Skillet Lasagna

Oh how I love one-pot (or skillet in this case) meals. They scream easy cleanup and are usually quick to prepare. This skillet lasagna was incredible. The noodles cook in a tomato garlic sauce and are packed with flavor by the end of their boiling bath. The creamy ricotta is like icing on a cake – I was hunting for all the smooth pockets of ricotta cheese in my helping of dinner (make that two helpings of dinner). This dinner will be making a frequent appearance on our kitchen table. Flavorful, delicious lasagna….without all the layers and without all the work. Dreamy.

What To ServeDivine Breadsticks or Cheesy Garlic Bread
Steamed vegetable like broccoli or peas
Simple green salad (or something more fancy like this Gourmet Green Salad)

Simple and Meaty Skillet Lasagna

Simple and Meaty Skillet Lasagna


  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • Salt
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (these do not add spice – just flavor!)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (I used 80% lean) or lean ground turkey
  • 12 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (do not use fat-free)


  1. Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a blender or food processor until they are coarsely ground and no large pieces remain (in a food processor, that is about 12 pulses0.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until it is lightly browned and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Scatter the broken lasagna noodles over the meat and then pour in the ground tomatoes and tomato sauce over the pasta. Stir in the basil and oregano. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Off the heat, stir in half the mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta over the noodles, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Cover and let stand off the heat until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes

59 Responses to Simple and Meaty Skillet Lasagna

  1. Kristen Lynch says:

    Have you ever made it with your perfected homemade spaghetti sauce? I always have it on hand ready to go and wonder how much to use? It would make this recipe even easier than it already sounds!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t made this particular recipe with my homemade spaghetti sauce but I would say go for it (I’ve used that homemade spaghetti sauce in lots of other recipes, like baked pastas, manicotti, and it’s awesome).

  2. HayleyS says:

    Ohmygosh Mel I made this recipe last night, it was the BEST lasagna I’ve ever had! And this is coming from a girl who doesn’t even like lasagna, and only made it to please her persistent lasagna-craving boyfriend. It was perfectly hearty, herby, meaty and cheesy. We followed this up with the Easiest Brownies in the World – I worked at a bakery this summer and their brownies don’t hold a candle to yours, totally delicious. Your recipes make me absolutely love cooking and baking!

  3. JennyP says:

    Made this tonight and it was great. It was slightly “soupy,” but that is likely because I used 3 cans of diced tomatoes instead of whole. To save time, I threw the peeled garlic cloves in with the tomatoes while I gave them one run in my blender. Did everything else as written and it came out fabulous – the soupiness just allowed for more bread dipping 🙂

  4. erin says:

    How many servings for the pasta?

  5. Vaneeta says:

    I have been perusing your site for a few weeks now and finally decided to make this and the unbelievable chocolate cake today. Both were excellent.. I used about 10 ounces of Barilla farfalle pasta and 14 minutes were perfect. I have the skillet lemon chicken on our menu for Monday night and fish tacos on Thursday! Your kids are adorable, by the way!

  6. Diane says:

    Yummy! Some of my noodles stuck together (a few three or four deep, which were the only crunchy ones), and I don’t think I could have added enough cheese to make it lasagna-cheesy, but definitely easy and tasty. I also kept the lid off the last 5-7 minutes of simmering because it was still pretty liquid-y.

  7. Katrina A says:

    I just wanted to add my 2 cents. My family LOVES this dish! I always make it in my cast iron skillet, and have found we prefer rigatoni noodles instead of the lasagna noodles. It takes a bit longer to cook them, but they stick to my pan/burn with less attention. Yum! Thanks, Mel!

  8. Sherry says:

    Forgot to share my tip. Since I’m retired, I find it less stressful to prepare dinner in the morning – My afternoons are spent helping the grandsons with their homework and driving to their football practice, etc. I prepared the lasagna, but before topping it with the various cheeses, I put it in a Ziploc container, then put the cheeses on top and then put the cover on it . Once it cooled, I put it in the refrigerator. Then at dinner time, I just microwaved it!

  9. Sherry says:

    This was a hit with my two grandsons!!! They said it was the best lasagna they had ever tasted. Plus, it was the fastest to prepare too! Thanks!

  10. julie says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was delish! So glad I found your site!

  11. Cindy says:

    The penne worked great, my boys loved it.

  12. Mel says:

    Cindy – it’s worth a try. I’ve never used penne but I’d probably use about 8 ounces to start with.

  13. Cindy says:

    I really like this recipe but have wondered about trying it with penne instead of the lasagne noodles. Do you think it would work and how much would you use?

  14. I shared my take on your recipe with my readers today. My oven has been broken for over a month and this has become one of our favorite replacement recipes. Thanks so much!

  15. Amanda Zentefis says:

    This meal was delicious! I have tried so many of your meals and never been disappointed!! My husband and I love you!!

  16. Amy says:

    Mmmm… this was such an easy way to have yummy lasagna. I saved myself time and energy by using premade spaghetti sauce and my whole family really enjoyed it. So far, we’ve all been pleased with the recipes I’ve tried on your site. Thank you!

  17. Deb says:

    Another winner, Mel! Has all the flavors of lasagna but you actually have the time to make it on a weeknight. Love the sauce.

  18. Erin says:

    Hope you’re not getting sick of all the comments I’ve been leaving on years-old posts! 😉 I just love so many of your recipes! I made this one for dinner last night and it was AMAZING. 🙂 I thought about substituting Prego (since my husband usually likes it better than homemade sauce) but I’m glad I didn’t, the sauce was perfect!

  19. Deb in Dayton says:

    Had this for dinner tonight. Another hit by Mel! New member of the quick dinner rotation!!

  20. Stacey says:

    Oh yum! This was delicious and so easy. I was thrilled to only have a skillet and blender to wash. I may never make “real” lasagna again!

  21. Kathy says:

    This was fantastic! I made this for dinner and everyone loved it! I served it with your Blitz bread which was also geat!

  22. Mel says:

    Hi Veronica – I think the fat-free ricotta can make the texture fairly grainy so that’s why it isn’t recommended to use it; however, if it’s sitting in your fridge, I’d say just go for it so it doesn’t go to waste.

  23. Veronica says:

    Thanks for your great recipes, I’ve tried a good number of them. I was just wondering why you said don’t use fat-free ricotta. I asked my husband to get low-fat ricotta on his way home and of course, he got fat-free. So I got a tub sitting in the fridge.

  24. Rebecca B says:

    I love this dish!! Just finished putting the cheeses on top!

  25. Deb says:

    Super scrumptious and comes together pretty quick. Serve it with the Make Ahead Garlic Bread recipe on this website, you won’t regret it 🙂

  26. Reyna says:

    Mel, this was rad. I can’t remember the last time I made dinner and EVERYONE loved it. Usually there’s at least one who is not interested. But after I served it up there was the blissful sound of silence. No whining, no complaining. Just eating. How fabulous! I added zucchini to it, and next time I’m going to sneak some eggplant in there too (am I pressing my luck? probably.)

  27. Kensi says:

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! I have to be honest, I’ve never made lasagna before, unless you count the frozen kind, which I don’t. Who knew it could be so easy and delicious!? This will always be the lasagna I make from now on. My family loved it so much there were no leftovers. Thank you, thank you!!

    • Mel says:

      Kensi – well, this is a great lasagna to start with, I’d say. I’m thrilled it was such a hit and am glad that you liked it enough to keep making it!

  28. Meagan says:

    This might be a really dumb question, but where do you find a block of parmesan cheese to shred or grate your own. I’ve read how important you think it is to grate your own cheese, but I can’t find parmesan cheese that isn’t already shredded or grated

    • Mel says:

      Meagan – I buy my big block of parmesan cheese at Sam’s Club, but you can find smaller wedges in most deli sections of the grocery store.

  29. mia says:

    made this tonight, so easy, so quick and so good!!!! i *love* all of those things!!!!

  30. Dana says:

    This was a big hit with my family, even my picky 6 year old. However I wasn’t about to clean the food processor for a skillet meal so I used 2 cans petite diced tomatoes and 1 can tomato puree, it worked great. Does make a lot but leftovers will be yummy!

    • Mel says:

      Dana – glad you liked this meal! Don’t blame you for subbing out petite diced for the food processor method. I’ve done that before, too and it works great.

  31. Melanie says:

    Christina – thanks for letting me know that you liked this recipe! I’m glad it was a hit with your family (and yes, it does make quite a bit!).

  32. Anonymous says:

    I made this tonight for my family of four and had tons left over. It was a super quick and easy way to do lasagne, and quite delicious. I would definitely suggest kicking up the spice level a little bit though. Otherwise, another great meal!


  33. Melanie says:

    Hi Emily – I’m not sure what you meant in your comment but you don’t have to worry because I haven’t (nor will I be) going anywhere! Have fun with the recipes!

  34. Emily says:

    This looks really good, but what I’m really here to say is come back!! Please? I just found your blog a week ago or so and spent a good while looking through all your fantastic-sounding recipes (I’m gonna try to Z’Tejas Corn bread tonight) and bookmarking quite a few to try. So you can’t just leave me hanging like this! I love finding great new blogs to read and it would be so sad if I found you too late! 🙂

  35. Colleen says:

    This looks like a great way to make a quick weeknight lasagna!

  36. My Sister's Kitchen says:

    I have this on my blog too.I agree.It is fantastic!

  37. Melanie says:

    Jan – I love to get your comments. I’m glad you liked this and I agree – double woohoo for easy to make and easy cleanup!

  38. Jayme, The Coop Keeper says:

    Oh I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!!!

  39. Delectable Dining says:

    I’m all about skillet meals also. This looks like a great one! I love that you can put the dried pasta directly in. What a great, quick meal!

  40. Bunny says:

    I have to try this, my hubby loves lasagna!

  41. Melanie says:

    Prairie Princess – glad several of the recipes have worked out for you. Thanks for letting me know! I always like to hear from the “closet” readers.

  42. teresa says:

    I love this! I’ve never made lasagna this way and it looks delicious!

  43. Katy says:

    Yum! I will definitely be trying this one!! 🙂

  44. Prairie Princess says:

    Can’t wait to try this one. I’ve been a closet follower of your blog for awhile and have tried many of your recipes and then repeaetd them for friends and family to high accolades. Sometimes I keep all the credit and sometimes I refer them to your blog. 🙂
    Keep the great recipes coming.

  45. Frieda says:

    What a great way to give your oven a break for the hot days of summer! This recipe is a keeper in my book…

  46. Leslie says:

    This is one simple and delicious dinner!!!!!!
    I love love love one pot meals

  47. Lynda says:

    I’ll definitely be trying this- I love skillet dinners! I must get this cook book too.

  48. Melanie says:

    Melissa – thanks for your comment! I bet the improvisation of cottage/cream cheese worked great in this recipe. Thanks for letting me know!

  49. Jan Russell says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! Easy to make, and easy clean up – whoohooo for both! LOVED it!

  50. The Snow Queen says:

    I hope the new house and ward and schools and work are all working out well. This is my kind-of meal. I didn’t have ricotta on hand so I mixed a little cream cheese (which the world could run on as far as I’m concerned)with cottage cheese. It was delicious. Thanks

  51. Simone says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I found this blog a few weeks ago and love it 🙂 I’m a college student, and I love to cook but a lot of the recipes I find often seem to be A) too many expensive ingredients for my budget, B) too exotic of a dish to convince my boyfriend to try, and/or C) just too darn hard to get right! The recipes posted here always seem simple (both ingredients and skill level) but delicious! The perfect combination 🙂

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