Where has skillet lasagna been all my life?
Oh. It’s been right there, all along? If only I’d opened my eyes? Well, I guess I have to admit that sounds about right. I spend my time being blissfully oblivious a little more often than I should.
But thankfully, I’m oblivious-no-more when it comes to skillet lasagna. Only blissful.
I first tuned in to the whole awesome skillet lasagna thing when I saw Jessica’s springtime veggie skillet lasagna a few weeks ago. How could I spot one of those photos and not stop in my tracks, letting my consciousness flood with pure skillet lasagna awareness?
I quickly became a woman obsessed with the concept. Really, a skillet lasagna is a lasagna made with one pan (a skillet, of course), using uncooked noodles. You still do some layering, but the process is much quicker.
Some cover and cook their skillet lasagnas right on the stovetop, but I prefer to place the skillet in the oven to ensure lots of perfect cheesy meltiness and a few crispy-crunchy bits here and there.
You start by sauteeing your veggies, then you add your sauce and heat it through. Then you remove all but a small amount of the sauce and the layering begins. Raw, broken-up lasagna noodles, dollops of ricotta, sauce, mozzarella, repeat, repeat. Place it in the oven for about 30 minutes and, viola! Skillet lasagna.
This one starts with a little onion and garlic, then you saute a handful of button mushrooms and some hunks of zucchini, throwing in a little baby spinach at the last minute. Before you know it, you’re spooning out perfectly melty layers of pasta, veggie-filled sauce, ricotta, and oozy mozzarella. Comfort food, weeknight style.
So far I’ve only made it with red sauce, but endless variations and possibilities are floating through my finally-now-fully-aware mind. I can promise you there are more skillet lasagna recipes on the horizon … I’m officially now a bit of a woman obsessed.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion (about ½ medium onion)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
- 1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 small)
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 3 cups Italian tomato sauce or other tomato-based pasta sauce of your choice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles (about ½ pound), broken into 3 – 4 inch pieces
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 12 ounces)
- 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese (whole milk ricotta works fine too)
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 12-inch or larger cast-iron skillet (or other oven-proof skillet)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place a 12-inch or larger cast-iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Heat olive oil and add onions, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, sauteeing for another minute. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and saute for 3 – 4 minutes until the zucchini is tender and the mushrooms soften.
- Pour Italian tomato sauce over veggies and combine, stirring over medium heat until warmed through. Stir in baby spinach leaves and cook for an additional minute. Taste sauce and add a little salt and pepper if desired.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Remove all but 1 cup of the sauce from the pan. Spread the remaining sauce evenly in the bottom of the pan and cover with a layer of noodles. No need to place them perfectly evenly, just place them here and there in a single layer until most of the sauce is covered by the pasta.
- Spoon the ricotta, about 5 or 6 mounds and about ⅓ of ricotta, onto the noodles. Add ⅓ of the remaining sauce, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon, and then sprinkle ⅓ of the mozzarella. Add another layer of noodles. Repeat with another layer – ricotta, sauce, mozzarella, and noodles, then spoon the remaining sauce on the top, add the ricotta, sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and top with the Parmesan cheese.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the pasta is cooked through.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then serve.