Yesterday I decided to make a big ol’ skillet of lasagna as part of The Year of the Skillet. I’ve baked a lot of sweet skillet dishes, so it was time for something savory.
I spent the afternoon cooking, taking pictures, taste testing, and cleaning up. When I sat down to edit the photos, my phone beeped with a notification from Twitter telling me a few of the people I follow were tweeting about #nationallasagnaday. Seriously? How weird is that?
Maybe it’s because I’m so deep in the blogging world, but lately everyone seems to be celebrating “National ‘Something’ Day.” It’s a lot of pressure to keep up. Can’t Thursday just be Thursday and not National Donut Day? (Although National Donut Day is an important holiday and should be taken very seriously. I kid.)
Anyway, I just thought it was a humorous coincidence. Had I been one day earlier I would have hit the nail on the head in sharing this recipe with you. Oh well, lasagna is great any day, not just on National Lasagna Day.
So where did this idea come from? Well, this past Monday, I had lasagna with my mom. It was amazing, and since I couldn’t get it out of my head, I had to make some for myself. I purchased a large 12-inch skillet a few months ago, and it was time to put it to use.
I’ve always thought that it’s a bit of fuss to make lasagna. However, using oven-ready noodles and puting it together in one pan (in this case, a skillet) is super easy. Plus, you only have to clean up one pan and one bowl (and maybe a measuring cup or two).
I know you might not want to turn on your oven in the middle of summer, but this recipe is totally worth it. So simple and delicious. Or just save it for fall; I’m cool with that, too.
Here's what you will need:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound oven-ready lasagna noodles
6 cups pasta sauce
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese ball, sliced
1 cup ricotta cheese
Fresh parsley and basil for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a 12-inch skillet, add the extra virgin olive oil and sauté your onions over medium-high heat until translucent. This will take about five minutes. Then, add the garlic and sauté it for a minute. Finally, add the ground beef, breaking it into small chunks. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
After cooking the beef for 8 - 10 minutes or until all the pink has disappeared, remove it from the skillet, place it in a bowl, and set it aside.
Take the skillet off the burner so that it can cool slightly. Then, add 1 1/2 cups of pasta sauce to the bottom, spreading it into a thin later.
Lay the noodle strips across the sauce, overlapping them slightly to create one layer. Spoon half of the beef on top of the noodle layer. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. Top this with 1 1/2 cups of sauce.
Next, add another layer of noodles. Spread the remaining beef across this layer. Top with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Again, top with 1 1/2 cups of sauce.
Add a final layer of noodles. Top with 1 1/2 cups of sauce.
Then, using a tablespoon, spread dollops of ricotta cheese evenly across the top of the lasagna. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Allow the pan to cool slightly and garnish with the fresh herbs.
Dinner is served.
Now, I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not. It’s just layering.
Also, if your favorite lasagna recipe is a bit different, just make it your way. Add mushrooms or leave out the ricotta. Do whatever works for you.
What I love about this skillet lasagna is that it’s super casual. I don’t even like to cut it like traditional lasagna. Just serve it with a big spoon and you’re good to go. Whip up a garden salad, get a loaf of crusty bread, and set dinner on the table.
Happy Belated National Lasagna Day!