Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Skillet Lasagna

A quick skillet version of lasagna made with ground beef and sausage, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cottage cheese, mozzarella and broken lasagna noodles. All the terrific flavor of baked lasagna, without all the time and effort.
A quick skillet version of lasagna made with ground beef and sausage, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cottage cheese, mozzarella and broken lasagna noodles. All the terrific flavor of baked lasagna, without all the time and effort.

Skillet Lasagna

I love baked lasagna. You just can't beat it, especially when made with a homemade fresh tomato meat sauce. If you have only ever had lasagna from a jarred pasta sauce, you really need to treat yourself sometime! Of course, you can also make a great sauce using the convenience of canned tomatoes.

Take that same basic method to the skillet and you have an amazing meal, with all the flavor, but that's done in no time.

I've made this recipe for years using my method, which involves precooking lasagna noodles, and I've also tried increasing the sauce and adding the noodles dry to cook in the sauce. I much prefer the texture that comes from boiling the noodles ahead. I feel the same way about my baked lasagna, and despite the praise of others, I don't like the no-boil noodles at all. The texture is just off to me.

I also prefer using actual lasagna noodles for this dish, that I stick in a zipper bag, and bang against the counter to break up. Takes a second and the overall dish is much more "authentic" to me than using other pasta cuts, though you certainly can.


If you happen to have leftover meatballs and tomato sauce from making spaghetti, this is a good use for that. All you have to do then is mash up the meatballs, warm up the sauce, throw in the cottage cheese, mozzarella and cooked, broken lasagna noodles and top with the remaining cheese, let it melt and you're done! Talk about speedy. But, even starting fresh with ground meats and canned tomatoes, this is a dish that comes together fast and tastes amazingly close to the more time consuming layered favorite. It is simply delicious. Give it a try and see if you agree.


{Southern Style Hissy Fit Warning:} While we are on the subject of cottage cheese... yes, I use cottage cheese, not ricotta, in my skillet lasagna and in my baked lasagna. It's just my preference.

You are welcome to substitute ricotta, of course. I grew up with cottage cheese in lasagna, like many other southerners did. For some reason though, there are some folks who feel a need to push ricotta on those of us who rather enjoy our lasagna with cottage cheese. I caved to the insistence that I was doing it all wrong and gave ricotta a try. Once. Frankly... I hated it. The texture and the flavor were completely off and all wrong to me, and I regretted ruining my lasagna with ricotta. Yes, ruining it. I just did not like it!

So, I thank you very much to leave me to my cottage cheese, and I'll enthusiastically leave you to your ricotta. Bottom line? Use what you grew up with and love and don't let anyone else try to tell you you're doing it wrong. You're not. {tucking away soapbox}

Here's how I make my skillet lasagna.

For more of my favorite skillet recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!



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Yum

Recipe: Skillet Lasagna

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 40 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients
  • 4 cups of broken lasagna noodles (about 9 noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground beef, or 1/2 pound each beef and ground sausage
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 2 (14-1/2 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup of cottage or ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Instructions

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then salt generously. Break up the lasagna noodles into smaller pieces and boil according to package directions, until tender. Set aside.

While the noodles are cooking, using a large skillet that has a cover, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onions and cook until tender. Add the ground beef and sausage, cooking until browned and crumbled; drain off any excess fat and add the garlic. Add the parsley, Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper and stir in well; cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to mix and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in undrained diced tomatoes, stir to blend, reduce heat to a medium-low, cover and simmer while you finish the noodles.

Drain the noodles. Add the cottage cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the drained noodles to the skillet; stir to blend. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella evenly all over the top or in dollops. Cover the skillet and continue to simmer on low until the lasagna is bubbly and the cheese has melted, taking care not to burn the bottom.

For the Oven: Alternatively, you can also finish this dish in the oven. Just be sure that you are using a skillet that is oven safe and with a lid. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F while you prepare everything. After adding in the cheeses and noodles and topping with the remaining cheese, cover the skillet and place into the hot oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and and lasagna is bubbly.

I like to serve my skillet lasagna with some garlic bread or hot pistolette rolls and a nice mixed garden salad.

Cook's Notes: Lasagna noodles generally come in a 12 to 16 ounce box, you'll need about 1/2 a box or about 8 to 9 noodles. The easiest way to break them up, is to remove about 1/2 of the noodles from the box, place into a zipper bag, close it and bang it on the counter a few times. Then, just break up any larger pieces you see by hand before removing them from the bag. Add the broken lasagna noodles to the boiling water and cook until tender according to the package directions.

Vegetable Skillet Lasagna: Omit meat and saute 1 cup chopped onion along with 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper until tender, then add in 1 cup chopped zucchini squash and 1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms. Drain off any excess water and proceed with recipe.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on April 1, 2009

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