Skillet Lasagna Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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This skillet lasagna features a meat sauce made with marinara, ground beef, and sweet Italian sausage. It’s layered with noodles, a mix of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, and a final layer of fresh mozzarella cheese.

Cheesy golden skillet lasagna in a cast iron skillet on a wooden table.

Believe it or not, finding the perfect variation of homemade lasagna was a lot easier said than done. We experimented with several different recipes before finally landing on our perfect lasagna recipe that tasted just like we imagined.

Why I Love This Recipe

I love this lasagna recipe because it’s the perfect ratio of marinara, meat, and ricotta cheese. It sounds obvious but so many recipes fail to find the right balance of layers. This recipe is very tender, and creamy, and has plenty of tomato sauce to prevent it from being bland, too meaty, or dry.

Cooking lasagna in a skillet has some benefits. The hot cast iron cooking surface paired with the overflowing top sears the outer edges of the noodles, making them a little crispy. This is my favorite part!

If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to try my no-boil baked ziti and my baked rigatoni next! It’s very similar but comes together quicker. For more delicious Italian skillet recipes, try my skillet chicken parmesan, skillet eggplant parmesan, easy baked gnocchi, and delicious stuffed shells!

Ingredients

Raw, dry skillet lasagna ingredients laid out on a white table.
  • Lasagna noodles: I recommend buying a 16-ounce box and cooking the whole box. You will have a little left over but it’s nice to have extra in case pieces break.
  • Fresh mozzarella: I use shredded low-moisture mozzarella for the filling and fresh mozzarella on top for added texture and presentation.
  • beef and sweet Italian sausage: I like to use a 50-50 blend of ground beef and ground sausage. If I had to pick just one, I’d opt for ground sausage. Look for 80-85% lean ground beef for best flavor. If you have any leftover, make my classic bolognese recipe!
  • Marinara sauce: the recipe calls for roughly 40 ounces of sauce. Get 2 24-ounce jars so you have some extra left over. You can also make homemade tomato sauce. Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce is my favorite.
  • Tomato paste: this is important for thickening the sauce so it’s not too runny. This helps to keep the lasagna layers intact.
  • Ricotta cheese: a 15-ounce container is 1 3/4 cups so your best to get the next size up.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: shredded mozzarella works best with the ricotta as the cheese filling. it melts nicely with the ricotta to form delicious cheesy layers.
  • Shredded parmesan cheese: I prefer to buy a block of parmesan and grate it myself. It’s fresher and contains fewer preservatives than its pre-shredded counterpart.
  • Egg: the egg serves as a binder for the ricotta for improved texture and body. It also makes the cheese filling spread easier.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Make Lasagna in a Cast Iron Skillet

Step 1.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 8 minutes, strain, rinse with cool water, and set aside. Cook the whole box so you have extra.

Raw lasagna noodles added to boiling water.
Rinsing lasagna noodles in a strainer with cool water.

Step 2.

Meanwhile, combine ricotta filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

shredded mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheese in a stainless steel bowl.
Mixed ricotta filling with mozzarella and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.

Step 3.

Heat oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Cook onions until softened, about 4 minutes. Add beef and pork and cook until browned and no longer pink. Use the tip of a spatula to break up the meat into very small chunks.

Sautéed, browning chopped onions in cast iron skillet.
Golden brown onions with uncooked ground beef and ground Italian sausage cooking in a cast iron skillet.
Golden brown ground beef and ground sausage with golden onions in a cast iron skillet.

Step 4.

Discard some of the fat if desired and add the marinara, garlic, and tomato paste. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.

Browned ground sausage and beef with marinara in a cast iron skillet.
Browned ground sausage and beef simmering with marinara in a cast iron skillet.

Step 5.

Transfer the meat sauce to a large bowl, reserving about one cup in the skillet. Evenly spread to coat the bottom of the pan. Add a little more if needed.

A thin later of marinara-based meat sauce in a cast iron skillet for lasagna.

Step 6.

Top with a layer of noodles without overlapping. Trim the noodles with kitchen shears to fit the circular shape (it does not need to be perfect). Layer with 1/3 of the ricotta filling. Repeat twice more starting with meat sauce.

Quick Tip

Kitchen shears or clean scissors make trimming noodles into a circular pattern much easier. Work your way in from one edge when layering noodles and trim as needed.

Cooked lasagna noodles layered over meat sauce in a cast iron skillet.
trimming cooked lasagna noodles with kitchen shears into a circular shape.
Ricotta cheese filling spread over lasagna noodles in a cast iron skillet.

Step 7.

Finish lasagna with a final layer of noodles over the ricotta and another layer of sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

A final layer of lasagna noodles atop an uncooked skillet lasagna.
A final layer of lasagna noodles and meat sauce atop an uncooked skillet lasagna.

Step 8.

Remove from oven, top with fresh mozzarella, and return to the oven uncovered for another 15 minutes. Broil for the last 1-2 minutes to give the cheese a golden finish.

Fresh mozzarella strips atop a cooked lasagna in a cast iron skillet prior to baking.

Step 9.

Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting so the lasagna can set. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Top down view of cheesy golden skillet lasagna in a cast iron skillet on a wooden table.

Expert Tips

  • Dividing the ricotta into 3 small separate bowls helps to ensure you have three even layers
  • It’s important to intentionally undercook lasagna noodles so they’re easier to handle without ripping or tearing.
  • Always let the lasagna rest after it has been removed from the oven so it can set in place/firm up before slicing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this in a 9×13 pan?

Yes, this recipe fits perfectly in a standard 9×13 pan.

How to serve skillet lasagna

You can slice and serve skillet lasagna like a pizza or pie or you can cut it into smaller traditional squares.

Bake and Broil Lasagna

Bake the lasagna at 350ºF for approximately 45 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the dish to cook through. Once this initial bake is complete, add the final layer of fresh mozzarella cheese. Continue baking for an additional 15 minutes until the top layer of cheese becomes fully melted.

To achieve the perfect finishing touch, transition to a quick broil. This step adds a golden charred exterior and promotes bubbling, gooey cheese. Just note, that broiling tends to scorch food quickly. Monitor closely and only broil for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Make Lasagna Ahead

This recipe can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to bake. While you can freeze your typical uncooked lasagna, I can’t say I would want my skillet held hostage in my freezer for 2 weeks.

Baking chilled/refrigerated lasagna will add 15 minutes to the initial baking time so please adjust accordingly. For best results, remove from the fridge as your oven preheats.

Similar Pasta Recipes

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5 from 1 vote

Skillet Lasagna Recipe

Servings: 10
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Classic lasagna made in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. This recipe features a meat sauce, mozzarella and ricotta filling, and a final layer of broiled fresh mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients 

  • 16 lasagna noodles, 1 box
  • 8 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella, cubed or sliced
  • Minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Meat Sauce

  • 1/2 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 40 ounces marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Ricotta Filling

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 8 minutes, strain, rinse with cool water, and set aside. Cook the whole box so you have extra.
  • Meanwhile, combine ricotta filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Cook onions until softened, about 4 minutes. Add beef and pork and cook until browned and no longer pink. Use the tip of a spatula to break up the meat into very small chunks.
  • Discard some of the fat if desired and add the marinara, garlic, and tomato paste. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Transfer the meat sauce to a large bowl, reserving about one cup in the skillet. Evenly spread to coat the bottom of the pan. Add a little more if needed.
  • Top with a layer of noodles without overlapping. Trim the noodles with kitchen shears to fit the circular shape (it does not need to be perfect). Layer with 1/3 of the ricotta. Repeat twice more starting with meat sauce.
  • Finish lasagna with a final layer of noodles over the ricotta and another layer of sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, top with fresh mozzarella, and return to the oven uncovered for another 15 minutes. Broil for the last 1-2 minutes to give the cheese a golden finish.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting so the lasagna can set. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Notes

This recipe can easily be made in a standard 9x13 baking dish. In this case, you will likely only need 12-14 lasagna noodles. I always like to make a few extra just in case.
Dividing the ricotta into 3 small separate bowls helps to ensure you have three even layers
It's important to intentionally undercook lasagna noodles so they're easier to handle without ripping or tearing.
Kitchen shears or clean scissors make trimming noodles into a circular pattern much easier. Work your way in from one edge when layering noodles and trim as needed.
Always let the lasagna rest after it has been removed from the oven so it can set in place/firm up before slicing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1peiceCalories: 682kcalCarbohydrates: 71.5gProtein: 37.9gFat: 26.9gSaturated Fat: 10.5gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 975mgFiber: 5.4gSugar: 11.3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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