Stovetop Lasagna With Spinach
The quest for weeknight meals usually leaves lasagna out of the game. Boiling noodles and cooking up sauce just isn’t on my radar on a hectic weeknight. But lasagna is something my kids would always eat, and to be honest, my husband and I are rather fond of it as well. So I came up with a lasagna made in a skillet, on the stove, no boiling of noodles or separate pot of sauce required. I use no-boil lasagna sheets (which are genius) and mix the ricotta cheese in with the meat and tomato mixture (I am genius), eliminating the big assembly. There’s a healthy bag of spinach in there as well (shhhh). The kids won’t even notice because they’ll be so busy gobbling up all that meaty, cheesy lasagna. Delicious lasagna with one-pan cleanup. I promise.
Start to Finish: 35 minutes
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound (455 grams) ground meat loaf mix (beef, pork, and veal)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces (140 grams) baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) jar red marinara sauce
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) beef broth
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) ricotta cheese
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 cup (80 grams) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup (20 grams) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup (10 grams) chopped fresh basil
On a large cutting board, chop the onion and mince the garlic.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and sauté until it begins to soften, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, meat loaf mix, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper, breaking the meat into small pieces with a spatula as it cooks. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the spinach in two batches, turning with tongs until it wilts, about 1 minute. Stir in the sauce, broth, ricotta cheese, and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or pepper flakes. Remove from the heat.
Transfer two-thirds of the meat mixture to a medium bowl. Lay three of the noodles in the pan, breaking them up to fit so it covers the sauce left in the pan. Cover with half the sauce and the remaining three noodles. Top with the remaining sauce, pushing the noodles down into the sauce so that they are covered. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Cover and return the pan to medium-low or low heat. Simmer until the noodles are tender, about 15 minutes.
Serve hot on heated plates sprinkled with basil.
It’s That Easy: Use a good jarred sauce here and the quality will show.
Extra-Hungry Kids? There’s always Italian bread and butter.
Adult Taste Buds? An arugula salad with sliced cucumber, your favorite olives, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a glug of olive oil would be a light counterpoint to the saucy, cheesy, pasta.
In the Glass: Look for a Tuscan red or Chianti at your grocery store. If you have a wine guy or gal, ask them their advice. You might find a new favorite!
Reprinted from “One Pan, Whole Family” by Carla Snyder with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018.