Turn Frozen Ravioli Into A Delicious Lasagna

Lasagna is one of the most popular pasta dishes and also ranks as one of the top comfort foods as well. (Cheesy carbs for the win!) Still, as recipe developer Lindsay D. Mattison admits, "Unfortunately, it's not necessarily easy to make." She goes on to explain: "The long sheets of noodles require par-boiling and layering the different components can create a bit of a mess." Here, however, she's supplying a lasagna shortcut that can cut way down on the time you'll spend in the kitchen. While her simple five-ingredient lasagna recipe does take up to 45 minutes to bake, the oven time is all hands-off. As for the prep work, you can throw everything together in just a few minutes, including rounding up the handful of ingredients required.

The real secret to making this time-saving lasagna is using frozen ravioli, something that Mattison calls "a brilliant shortcut" since the ravioli are cheese-filled and can take the place of both noodles and ricotta. All you have to do is open the bag, too — there's no need to boil them since they'll soften often up as they cook in the sauce. If you'd like to experiment a bit, you can always add a different dimension to your lasagna by trying a variety of ravioli such as meat, spinach, or mushroom-filled.

Two of the other ingredients are optional

As this lasagna is meant to be quick and easy, the marinara comes straight out of a jar. (Here are our picks for the best store-bought spaghetti sauces). Recipe developer Mattison does say, "We always prefer shredding the cheese ourselves," however, as she's found that block mozzarella is not only cheaper but seems to melt better, too. If you're more in tune with Paris Hilton, who revealed in her cooking show that she finds grating block cheese to be "brutal," then Mattison will allow the pre-grated kind.

Mattison also doctors up her marinara with browned ground beef, although she notes that other types of ground meat can also work. Her rule of thumb is, "If you would use it to make meatballs or meatloaf, it will taste great in this lasagna." If you prefer a meat-free lasagna, however, you can simply skip the stuff since the cheese adds plenty of protein all on its own. The spinach, too, is something that not everyone loves to see in their lasagna. Mattison, who is a fan of the stuff, says "The easiest way to make this ... lasagna recipe is to use frozen spinach," although she says that you could cook the fresh kind if you prefer. If you don't care for cooked spinach at all, though, there's no reason you couldn't turn this dish into an even simpler four (or even three) ingredient one.