30-Minute Skillet Lasagna

This quick, easy, and yummy 30-minute Skillet Lasagna recipe comes together in just one pan with bowtie pasta, ground beef, tomatoes, and three kinds of cheese!

Skillet Lasagna, two-photo collage with text.


 

If you enjoy the flavors of lasagna, you'll also love 20-Minute Tortellini Lasagna Soup, Easy Skillet Pastitsio, and Five Cheese Ziti al Forno!

Well, the school year grind has officially begun. No more sleeping past the crack of dawn. No more leisurely, schedule-free days. And no more waiting until five minutes before 5:00 p.m. to start thinking about dinner. Because the cold hard truth is that if I don't have an organized meal plan during the school year, odds are higher than average that I'll be serving last-minute frozen pizza for supper.

Served in a white bowl and garnished with basil and parmesan.

For me, however, meal planning is not a set-in-stone process. Rather, when I'm composing my grocery list, I write down a selection of dinners that I'd like to make over the next couple of weeks and buy the ingredients accordingly. But I'm not all, "We're going to have meatloaf on Monday, and tacos on Tuesday..." because at the last minute, Monday might end up being a day that we have lots of leftovers from the weekend to eat up, and our schedule on Tuesday might require a crock pot meal.

Instead, I make a loose plan to cook something like this 30-Minute Skillet Lasagna one upcoming evening when I have -- you guessed it! -- around 30 minutes to prep dinner. And boy is my family excited when that golden opportunity comes along!

Skillet Lasagna in pan on the stove, topped with dollops of ricotta.

Ingredients

If you're a fan of regular lasagna, you're going to love this simple spin. All you need is...

  • Ground beef. Or ground turkey, if you prefer.
  • Garlic. The more the merrier!
  • Tomatoes. Namely, a big can of petite diced tomatoes and a little can of tomato sauce.
  • Herbs and spices. In my humble opinion, fresh herbs are what take this skillet dinner from good to great. I love incorporating whatever Italian herbs I have on hand...primarily basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley. That being said, if you don't have fresh herbs, dried herbs will work just fine. Just reduce the amount to one-third of the original measurements, since dried herbs are three times as potent as fresh.
  • Pasta. Bow-tie pasta (farfalle) is my favorite in Skillet Lasagna. But I think a spiral pasta like rotini would be good, too.
  • Plenty of cheese! Mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan!

Now tell me...who could argue with that combination of Italian goodness?

Aerial view of Skillet Lasagna in pan and in bowl.

How to Make Skillet Lasagna

If you've never made it before, Skillet Lasagna boasts all of the flavor and cheesy goodness of regular lasagna without all of the layering and the lengthy baking time. Instead, you combine the ingredients in a skillet and quickly cook them using a method that can only be described as Hamburger Helper-esque.

  1. First, pour diced tomatoes and tomato sauce into a big measuring cup and add enough water to measure 1 quart. While you're at it, stir in a little sugar to neutralize some of that tomato acidity (if you like).
  2. In a big skillet, brown the ground beef and garlic, drain, and then season with spices and fresh herbs.
  3. Scatter the uncooked pasta over the meat and pour the tomato mixture over the pasta. DO NOT STIR! Cover and bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer and continue to cook until the pasta is tender, stirring every 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in some cheese. Dollop with ricotta and allow to rest for a few minutes. Top with more Parmesan and herbs.

Dinner is served!

Wooden spoon scooping up pasta and ricotta.

And that's it! Not only is this stovetop lasagna a perfect meal for busy weeknights, but it's so tasty (and yummy-looking) that you could happily serve it to dinner guests. It also makes a great, quick and easy, yet universally appealing meal to deliver to a friend, neighbor, or family member.

30-ish Minute Meal

Now before we get to the recipe, I have to be totally honest about something. It might take you slightly longer than 30 minutes to make this lasagna from start to finish. But 37 ½-Minute Skillet Lasagna doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

So if you like to hand grate your cheese and prefer your pasta on the tender side rather than al dente, it is totally acceptable to go a bit over the half-hour mark. Even if you do, I think you'll find that this recipe is still quick, still easy, and still sooooo worth the minimal effort for maximum deliciousness!

Serving in a white bowl.

So what type of meals do you rely on when life and schedules get crazy? If I'm not utilizing my slow cooker during the week, then whatever I'm making for dinner needs to take around 30 minutes.

As a result, this yummy Skillet Lasagna is oft-requested at our house. And I'm always happy to oblige those requests...because not only is it effortless to make, but I'm quite adept at scarfing it down myself. 😉

Scoop of 30-Minute Skillet Lasagna on a wooden spoon.

More Easy One-Pot Ground Beef Dinners

Aerial view of Skillet Lasagna in pan with wooden spoon.

30-Minute Skillet Lasagna

This quick, easy, and yummy 30-minute Skillet Lasagna recipe comes together in just one pan with bowtie pasta, ground beef, tomatoes, and three kinds of cheese!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 493kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • Water, about ½ cup
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, &/or parsley (DIVIDED)
  • 8 ounces bow-tie pasta (farfalle)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

Instructions

  • Pour can of diced tomatoes (with juices) into a 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until the mixture measures 4 cups. Stir in tomato sauce and sugar; set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil; tilt pan to coat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until done. Drain grease, season meat with garlic salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs.
  • Scatter pasta over meat and pour tomato mixture over pasta without stirring. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, covered, stirring every 5 minutes. Cook until pasta is tender, for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and stir in mozzarella and ½ cup Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more garlic salt, pepper, and/or sugar, if necessary. Remove from heat and dollop heaping tablespoons of ricotta all over surface of pasta mixture. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining fresh herbs and Parmesan.

Video

Notes

  • I use a 5 ½-quart saute pan when making this recipe, but any large, deep skillet or Dutch oven (with a lid) should work.
  • Each time you stir the lasagna, push down on the pasta so that it's all submerged in tomato sauce before re-covering with the lid.
  • If sauce is evaporating too quickly during 20 minute simmering time, additional tomato sauce and/or water may be stirred in, as needed.
  • If you'd like to substitute jarred pasta sauce in this recipe, use 4 ½ cups pasta sauce in place of the diced tomatoes + tomato sauce. You will still need to add the ½ cup water and be prepared to add more liquid (if necessary) as the lasagna cooks.
  • Use your favorite fresh Italian herbs! You may use all basil or a combination of basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley.
  • If you don't have fresh herbs, you may use dried herbs instead. However, since dried herbs are more potent than fresh, you will want to reduce the amount to one-third as much. Use about 1 tablespoon dried herbs in the main recipe, plus an extra sprinkle at the end for garnish.
  • Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings at the end before topping with the ricotta. If the sauce is too acidic, add a bit more sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 997mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1125IU | Vitamin C: 15.3mg | Calcium: 338mg | Iron: 4.7mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on August 17, 2014.
This recipe is one that I've been making for years, but I believe it was originally adapted from Cooks Illustrated.

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4.97 from 61 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




92 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    I think there is a typo in the recipe. Two tablespoons of sugar makes it way to sweet. 1-2 teaspoons would be a better amount.

  2. Lasagna is a baked Italian dish consisting of wide strips of pasta cooked and layered with meat or vegetables, cheese, and tomato sauce! This is a pasta dish and nothing more. If you are going to pretend you are a cook, get the terminology right!

    1. 5 stars
      Tony, why bother being mean? Just scroll on by. Personally, I actually did a Google search for "farfalle lasagna", and I call myself a cook.

  3. 5 stars
    My husband and I love lasagna but the kids don't care for ricotta, so I thought this was a nice solution. Everyone loved it! I've made it several times with many variations (used fresh basil once and dried herbs another, ground sausage vs hamburger, once without sugar, tomato sauce vs paste and this last time I accidentally doubled the pasta - oops). Each time it's fantastic as the recipe is really forgiving. My 12 year old daughter announced that this is her new favorite - beating out her dad's New York steak and roasted potatoes.

    1. 5 stars
      I wonder if anyone has tried this in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker? I love this recipe on the stove though! I have to double it every time just so people can have seconds!

    1. I have! Cottage cheese obviously yields a different consistency than ricotta in lasagna recipes, but I think it still tastes good and I do it all the time. 😉

  4. 5 stars
    I have been spending more time cooking lately and I must say this has become my favorite dish ever!!!! My whole family absolutely loves it, thank you for sharing the recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Really tasty! I have made this several times and always enjoyable. For some reason, I thought this recipe used Mascarpone so that is what I will use today to make this. Let's see how it goes. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    This is SOOOOOO good! One of my family's new favorite meals! So easy to make which makes it even more of a blessing to have something taste so very very good yet be so easy to make!

    Thank You!

    1. 5 stars
      Used a mix of dry and fresh herbs and used Italian style tomatoes. A little strong on the seasonings but other than that it was delicious! Would use a little less sugar for my own taste but will make it again for sure.