Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

I have a vegetable garden.

It is pathetic.

It wouldn’t be so bad except that my neighbor’s garden is about three feet away and the comparison is hilarious. Honestly. It’s hard for me not to giggle-slash-cry when I stand there watering my piddly little plants and spend the time staring at Mike and Sara’s lush Garden of Eden. Here’s proof for you, just in case you don’t believe my dramatics:

See? I told you.

Anyway, the point here is that even though my garden is a’strugglin’, it did give up it’s first fruits in the name of one zucchini and one squash, both of which found their way into this delicious and simple skillet summer veggie lasagna. The result was a deliciously light and refreshing pasta dish that was full of flavor and vegetables!

Assuming that I’ll still get a few zucchini and squash this year (because seriously, who can kill a zucchini plant? Er, I may have just jinxed myself), I’m not sure I want to use them for anything other than this fantastic meal. Not only is this recipe quick and easy, it is made start-to-finish in one skillet. I feel like shouting from the rooftops, “I LOVE SKILLET MEALS!” Because I really, really do.

What I don’t love is my neighbor’s garden. It makes me feel insecure and bad about myself. I guess I’ll go drown my sorrows in the leftovers of this skillet meal. That is a surefire pick-me-up in the face of gardening woes if I’ve ever heard one.

Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

One Year Ago: Peach Brown Betty
Two Years Ago: Simple and Meaty Skillet Lasagna
Three Years Ago: Chopped Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese

Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Yield: Serves 4-6

Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drain tomatoes into a 2-cup liquid measure. Add water to tomato liquid to make 2 cups. Add tomato/water mixture and 1 teaspoon salt to skillet.
  2. Scatter noodles into the skillet, layer tomatoes over the noodles and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, stirring occasionally (so the noodles won’t stick!) for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in zucchini and squash, cook, stirring now and then, until noodles and squash are tender, about 8 minutes. Add basil and half of the rictotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese to the noodles, stirring until the sauce is creamy. Dollop remaining ricotta cheese over the noodles, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/skillet-summer-vegetable-lasagna/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen

55 Responses to Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

  1. StephenC says:

    I’ve had serious thoughts about skillet lasagna lately. Thinking, though, that I will wait for cooler weather. I love what you’ve done, and we too struggled with gardening and had mixed results. Still, it was fun to go out and find a nice bunch of yellow wax beans and a huge quantity of kale.

  2. kandi v says:

    Three words: Square Foot Gardening. Nothing planted in my ground grows, but we built two 4×4 boxes and the plants grow like crazy. We have an over abundance of cucumbers! This skillet meal looks so yummy. We are trying to eat more meatless meals, and this looks like a great contender for dinner on Sunday. Thanks Mel!

  3. Stephanie says:

    This post made me laugh! Thanks for the picture and your honesty! Will we as women ever stop comparing ourselves to others? Nope! Glad we can all encourage each other in that – and then make some of your delicious meals to make us all feel better. Your blog continues to be my “go-to” for pretty much everything I make. Thanks!

  4. Julia says:

    Well, I’m the one that can kill the zucchini. This is the first year I have had such poor results from my squash. I have lots of tomatoes, I picked a 26 pound watermelon last night, but I only got 1 zucchini before the plants died. (I’m thinking we had some bad luck with the squash vine borer, but we’ve never had them before.) Thanks for all you do. I always get excited when I see you have a new post up. I love your blog and make lots of your recipes regularly.

  5. Natalie says:

    Your garden looks like mine, or maybe 10x better than mine. The only thing I can get to grow in this TX heat is basil and rosemary. Rosemary loves the heat and drought.

  6. Kim in MD says:

    Oh- I feel your pain, Mel! I don’t have a garden at my house, but my MIL has one. This year is the worst her garden has ever produced! I am not sure why (maybe because it’s been extremely hot without much rain- even though she waters it almost daily), but the fruits of her labor are slim pick’ins this year! I can only imagine how you must feel with your neighbor’s garden right there next to yours. I agree with Stephanie though…we women have to stop comparing ourselves (and our gardens) to others! ;-)

    That said, when you said “I feel like shouting from the rooftops, “I LOVE SKILLET MEALS!” Because I really, really do.” I wanted to shout, ME, TOO! My family asks for your skillet sausage pasta recipe at least once a week, and now everytime I try a new recipe I think…how can I make this a one skillet (or pot) dish? :-)

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I can already imagine all the ways that I can twist it up. I know my family will love it, because I have yet to make one of your recipes that they didn’t love! :-)

  7. Kim says:

    I think you should be proud of yourself for at least trying to have a garden, and giving it your best effort. Even the smallest gardens can bring great joy. Keep up the good work. And thank you for sharing this delicious recipe with us and your talents. You are amazing.

  8. I love skillet meals too! Can’t wait to try this one this weekend :)

  9. Kira says:

    This is exactly what we needed. Something delicious and easy. Can’t wait to make it next week, or sooner if I can drag myself to the store. Thank you for sharing your amazing ideas and talents with us. They are always a hit.

  10. Aggie says:

    This is so my kind of pasta! Your post put a smile on my face…the woes of gardening! The photo of the two gardens side by side cracks me up…BUT…be proud, you have a garden! :)

  11. Kelley says:

    Yummy! This is on my menu for next week. :-)

    Also, about the gardening…don’t feel bad. I didn’t even attempt a garden this year because last year mine was so pitiful!

  12. Yum! This looks great. Totally perfect for summer. Thanks for sharing. :)

  13. CherylK says:

    I honestly was just wishing I could make lasagna without turning on the oven! And I do believe I’ve got all the ingredients except the yellow squash so I’m almost good to go…off to the farmers’ market!

  14. The garden dramatics are funny :) I love this meal and the broken peices of lasagna noodles is a great way to use up all of those “last 2″ noodles in the package when I make the real lasagna. Skillet meals are the best! I have a ton of fresh basil right now from my kitchen window garden, lol. I think this may be on the dinner menu tonight.

  15. MrsS says:

    My husband and I have too many projects to speak of going on our lives, and just to add to the pain we started a garden. I have exactly one zucchini and one squash as well from our very “humble” plot. I’m looking forward to this dish making it’s way onto our table tonight. Bless those of you out there who CAN grown–something. We’d go hungry without you. :)

  16. Haha! Mel you crack me up! If it makes you feel any better I recently attempted an herb garden. I bought all the plants already full grown and sprouting so all that I would have to do is maintain it. I kid you not, just three days later ALL of the herb plants were dead! So you are doing WAY better than me!

    Also this skillet veggie lasagna sounds so easy. I recently made veggie lasagna in the crock-pot that turned out great! I will have to try your version next though because sometimes I am just too impatient to wait for food to ‘slow cook’!

  17. Nancy says:

    Excellent photo… I love it and I feel your pain. I gave up this year b/c the deer always eat everything. Will have to build a garden fence at some point in the future if I want to try again. But more impressively – your kids eat zucchini!?! Mine are good about most veg, but “squash” is just one they won’t do. But they get in honestly – I came to zuc late in life as well. :) Looks delish.

  18. Jackie Brown says:

    Mel, That looks tasty; I’ll have to try this for a mission meal sometime. Also, did you label your photo in picassa? What photo editor do you use to add text?

  19. Mel says:

    Hi Jackie – I use Photoshop for my photo editing so I labeled it there.

  20. Oh Mel, your garden looks just fine. It’s just amazing how your garden is so close to your neighbors garden. Wow! I live so far out, and own acreage I couldn’t imagine that. Your dish looks amazing, and yummy. Great post, and keep your chin up my friend. Your garden is just fine the way it is :)

  21. Kathleen says:

    Your garden looks fab to me. I love the sound of this lasagna with all the great veggies in it!

  22. Holly says:

    This looks so yummy. Dumb question, you add the noodles un-cooked, right? If so, that makes this lasagna that much better. If it makes you feel better, I did kill my zuchinni plant this year. Maybe I could submit a photo of my garden to make yours look like Eden?

  23. Mel says:

    Holly – yes, you add the lasagna noodles uncooked. Just break ‘em up and throw them in there. Thanks for making me feel better about my garden. Trust me, it looks better in the picture than it really is. :)

  24. Rebekah says:

    Ha, I managed to kill not one, not two, but three zucchini plants last year. Well, they technically didn’t “die”, but we never got a single zucchini out of any of them. And I was even out there helping pollinate them with q-tips and everything. It was certainly pathetic. Didn’t even try them this year. Maybe next. You are not alone. :)

  25. Heather says:

    While I do love the step-by-step pictures I get on most of my other food blogs I read yours is really becoming my favorite because everything is soo organized and there really isn’t a lot of crazy or wasteful things on here. And your recipes really relate well to a stay at home mom on a budget. So thanks so much for all you do! I check every day for new up dates tried like five things from your blog just this week, every one loved your wheat bread. Plus I love your “the best recipe” section.

  26. Mary says:

    What a wonderful summer recipe – homegrown veggies are just the best!
    Mary

  27. Brittany C. says:

    Mel, if it makes you feel any better, last year we managed to kill our zucchini plants, it can be done!. And this year, one died immediately and the other produced 2, yes 2 zucchini. No more, no less.

  28. Laura says:

    My daughter and I made this for dinner Friday night. It was wonderful! Thanks!

  29. Rebecca Taylor says:

    I’ve loved your website! I have a black thumb; even trees I suggest for our yard die. But, square foot gardening has changed that! Oh, and turkey pooh for the compost. If you rig up sometime of automatic watering system, you can be lazy like me and have a great garden!

  30. Dee says:

    I have done square foot garden for years now. This year we got two new dogs that have ran over my garden. Your garden looks really good compared to mine.

  31. Shandra says:

    Healthy and delicious recipe–yum! I am so excited to try it with the zucchini and squash from my garden. Don’t worry, there is hope for your garden! I killed everything until I went to square foot gardening. I have three magic words for gardening–compost, vermiculite and peatmoss. These three soil ingredients will make your garden grow like gang-busters. I realized I wasn’t the issue with my garden, the soil was. Now that I figured that out, my garden grows with literally NO effort. It is awesome! Maybe next year you can give that a try and your garden will be even better than your neighbors..haha ;)

  32. Jan says:

    Mel, could your soil be depleted and in need of a boost?? That can be accomplished even with plants growing. If nothing else, try miracle gro. Also, save egg shells, grind up, and dig around plants, add the ground up shells, cover; water.

  33. Stephanie B says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. I like to make homemade pasta, and decided it would just be easiest to cook the pasta on its own then add it to the skillet with the basil and cheese. Next time I wouldn’t use as much water. I could have let it simmer longer to boil off, but was short on time, so it ended up being a bit soupy. But it was still tasty! Enough to convince my carnivore husband to take it for lunch tomorrow.

  34. Jill says:

    I just made this today and it was SO good! My self proclaimed 5 year old vegetarian had seconds!

  35. Juli says:

    Well, you’ve done it again! This was a huge hit at our house! We loved it. This is a repeat for sure! Thanks! FYI…I have never made anything from your site that wasn’t an instant family favorite. You are amazing!

  36. Liss says:

    Made this last night with whole grain lasagna noodles- delicious! Thanks for a recipe everyone enjoyed.

  37. Kelly W. says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I didn’t have ricotta on hand, so I had to substitute cottage cheese and it still worked out great. My husband cringed when he saw it was a meatless dish, but after one bite, he loved it. I will be making this again! Thank you!

  38. Jessica says:

    Made this, love this! You are amazing. Thank you.

  39. Kate says:

    Mel,
    This one was so stinkin’ good. My husband and I had two huge helpings. My 4 year old gobbled it up. This is a keeper so easy and fresh and good. Thanks.

  40. Tobi says:

    mel, this was AMAZING and SO easy!! it was so great to be able to have lasagna and not run my oven in july ;) a definite keeper to add to the collection. thanks!

  41. Natalie T. says:

    Mel,
    I absolutely love your recipes. I don’t cook as often now that my hubby is deployed, but I decided I would cook me one great meal a week. I chose this one this last week and it was sooooo delicious! I even had leftovers (which I really am picky about reheated food) and they tasted just as delicious! Thank you!

  42. Christina says:

    I made this recently and it was so delicious, definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing it!

  43. I made this recipe the other night and it was SO good! My husband prefers to eat meatless meals during the summer and so he was very happy with this one. And I decided that it is easily one of my new favorite meals! We will be making it again and again! Thank you!

  44. Lori in AZ says:

    This is an awesome skillet dish! My whole family loved it. At least you have a garden and it’s green! I love your site!! Thank you!

  45. Heather says:

    Should the liquid/tomato mixture read “to measure 4 cups” instead of 2 cups? One 28-0z can is 3 cups… I checked my recipe for Skillet Lasagna on Cookscountry.com and it reads for 4 cups.

  46. Heather says:

    Ah! I reread the instructions a more closely. :) My bad…. even though I did it the way described for the regular skillet lasagna recipe, I think I will be okay. :)

  47. Stacie H. says:

    Just made this tonight and I think its my new fav! I only made half the recipe for my husband and I- it was plenty too. I cut up a whole tomato instead of the canned along with a can of tomato sauce and some water. The ricotta cheese really makes this dish- I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks!

  48. Rhonda says:

    This is an awesome recipe. I added some hamburger since hubby
    would swoon if I made a main dish without meat and it was a
    great summer supper. Thanks

  49. Kara m says:

    So good. Even my toddler liked it. I sliced the zucchini a little thin (1/4″) and added them after the noodles had been in for 8 mins. It’s definitely better with freshly grated Parmesan and fresh basil. It needs the saltiness of fresh Parmesan since I don’t add salt. Makes a ton. Could half for my family of four (2 little kids). Thanks!

  50. Melissa says:

    I loved this! My kids ate it but didn’t love it, hubby was just ok with it – he’s anti-vegetable.

  51. Ashlee says:

    Mel I need a new skillet, so do you have a favorite? I’ve seen you mention a 12″ a few times, but is there a brand you like?

  52. I’m coming up on squash season myself and this looks delicious. Since hubby will turn his nose up at anything lacking a meat product, any thoughts on a good, marinated chicken (perhaps one of yours on the blog here?!) that would pair with this? I could do plain grilled, but was looking for a little something more adventurous. :)

  53. jill m. says:

    How much bowtie pasta should I use if I don’t have lasagna noodles? Trying to avoid going to the store!

  54. Mel says:

    Jill – I don’t know exactly since I haven’t made that substitution but I’d start with 8 ounces and see how that goes. Good luck!

  55. Grace says:

    Raised beds are definitely the way to go. It is relatively inexpensive, and if you compost, you’ll never have to buy soil again! Find your local organic soil farm and get some top soil. If you use wood for your raised bed, do not use pressure treated wood, as this will contaminate any food in your garden. It looks like you’re getting plenty of sun, but the organic composted soil is the key to a happy, healthy garden!

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