This Cast Iron Skillet Lasagna is a delicious and convenient twist on a classic Italian dish. This hearty and satisfying one-pan meal is perfect for busy weeknights and can be customized to suit your taste. It is a family favorite comfort food featuring browned meat and melty cheese coated in a delicious and rich savory sauce!
One of the great things about this lasagna dish is that it’s an excellent option for those who love the classic lasagna flavors but need more time to make it the traditional way.
It’s a hearty and flavorful dish that covers all the comfort food bases. It has a rich sauce packed with protein and a good serving of carbs. It’s a great dish to serve on a busy weeknight when you have little time but big appetites to satisfy. It’s hearty, flavorful, and easy, as it comes together in 35 minutes in one pan!
If you want more of a traditional lasagna recipe to cook for a crowd, try this decadent Lasagna al Forno!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Easy Skillet Lasagna Recipe:
Pasta: Provides the main starch, adding a satisfying texture to the dish. Traditional lasagna calls for lasagna sheets, but go with your favorite short pasta in this easy version. I like using bow-tie pasta, but penne will work.
Ground beef: Adds protein and flavor to the skillet lasagna and is the main ingredient in the meat sauce.
Marinara sauce: This tomato-based sauce coats the pasta and gives the dish its signature flavor. No marinara sauce? No problem; you can often use marinara and spaghetti sauce interchangeably.
Cheeses: Adds richness and creaminess to the dish. Combining mozzarella, ricotta, and sour cream adds richness and creaminess to this delicious skillet lasagna.
Seasonings: Italian seasoning will help enhance the dish’s overall flavor, and we’ll dial it up with some garlic powder.
HOW TO MAKE CAST IRON SKILLET LASAGNA: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain and drizzle with olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
Step 2: While pasta is cooking, in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, brown beef. Cook meat until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Next, add diced onion and cook until softened and translucent.
Step 3: Add sour cream, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.
Mix until the cheese mixture is well incorporated into the red sauce.
Step 4: Next, add pasta and stir until well-coated with the sauce. Finally, top with remaining mozzarella cheese and cook until all ingredients are heated and all cheese melted.
Step 5: Lastly, garnish with fresh basil or parsley for a pop of color and serve right away.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Cook pasta al dente. For best flavor, cook pasta “to the tooth” or until it is firm to the bite but not overly soft or mushy.
- Break up the ground beef. You don’t want a brick of ground beef in your skillet. Use a potato masher during the last minute of cooking meat to get the meat fine and broken up well.
- This easy skillet lasagna recipe can be elevated by using the best pasta sauce. A good quality sauce will enhance the flavor of the overall dish.
- Adjust seasonings to taste. We’re using a blend of Italian seasonings and a bit more garlic powder to keep things simple. But your skillet lasagna may need more depending on the flavor and richness of the marinara sauce. Adjust as needed.
To give a traditional lasagna appearance, substitute the pasta with broken lasagna noodle pieces.
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Leftover cast iron skillet lasagna can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheating: To reheat, warm it in the microwave until heated through. Alternatively, you can warm it in an oven set to 400°F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. This is incredibly convenient when you are reheating an entire dish.
- Freezing: Freeze skillet lasagna in an airtight, freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then follow reheating instructions.
Additions & Substitutions
- Vegetables: Add your favorite veggies: sauteed mushrooms, spinach, or zucchini are easy ways to include fresh ingredients into this casserole dish.
- Other cheeses: Add slices of fresh mozzarella or a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to complete the look. For extra protein, add cottage cheese to the cheese mixture.
- Meat: Ground beef is a classic choice for this classic Italian comfort food. But you can swap that with ground turkey or a type of ground pork, like sweet Italian sausage. Substitute the meat with hot Italian sausage for a nice flavor kick.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, you can prepare this lasagna dish beforehand, but you need to reheat it in the oven. Make it on the stovetop, transfer it to a casserole dish, cover it with foil, and refrigerate it for 3-4 days. When ready to serve, bake in a preheated 400°F for 15 minutes or until warmed through.
The best type of pan for this dish is a large skillet with tall sides to prevent the lasagna from spilling during stirring. A 12-inch cast-iron skillet is ideal as this material retains and distributes heat well.
After cooking time, let the skillet cool completely before cleaning. You can use hot water and a stiff brush to scrub away any food residue, especially the stuck-on cheese, but avoid using soap as it can damage the seasoning on the skillet. Dry the skillet completely and rub it with a thin layer of oil to prevent rusting.
TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
TRY THESE NEXT…
Cast Iron Skillet Lasagna
- 2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce or your favorite pasta sauce, we love Rao's!
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- chopped fresh basil or parsley to taste (optional)
- Prep Pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cook Meat: In a large cast iron skillet (or any large skillet) over medium high heat, add ground beef. Cook meat until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks (about 3-4 minutes). Pro Tip: Use a potato masher during the last minute of cooking to get the meat broken up nice and fine!
- Add Onion & Sauce: Add onion and cook 1-2 minutes more. Then, add pasta sauce and stir well.
- Add Cheeses & Seasonings: Add 1/2 cup of mozzarella, ricotta cheese, sour cream, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt. Mix until well-combined.
- Finish: Add pasta and stir, stir, stir until pasta is well-coated in the sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and cook until all ingredients are heated through and all the cheese is nice and melty! Sprinkle with fresh parsley or basil (optional) and serve right away!