Skillet Lasagna!

This month, we’re featuring delicious meals that you can make using a single bowl. First up: Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of the fantastic cookbook KEEPERS, share their recipe for lasagna that you can make in a skillet (yes!)…

Skillet Lasagna
By Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of KEEPERS, a fantastic cookbook featuring easy weeknight recipes

Most lasagnas involve a big investment of time and a sink full of pots and pans, but not this one. It has all the pleasures of lasagna—layers of tender noodles, homemade meat sauce, deliciously gooey cheese—but can be whipped up in less than an hour using a single skillet. We’re fans of Barilla’s no-boil lasagna noodles, but feel free to use whatever brand you like.

Recipe: Skillet Lasagna
Serves 6

You’ll need:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
Two 28-oz. cans whole, peeled tomatoes
1 sprig basil, plus a handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper
One 9-oz. package no-boil lasagna noodles
4 oz. mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (1/2 cup)
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and patted dry

What to do:

In a large high-sided sauté pan with a 3-quart capacity and a lid, heat the oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add the sausages and cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Leaving as much oil in the pan as possible, transfer the sausage to a medium bowl and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onions, garlic and pepper flakes to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the oregano, the tomatoes and their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher, the sprig of basil, and the cooked sausage and any juices. Season with salt and pepper, then gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasonings (it should be a little salty) and discard the basil sprig.

Break half of the lasagna noodles in half crosswise (it’s fine if smaller pieces break off) and as you do so, push each piece into the sauce under the sausage, distributing them evenly throughout the pan. Break the remaining half of the noodles in half and distribute them evenly over the sauce, then push down on them with the back of a spoon to submerge them. Cover the pan and gently simmer (raising the heat a little, if needed) until the noodles are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 12 minutes.

Dollop the mascarpone over the lasagna and swirl it into the sauce. Top with the mozzarella and gently simmer, covered, until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, top with the basil leaves, tearing any large ones. Let the lasagna rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, then serve.

Tip: The next time you end up with a crusty or blackened skillet or pot (it happens to everyone), don’t sigh and reach for the scouring pad. Just add an inch or so of water and briskly simmer until the stuck-on or burned bits soften and start to come away from the bottom. After the water cools, wash as usual. For real doozies, add a big splash of distilled white vinegar to the water before boiling; after draining the cooled water, scrub with baking soda, then wash. It should be (almost) as good as new. We usually start the process before we sit down for dinner, so by the time we’re ready to clean up, the pan is cool enough to handle.

Thank you so much, Kathy and Caroline! I love your book!

P.S. More best recipes, including ricotta gnocchi and spaghetti sauce.

(Recipe by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of KEEPERS. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. Tula says...

    Is there a good substitute for olive oil? My daughter is allergic to olives

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i bet avocado oil would work well!

  2. This was a very good recipe. After I cooked it I thought, this is just hamburger helper. Oh no it wasn’t at all. It was delicious and gooey. My son couldn’t get enough and it was fast. I may never make lasagna in the oven again. Thanks

  3. I made this tonight…so good, super easy and i loved that it wasn’t too heavy

  4. Just made this and it was the best lasagna I’ve ever had! Not too heavy but creamy and delicious. Thanks!

  5. I made this tonight – dinner winner! Super easy, no mess, and tasted amazing!

  6. This is just perfect hummmmmmmmmmmm
    I want to eat one like those

  7. My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog.
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  8. I made this last night and it was so deliciously great!!! oh my, so much better than the regular pan version. The sauce was very flavorful, husband loved as well! thanks, i will check out the cookbook!

  9. This looks delicious! I love a recipe where most of the ingredients are in my fridge or pantry.

  10. I love Keepers–such a great book! And happy to have a sec to catch up on you, a little! Happy (belated) New Year and hope all is well there. xSarah

  11. Recipe looks good but I will definitely not use Barilla which promotes hate. Lots of other pasta choices out there.

  12. This looks amazing. I love easy, and I love lasagna!

  13. This looks SO good!

  14. This looks SO good!

  15. Looks delicious. may try it next weekend!

  16. Thanks for this post. I am trying to cook more in the New Year and this book looks like something I would really enjoy.

  17. oh my gosh, YUM!!

  18. Yum!!

  19. I’m shocked this show has run as long as it has. Today’s women are so much smarter than this aren’t they? Love is about finding yourself, what makes you happy and then if you’re lucky, finding someone who you can share those things with. x

  20. This looks great! My first thought is how bad the noodles must stick to the pan but it’s certainly worth a try.

  21. Ummm, yum!! SO going to try this recipe!! Thanks Jo!

  22. alex, good suggestion, thank you! i’m planning a redesign and will definitely include anton :)

  23. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

  24. This looks absolutely delicous! I’m not a meat eat, so I’m going to try to convert it. Yum:)

  25. That meat sauce sounds really tasty! I will definitely try this soon. Anything that requires doing fewer dishes gets extra points from me!

  26. Looks so good – definitely going to make this soon. Also, FYI – it works in the oven so probably would work for the skillet version as well – no need to precook lasagna noodles – as long as they have sauce on both sides, they will cook just fine without that step!

  27. Looks so good – definitely going to make this soon. Also, FYI – it works in the oven so probably would work for the skillet version as well – no need to precook lasagna noodles – as long as they have sauce on both sides, they will cook just fine without that step!

  28. This sounds delicious and so much easier to make than the traditional lasagna. I am trying to keep it health(ier) so maybe I would sub the sausage for turkey and some italian seasoning. Yum oh yum. Definitely saving this for “date night” (aka a home cooked meal at 7pm with the baby in bed and some lit candles). :)

  29. oh my, using only a single dish is brilliant! All the time and effort that would be saved! Such a great idea and series!

  30. Hey Jo,

    Just a suggestion. You should change your about me pic so you can include little Anton. ;)


  31. Thanks for the intel! This recipe looks delicious. I just now bought the book without even trying this yet! I have so little time after work and daycare pick up, and I no longer look forward to each Sunday grocery trip when I’m trying to drum up the same old recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. This looks so good!! I’m gluten free though, hopefully I can make it the same way!!

  33. Awesome!! I LOVE one-dish meals. Can’t wait to see your other posts in this series.

  34. I have borrowed that cookbook from the library and have made quite a few things from it. So far my favorite has been the black bean and butternut squash enchiladas.

  35. I would love for you or Alex (or even the nanny!) to try the recipes you post on your blog. It’d be helpful and fun to read about your experiences!

  36. My boyfriend loves lasagna, so this is definitey a must! Will try it soon!

  37. jm says...

    This looks amazing!!!

  38. This is a genius idea. And perfectly timed… I was just debating what to make for dinner.

  39. I’m so excited to see KEEPERS on here! It’s one of my very favorite cookbooks. Their Green Curry w/Shrimp recipe is always in my rotation – easy and highly recommend :)