• Elle

Fabulous 30 Minute One-Pan Lasagna!

Would you believe me if I told you that you could have all of the delicious flavors of lasagna in a 30-minute one-pot meal? This fabulous lasagna recipe is perfect for busy weeknights and packs all of the flavors of this classic Italian dish with about 1/4 of the work!

Hey, y'all! How's it going? Earlier this week, I asked my Facebook followers what their mom was most well-known for making. My mom is an excellent cook, but she is best known for her lasagna. She makes this massive pan of lasagna that is large enough to feed my parents, both of my brothers, myself, our three spouses, three kids and there are still leftovers. The pan of lasagna is so large that it takes nearly 2 hours to cook, and that's not including the time it takes to create all of the layers of noodles, cheese and, sauce.

I've already come to terms with the fact that my lasagna will never be as good as my mom's. I've got all of her ingredients figured out, and I can make a pretty good scaled-down interpretation of it, but it will never be as amazing as my mom's. I'm totally okay with that. Instead of trying to beat her at her own game, I decided to create an easier version of her lasagna. I've converted her recipe into a one-pot thirty-minute version that is the perfect size for a family of 5 or 6.

There's a huge debate over lasagna; cottage cheese vs. ricotta cheese. Which do you prefer? Mom and I prepare it with ricotta cheese, in fact, I don't think I've ever had it with cottage cheese. I'm not a cottage cheese kinda gal. Cottage cheese isn't quite as creamy but it has a similar mild taste to ricotta and has less fat and fewer calories. If you're looking to cut back the calories somewhere, feel free to swap out cottage cheese for ricotta.

Do you know the difference between ricotta and cottage cheese? When a cheesemaker separates milk or cream into curds and whey (a la Little Miss Muffet), the curds are used to make cottage cheese and the whey is used to make ricotta. Although they have a similar soft, mild flavor, the texture is a bit different. I'm a texture girl and I just can't do cottage cheese, I wish I could.

There are so many great things about this recipe; it doesn't take much time, there are very few dishes, and it's super yummy. These all add up to making this the perfect week-night meal because, really, who has time to make all of those layers and do all of those dishes?

Can I tell you a secret? We have this little container in our pantry where we toss in the noddles from partially-used boxes. The mixing of noodles drives me crazy, but having a gazillion partially-full boxes of different shaped noodles drives me even crazier. I use this mixture in dishes like this where the noodles are smothered with a sauce and it's not as noticeable.


1 tbsp olive oil

3 Italian sausage links, casings removed

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz pasta

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (or more)

1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded or freshly grated

1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned crumbling as it is cooking. Drain excess fat.

2. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a simmer.

3. Stir in pasta and two cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until pasta is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

4. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses until well combined. Top the pasta with dollops of ricotta or cottage cheese. Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Serve immediately.

Be sure to pin this recipe for later! It's an absolutely perfect dinner idea for busy nights. Give me a like on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more quick and easy dinner ideas. See you next time!

Use #mandmcooks on social media so I can see how your recipe turned out!

#italian #lasagna #30minutemeals #pasta