The best three cheese skillet lasagna starts with a simple sauce made with basic ingredients, plenty of cheese and uncooked noodles all simmered together in perfect harmony in one big pan. It’s the perfect weeknight comfort dinner. Get the salad, make some garlic bread and dig in.Jump to Recipe
One pan dinners are a hot commodity. And you get even more points for the ones that feed a lot of people with the same effort it takes to feed a few, that stays on budget and can be customized to fit your family’s taste.
Well, hello there skillet lasagna. You do all things right.
All you need to do dear cook is get out your big pot and simmer a few simple ingredients.
No noodles to cook, no layering. Nada. Just dinner with a great salad and some garlic bread–oh and one pan to wash at the end.
Ways you can customize your skillet lasagna
- Use any meat you like. We’re using hot Italian sausage here, but a blend of lean ground beef, pork and veal (also called meatloaf mix at the store) or basic ground turkey would be great.
- Add vegetables if your family goes for that. Try tossing in some shredded zucchini and carrots to your meat as it sautés. You can drain away any water with the fat in the skillet if needed.
- Toss in fresh herbs. I kept this version fairly basic with just some fresh parsley at the end and used dried Italian seasoning and seasoned canned tomatoes but feel free to add fresh basil if you have it.
- Go super cheesy. After I took the pictures for this post, I had extra fresh mozzarella cheese left so I just tossed it in the skillet. By the time we ate this for dinner it was bonkers cheesy and everyone loved it. You can also swap the ricotta in this recipe for cottage cheese if you’d prefer.
How to make the best one pan lasagna you’ll ever eat
Step One: Sauté onions until soft in avocado oil. Add garlic and a little red pepper flakes if you have them and like the heat and cook just a few seconds.
Add the meat and cook until no pink remains, breaking up any large pieces. If your meat makes a lot of fat, make sure to drain that off now into a bowl and discard it later. Add a little salt and pepper to your meat and onion mixture.
Step Two: Break in your lasagna noodles in about 2-inch pieces. No need to be perfect. In a large measuring cup add the two cans of diced tomatoes and add enough water to make a total of 4 cups of liquid. I added about 1/2 cup of water to my tomatoes. Add to the noodles along with tomato sauce (not pasta sauce) and Italian seasoning.
Step Three: Simmer for 20 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thin out as it cooks with the lid on.
Step Four: Add parmesan cheese and stir to combine, then add ricotta and fresh mozzarella and either broil it to brown it the top or just put the lid back on the pot and wait for the heat to melt the cheese and serve it up!
How to freeze skillet lasagna
To make this dish even faster, you could make the sauce and freeze it. I wouldn’t add the pasta until you’re ready to simmer because cooked pasta that gets frozen then thawed can turn a bit mushy.
To freeze, cook up the onions, garlic, and sausage. Add the tomatoes and spices then cool to room temperature. Transfer to an air tight container or zip lock bag and freeze flat (so it thaws faster). Thaw overnight in the fridge or drop the whole frozen brick into a pot on medium heat with a bit of water, cover and be patient while it thaws–probably close to 20 minutes.
Once bubbling, add the pasta pieces and proceed with the recipe.
What to serve with skillet lasagna
Keep it simple with a fresh salad and some toasted garlic bread. I love a homemade caesar salad or classic wedge salad. If you want a super cheesy bread, check out this crazy cheese and garlic crack bread.
Looking for more lasagna and pasta recipes? Try these:
Three cheese skillet lasagna
- 1 28-ounce diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
- 1 medium onion minced (1/4" pieces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 10 dry lasagna noodles broken in to 2-inch pieces
- 1 8-ounce tomato sauce not pasta sauce!
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 4 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- In a 4-cup measuring cup pour in the tomatoes and add enough water to bring the total to 4 cups. Set aside.
- Heat a 12" skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook the onions until translucent. About 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
- Add the sausage and cook, crumbling and breaking it up until no pink remains. If your meat is very fatty, drain off what you can. Add the Italian seasoning and stir well.
- Add the broken lasagna noodles to the skillet. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and bring to a simmer (not a rolling boil) and cook stirring occasionally 20 minutes. Your sauce should look watery after 15 minutes of cooking. If yours is very dry, add 1/2 cup water and stir it in.
- After the 20 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the parmesan cheese. Add the ricotta in drops and slice the fresh mozzarella. Lay slices on top and you can either cover with the lid and place the skillet off the heat for 5 minutes for the cheese to soften or place it under the broiler just to melt the cheese.