What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering) and this lasagna recipe bakes way faster! | natashaskitchen.com

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What makes a skillet lasagna? This has all of the same elements of a classic lasagna recipe – meat sauce, cheese sauce and pasta plus more cheese of course, but the process couldn’t be easier. Everything is stirred together with penne pasta (no layering required) and it cooks fast!

GUESS WHAT?? There is no ricotta cheese in this easy lasagna recipe. It is replaced with a surprising ingredient that works really well. My sister, Sveta (who is also my Marketing Manager) came up with this recipe, filmed an irresistible pasta cheese pull on her phone and sent it my way. My first thought was “HOLD ME BACK!!”

I have a weakness for incredible cheese pulls but it wasn’t just that – the meat sauce underneath the lovely crown of cheese is equally amazing. Every bite of this Skillet Lasagna Casserole is juicy, satisfying and loaded with flavor (see next photo for proof).

We have included Amazon affiliate links to our favorite kitchen tools used in this recipe.

What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering) and this lasagna recipe bakes way faster!

Lasagna Cheese Sauce Ingredients:

10 oz Ranchero Cheese (Queso Fresco), crumbled
1 Tbsp sour cream
1 egg
4 oz (1 cup) mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt

Lasagna Pasta and Toppings:

1 lb penne pasta, or broken up lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta water
2 oz (1/2 cup) cheddar, shredded
2 oz (1/2 cup) mozzarella cheese, shredded

Ingredients on the table for a Lasagna Casserole

Lasagna Meat Sauce Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef (use lean 90/10 or an 85/15 fat content)
1 medium diced onion
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
24 oz marinara sauce (homemade, or store-bought)

Ingredients on the table for a Lasagna Casserole

How to Make Easy Skillet Lasagna

1. Bring a 5 Qt pot of water to a boil and add about 1 Tbsp salt. Add penne pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente (firm to the bite).

2. In a large, deep, oven safe pan, combine ground beef and diced onion and sauté over medium/high heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until meat is fully cooked and onion is soft (5 to 8 mins). Spoon out and discard any excess fat released from ground beef.
Two photos of skillets with meat for Lasagna Casserole

3. Stir in the seasonings: 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp pepper then pour in marinara, bring to a simmer and turn off the heat.

Two photos of skillets with meat for Lasagna Casserole, one has sauce added

4. Meanwhile, place 10 oz ranchero cheese into a medium mixing bowl and crumble/ mash it up with a wooden spoon. Add remaining cheese sauce ingredients: 1 Tbsp sour cream, 1 egg, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 2 Tbsp parsley and 1 tsp garlic salt. Stir together then add it to the meat sauce and mix just until combined.

Two photos of bowls with ingredients fro Lasagna Casserole

5. Stir in cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to make it juicier (I used 1/2 cup pasta water). (Transfer to 9×13 casserole dish if not using an oven-safe pan). Smooth out the top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and center is hot and steamy.

What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering) and this lasagna recipe bakes way faster!

This easy, cheesy lasagna pasta bake is such a treat! It also refrigerates and reheats really well so leftovers are niiice!

What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering) and this lasagna recipe bakes way faster!

Print-Friendly Skillet Lasagna Casserole Recipe:

Easy Skillet Lasagna Recipe

5 from 43 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering) and this lasagna recipe bakes way faster! | natashaskitchen.com
What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna - meat sauce, cheese sauce and penne pasta plus more cheese of course, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering required) and it bakes way faster!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 people

Lasagna Cheese Sauce Ingredients:

  • 10 oz Queso Fresco (Ranchero Cheese)
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, (1 cup shredded)
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Lasagna Pasta and Toppings:

  • 1 lb penne pasta, (reserve 1 cup pasta water)
  • 2 oz cheddar cheese, (1/2 cup shredded)
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, (1/2 cup shredded)

Lasagna Meat Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef, use 90/10 or an 85/15 fat content
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 24 oz marinara sauce, homemade, or store-bought

Instructions

  • Bring a 5 Qt pot of water to boil and add 1 Tbsp salt. Add penne pasta and cook al dente according to package instructions.
  • In a large, deep, oven-safe pan, combine beef and onion. Sauté over med/high heat, until meat is fully cooked and onion is soft (5 to 8 mins), breaking up meat with a spatula. Discard any excess fat released from beef.
  • Stir in seasonings: 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp pepper. Add marinara and bring to simmer then remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, crumble up ranchero cheese in a medium bowl. Add 1 Tbsp sour cream, 1 egg, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 2 Tbsp parsley and 1 tsp garlic salt. Stir together then add it to the meat sauce and mix just until combined.
  • Stir in cooked pasta and add reserved pasta water to taste for a juicier casserole (I used 1/2 cup pasta water).* Smooth out the top then sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake at 350˚F for 20 min to melt cheese and make the center steaming hot.

Notes

*Transfer to casserole dish if not using an oven-safe pan.

Nutrition Per Serving

521kcal Calories50g Carbs34g Protein19g Fat9g Saturated Fat97mg Cholesterol1373mg Sodium691mg Potassium3g Fiber7g Sugar890IU Vitamin A8.3mg Vitamin C435mg Calcium3.3mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Skillet Lasagna Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
521
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
19
g
29
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Cholesterol
 
97
mg
32
%
Sodium
 
1373
mg
60
%
Potassium
 
691
mg
20
%
Carbohydrates
 
50
g
17
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
34
g
68
%
Vitamin A
 
890
IU
18
%
Vitamin C
 
8.3
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
435
mg
44
%
Iron
 
3.3
mg
18
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Lasagna Casserole
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 521
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering) and this lasagna recipe bakes way faster!

Mmm… Cheesy saucy goodness! Are you hungry yet? 😉

P.S. If you’re a big lasagna fan, you won’t want to miss our slow cooker lasagna recipe which is perfect for Sunday lunch.

What is a lasagna casserole? This easy lasagna pasta bake has all the same elements of a classic lasagna, but the process is so easy! Everything is combined in a casserole dish (no layering) and this lasagna recipe bakes way faster! | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Sharon
    April 12, 2023

    Hi, I don’t like sour cream so I never have it on hand for recipes… what can I use instead of sour cream?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 13, 2023

      Hi Sharon, I have not tested any substitution to advise.

      Reply

  • Lori
    January 15, 2023

    Regular lasagne is now dead to me! This recipe was seriously easy and super tasty. I used sweet Italian sausages instead of ground beef and used remnants of two open jars of pasta sauce that were in my fridge. I used just a pinch of sugar (not a full teaspoon) and added red pepper flakes and extra oregano. Something about the queso and the cumin gives this a really interesting and yummy flavor. This recipe makes a huge pot of pasta so there will be plenty to freeze for future meals. Thanks for this GREAT recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 15, 2023

      You’re so very welcome, Lori! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Luke
    July 12, 2022

    Hi, Who doesn’t like lasagna but I’m lazy and don’t like the work involved. I never used queso cheese before. Nice.. much more flavorful and better texture than ricotta. And queso doesn’t cost much more. TIP: I divide it up into those small, reusable, microwave safe, black plastic containers with lids (Walmart) and freeze for later before baking. One container is perfect size for kids or elderly couple. Lightly coat container with non stick spray. Once frozen the entire contents will pop out easily in one piece. Flip over and transfer to pie pan and bake in toaster (energy saver) or regular oven. Or leave in plastic container and microwave on medium. Your recipe tastes just as good as traditional lasagna and much easier. Thanks for sharing

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 12, 2022

      Hello Luke, thanks so much for your detailed review and feedback. So happy that you loved the recipe!

      Reply

  • Olga
    August 2, 2021

    Hi Natasha… do you think I can freeze this recipie? I didn’t realize how much this recipe makes 😅😅😅 should have made atleast half. Don’t want it to go to waste.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 3, 2021

      Hi Olga, I haven’t tried freezing it but in general lasagna does freeze well so I think that should work fine with this recipe.

      Reply

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