipe.
  • Pasta: I used farfalle pasta, but you can use whatever pasta shape you prefer. You can even use broken lasagna noodles if you want to keep it a bit authentic!
  • Ricotta: A hearty full-fat ricotta will add the perfect creamy texture to your skillet lasagna.  Cottage cheese is a great substitute. If you have extra, try this Pizza Ring recipe.
  • Mozzarella: Shredded mozzarella cheese creates the best topping when combined with the ricotta.
  • Italian Seasoning: You can make your own or use store-bought Italian seasoning to give it an Italian flair.

Variations

I used ground sausage, but you could use lean ground beef {ground meat}, ground pork, ground turkey, or a mixture of any meats you like. Go for spicy Italian sausage to give it a bit of a kick!

You can also use any kind of pasta you prefer. Break up regular lasagna noodles, or use farfalle pasta {bowtie pasta} like I did to get the texture you want. 

If you want to add vegetables to this dish, bell peppers and mushrooms would be great mixed into the meat sauce.

How to make Skillet Lasagna

  1. Start by cooking your onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it is translucent, then add the Italian sausage and cook until it is no longer pink.  At this point you may need to drain a little fat from the mixture.
  2. Once you have the mixture drained, add the jar of marinara sauce, water and pasta to the bottom of the pan.  Stir everything together and bring it to a boil.  Once it boils, turn the temperature down to simmer and allow the sauce to cook the pasta through.  This will take between 15 & 20 minutes, or until it is al dente.
Cooking the onions and sausage, then adding the pasta and marinara.
  1. While your pasta is cooking, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, Italian seasoning and salt in a medium bowl and give it a good stir.
  2. Once the pasta is cooked, spoon dollops of the ricotta mixture over the pasta.
Making the ricotta mixture and adding it to the top of the pasta.
  1. Cover and let the cheese layer warm up for about 5-7 minutes. It is ready when cheese melts down into the pasta.
  2. When finished, garnish with chopped fresh basil leaves {or fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve it with a side salad or piece of garlic bread.
Covering the skillet to let the cheese melt, then serving it with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

Expert Tips

  • Adjust the heat of your lasagna by Italian sausage with a different spice level. You can easily find mild or hot sausage at the grocery store. You can also add red pepper flakes if you prefer.
  • Use whole milk ricotta for the creamiest texture. Part-skim or low-fat ricotta can become a bit grainy.
  • Let the skillet lasagna rest for 5 minutes before serving. This will allow the sauces to thicken up slightly.
  • Want an extra cheesy skillet? Add in 1/2 cup grated parmesan with the ricotta mixture.
  • Use a nonstick deep skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet to prevent sticking. This helps with clean up and serving.

Storage and Freezing

Store: Leftover skillet lasagna can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freeze: Allow this one pan meal to cool completely, then transfer it to an aluminum foil pan or freezer-safe bag. Squeeze out any excess air and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, you can substitute the Italian sausage for ground beef, turkey or ground chicken. Just be sure to season it well with Italian spices.

Can I use fresh pasta instead of dried?

Fresh pasta may overcook before the sauces thicken up properly. Dried pasta holds up better for the simmering required in this recipe.

How can I make this vegetarian?

To add vegetables to this pan lasagna skillet, omit the sausage and add sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini or eggplant for extra veggies and texture.

Lasagna skillet on a white plate.

Do you love skillet meals? Try these recipes…

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Skillet lasagna ready to serve from the skillet.

Quick and Easy Skillet Lasagna

An easy and delicious recipe for lasagna that is made in one skillet and in just about 30 minutes.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 625kcal
4.67 from 3 votes
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ large onion {chopped}
  • 1 pound Italian sausage {mild or hot}
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ pound farfalle pasta
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese {shredded}
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Garnishes: Parmesan cheese and fresh basil

    Instructions

    • Add olive oil to the large skillet over medium heat and cook onions until translucent.  Add Italian sausage to onions and cook until no longer pink.  Drain any grease. 
    • Add the jar of marinara sauce, water and pasta to sausage and onions.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Once boiling turn heat down to a simmer and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is al dente. 
    • While pasta is cooking, combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning and salt.  Spoon mixture over cooked pasta and marinara mixture, cover and continue to cook until the cheese mixture is heated through {5-7 minutes}.  Allow the dish to set for 5 minutes before serving. Then garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

    Notes

    Adjust the heat of your lasagna by Italian sausage with a different spice level. You can easily find mild or hot sausage at the grocery store. You can also add red pepper flakes if you prefer.
    Leftover skillet lasagna can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
    To freeze, allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to an aluminum foil pan or freezer-safe bag. Squeeze out any excess air and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
     

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 625kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1313mg | Potassium: 705mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 238mg | Iron: 3mg
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