One-Pan Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is a comfort food staple for a reason, but when you don't have the time for the real thing, consider this alternative: a cast iron skillet lasagna made entirely on the stovetop in under an hour. Recipe developer and Registered Dietitian Kristen Carli is here to show you the way.

"I love that this just requires one pan, making it great for a quick weekday cleanup," she says, noting that the benefit of this lasagna is that it "doesn't require an oven, which is sometimes very nice."

While an enamel cast iron skillet is perhaps the ideal vessel for this recipe, boasting great heat retention and an effortless transition from cooking vessel to serving dish, Carli notes that "as long as you have a big skillet or sauté pan," anything will do. No matter what kind of pan you use to cook this hearty dish, the combo of rich beef, tomato sauce, and creamy ricotta cheese coats the lasagna noodles in a perfectly heavenly way. 

And if you're missing the gooey mozzarella topping from a traditional lasagna, Carli says to go for it. "You could add cheese on top," she suggests, "and melt [it] for extra cheesy goodness."

Gather the ingredients

To make this cast iron skillet lasagna, you'll need the usual Italian base aromatics: onion and garlic, which you'll sauté in a touch of olive oil. Ground beef joins diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to make a richly flavored mixture that won't need to simmer for hours to take on tons of flavor. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and a touch of oregano, it's the ideal sauce to coat lasagna noodles. 

A splash of water, a touch of creamy ricotta, and your ingredients are assembled (though some Parmesan cheese and basil for garnish are certainly welcome!).

Cook the beef

To begin making this cast iron skillet lasagna, heat the skillet over medium heat, and add the olive oil, garlic, and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes, taking care to watch the garlic carefully to keep it from burning. Overcooked garlic has an unpleasant bitterness that you won't want in your lasagna! If you're nervous about overcooking it, you could always add it once the onions are tender, stirring it in for just a minute or two, until aromatic.

When the garlic and onions are cooked, add the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook it until nicely browned, and above all, no pink remains.

Add the tomatoes

Once the beef is cooked, it's time to add the tomatoes to this cast iron skillet lasagna. Carli calls for both diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for a one-two punch of rich tomatoey goodness.

"Using the canned tomatoes allows you to get a bite of tomato," she says, "but the tomato sauce really amps up the concentrated tomato flavor."

Season the sauce with oregano, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine, so that the liquid from the tomatoes coats all of the beef, and also to bring up any fond — those lovely caramelized bits — on the bottom of the pan. They'll add loads of flavor to the finished lasagna.

Add the noodles

Next up for this cast iron skillet lasagna: the lasagna noodles! Instead of leaving these pasta sheets whole, as you would with a traditional lasagna, break each of them up into 2 to 3 pieces. This will make the lasagna easier to serve. 

There's no need to parboil these noodles separately. Simply add them straight to the skillet, along with the water, and toss well to ensure the noodles are fully submerged in the tomato liquid. After 20 minutes on medium-low heat, they'll be perfectly cooked and imbued with tomatoey goodness — and as an added plus, they'll have released their starch into the skillet, thickening that rich tomato sauce.

Add the ricotta cheese

The last ingredient for this cast iron skillet lasagna is the ricotta cheese — an essential addition that will lend all of the depth, richness, and creaminess you know and love from a traditional baked lasagna.

Stir the ricotta into the skillet, and then cook just about 5 minutes more, to heat it through.

That's it! Your cast iron skillet lasagna is done. If you want to add some mozzarella cheese on top, you're more than welcome to — and you could even stick the skillet under the broiler to help it melt. Either way, serve this cast iron skillet lasagna with a garnish of Parmesan and basil, and you'll be fielding no complaints.

One-Pan Lasagna Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
Ready in under an hour, this one-pan, cast iron skillet lasagna is a quick and easy dinner when you're in need of some comfort food.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
6
servings
Cast iron skillet lasagna
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 10 lasagna noodles
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • basil leaves, for garnish
Directions
  1. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beef. Break it up with the back of a wooden spoon, and cook until no pink remains.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add the oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Break up each of the lasagna noodles into 2-3 pieces. Add to the skillet with the water, making sure to submerge the pieces into tomato liquid. Cook for 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
  5. Add the ricotta cheese. Stir to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes more. Top with Parmesan and basil for garnish.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 404
Total Fat 22.2 g
Saturated Fat 8.8 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 69.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Total Sugars 5.6 g
Sodium 720.3 mg
Protein 21.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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