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.

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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 Β½-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. πŸ˜‰

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 Β½ cup
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ΒΌ 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
  • Β½ 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 Β½ 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 Β½-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 Β½ cups pasta sauce in place of the diced tomatoes + tomato sauce. You will still need to add the Β½ 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. 5 stars
    I usually love all your stuff Samanatha. But this is tops. Well until I come to the next recipe. Ooh look, orzo tomato salad. Ooh wait, gnocchi chicken soup. Anyway, all great stuff. I will say that this took longer than 30 minutes, which is not a bad thing. Just to give someone a heads-up, it might run around 40 minutes or so. But it is worth it. Do it.

  2. I’m going to assume you meant 5 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and not tablespoons. I used 3 tablespoons and it was way too much. Otherwise would be good. May try again.

    1. Hi Susan! This recipe doesn't call for Italian seasoning...it calls for fresh chopped herbs, which are not as concentrated. So 5 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs is correct. If you wanted to use dried herbs instead, they are much stronger and you would only need to use one-third the amount. Use about 1 tablespoon of dried herbs/Italian seasoning in the main part of the recipe (or less if the herbs are ground), plus an additional sprinkle for garnish. Hope that helps in case you decide to try this recipe again!

  3. 5 stars
    Hello there... I make this on a high high snow winter. Here in AK, n whatelse can I say???you nailed IT!! I'm proud to say this is my GO -TO taste on Lasagna GOD BLESS d COOKs?Just like ya?

  4. 5 stars
    Lasagna hamburger helper is my husbands' favorite meal-he LOVED this homemade version!! It was so easy to whip up and delicious! I added some extra red pepper flakes and garlic salt at the end to make it perfect-thanks for sharing!

    1. So happy to hear that, Nicole! Growing up, I loved Lasagna Hamburger Helper as well, so it's nice to have a from-scratch substitute in the ol' recipe box. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for taking the time to let me know this was a hit and hope you're having a happy Friday! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Blair! That's a great question and one that many people are confused by. 8 ounces = 1 cup is the equivalent for measuring liquids. So since pasta is a dry ingredient, it's measured by weight, and 1 cup of bowtie pasta does not weigh 8 ounces. 8 ounces of bowtie pasta actually measure out to about 3 cups. So this recipe could either say 8 ounces of pasta (meaning its weight, as in half a pound) or 3 cups pasta (by measuring it in a cup) to mean the same thing. I choose to list 8 ounces in this recipe because it's easy to just eyeball half of a 1-pound bag. Also, different sizes of pasta can measure differently...so if I say 3 cups, a large bowtie pasta is going to fit less ounces per 3 cups than a smaller bowtie pasta, and that can throw off the proportions of the recipe. The main thing to remember is that only liquid ingredients will follow the standard of 8 ounces = 1 cup. I hope that long-winded explanation helps and makes sense. And I hope you enjoy this recipe if you decide to give it a try! πŸ™‚

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks so much for your answer! I guessed that's what the recipe needed, 1 cup didn't seem like nearly enough. I made this the other night and we all loved it, including my 17 month old who had seconds!

    1. I haven't tried it, Vanessa, but I imagine you can. However, it may take some experimenting to figure out the appropriate amount of extra liquid to add to make up for the juices that would have been in the canned tomatoes. I would probably put about 3 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes in the 4-cup measuring cup and then fill it up with water to the 4-cup line, as indicated in the original directions. Then I'd monitor the liquid level closely as the dish cooks. Again, I haven't actually tried this, but I think it would work. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I've made it several times and each time it is amazing. I've taken to adding in mushrooms and spinach for texture.

    1. So happy to hear that this skillet lasagna is on your regular rotation, Lisa! And I love the idea of adding mushrooms and spinach...I'll have to try that sometime!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this tonight! It was easy, fast, and quite delicious! Will definitely make it again and again in the future. Thank you for sharing it!

    1. I'm thrilled to hear that it was a hit, Shannon! Hope you enjoy this Skillet Lasagna for many years into the future... πŸ™‚

  7. 5 stars
    THIS IS AMAZING! I'm super picky, and I ate this every day for 4 days HAPPILY. I was sad when it ran out. I will make this over and over again.

    1. Oh, it makes me so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe so much, Janelle! Thanks for coming back to share your enthusiastic review... πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Malki! I honestly don't have any experience cooking with soy meat or other meat substitutes. However, if it can be successfully substituted for ground beef in other recipes, I imagine it would work just fine in this one. Good luck!

    1. Hi Erica! You just need enough water to bring the total amount of liquid + tomatoes up to 4 cups, or 32 ounces. So if the can of tomatoes with juices is 28 ounces, you'll need an additional 4 ounces (1/2 cup) water. Hope that helps!

    1. That would probably work, Selena, but you'll still want to simmer the sauce in order for it to reduce/thicken a bit. Also keep in mind that if you don't cook the pasta in the sauce, you may end up with more liquid at the end since the pasta wasn't there to absorb any of it. Hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  8. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and have to say it was soooo good. Both hubby and I gobbled it down and happy to have leftovers for some night during the week. I made it just as written - didn't change a thing. πŸ™‚

    1. So happy to hear y'all enjoyed this, Carolyn! And tasty leftovers are always a plus... πŸ™‚