Skillet Lasagna

This Skillet Lasagna recipe is an easy, one pot wonder with all of the hearty, cheesy, cozy comfort of traditional lasagna without all of the layering!

This Skillet Lasagna is an astonishingly easy, cheesy, ONE POT dinner on your table in less than 45 minute without any layering!  It’s made with tender lasagna noodles, ground Italian sausage and aromatic, basil infused store-bought marinara sauce simmered together in a skillet on the stove top, then covered in buttery mozzarella, nutty Parmesan and creamy ricotta.  Best of all, this easy lasagna recipe is perfect to make ahead and also reheats and freezes well.  Serve this Skillet Lasagna with Caesar salad and garlic bread or garlic breadsticks for a hassle free weeknight dinner win!

Lasagna recipes are the epitome of comfort food! Don’t miss Best Lasagna, Chicken Lasagna, Lasagna Soup, White Chicken Lasagna Soup, Taco Lasagna, Zucchini Lasagna, and Mexican Lasagna.

showing how cheesy skillet lasagna is by serving the lasagna with a cheese pull


How to Make Easy Skillet Lasagna Video

skillet lasagna with marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan

Skillet Lasagna REcipe Ingredients

The ingredient list for this Skillet Lasagna recipe is minimal, and you can keep most everything stocked in the pantry at all times. Let’s go over what you’ll need to make this recipe (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post): 

FOR THE Skillet: 

  • Lasagna noodles: Use regular lasagna noodles. Do NOT use no-boil noodles for this recipe. You can use whole wheat or gluten-free lasagna noodles if desired. 
  • Marinara sauce: A jarred marinara sauce keeps this lasagna recipe extra quick and easy. Please use a quality brand; my favorite is Rao’s Homemade sold at may grocery stores, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or on Amazon HERE.
  • Tomato paste: Just two tablespoons adds rich, concentrated tomato flavor. Tip: store unused tomato paste by the tablespoon wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for easy use.
  • Italian sausage: Mild Italian sausage keeps this dish kid friendly, with red pepper flakes added to taste. Italian sausage comes seasoned with Italian seasonings, primarily fennel. Fennel is crucial for authentic Italian flavor so if you swap the sausage for chicken, beef or turkey, make sure to add some fennel and additional Italian seasonings.
  • Aromatics: Use ½ chopped yellow onion and 4-6 cloves garlic depending on your garlic love. You may substitute with powders if needed, see substitutions below.
  • Chicken broth: Use reduced sodium chicken broth so there is wiggle room to salt to taste. Chicken broth is used instead of beef broth which is a bit overpowering and makes the skillet taste too “beefy.”
  • Herbs and Spices: The easy lasagna recipe is seasoned with fresh or dried parsley and basil and dried oregano, salt and pepper. Red pepper flakes add just the right kick to the meat sauce but they won’t make it “spicy,” just flavorful.

For the cheeses: 

  • Mozzarella: One cup milky, buttery mozzarella is stirred directly into the skillet to cut through the tangy richness, and another cup is added to the top of the skillet to create a blanket of ooey gooey cheese. Please use only freshly shredded mozzarella for superior melting ability and flavor. You can use a block of low skim mozzarella or splurge for a block of fresh mozzarella.
  • Parmesan: ¼ cup is added to the sauce to infuse it with nutty salty depth and the rest is sprinkled over the lasagna skillet before it bakes. Grate the Parmesan on a microplaner.
  • Ricotta cheese: Dollops of ricotta are added to the skillet before the mozzarella which melts into a creamy blanket. Please use whole milk ricotta -you can taste the difference! It melts far better than skim ricotta for a much creamier texture.
  • Sour cream: This might sound like an odd ingredient, but it’s culinary changing, I use it in all of my lasagna recipes and pasta bakes! A little sour cream is mixed with the ricotta so it’s smooth and silky, instead of grainy. That being said, I have heard that the ricotta we buy in our American grocery stores tastes nothing like ricotta you purchase at an Italian market.  If you have the chance to purchase either brands Sierra or Polly-O ricotta cheese at a specialty market, then you might not need the sour cream trick – but I think I’d still do it because – tangy, silky sour cream!
up close top view of easy lasagna skillet topped with fresh basil showing how cheesy it is

Ingredient Substitutions 

  • Italian sausage: Use hot Italian sausage and omit the red pepper flakes (or add to taste). You may also use ground beef or ground turkey, with a pinch fennel added to the meat sauce.
  • Dried or fresh herbs: You may mix and match fresh and dried herbs as needed. The ratio is 3 to 1 fresh herbs to dried herbs.
  • Lasagna noodles: Regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free may be used. Or, use another sturdy pasta shape if that’s all you have, such as farfalle. Just note that smaller pasta shapes may have different cook times and absorb the broth differently, so be prepared to be flexible.
  • Homemade marinara: Use my homemade marinara or homemade Bolognese in place of the store-bought marinara. Take care to still add the 2 cups chicken broth called for in this recipe.

HOW TO MAKE EAsy SKillet Lasagna Recipe

It doesn’t get much easier than this Skillet Lasagna recipe! It’s the perfect throw-together dinner for busy weeknights without all the fuss of traditional lasagna. Let’s walk through how to make it with step-by-step photos (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Cook onions and sausage. Add onions to sizzling hot oil in large Dutch oven or braiser and cook for five minutes.  Add the sausage and cook until sausage is cooked through. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, followed by the tomato paste. Cooking the tomato paste for a minute helps eliminate the “tinny” taste.
showing how to make easy lasagna in a skillet by browning sausage and onions
  • Step 2: Make the sauce. Stir in the jarred marinara sauce, broth, fresh herbs and seasonings. 
showing how to make easy lasagna recipe by adding marinara, basil, parsley and spices to a skillet to simmer
  • Step 3: Add noodles and simmer. Bring the meat sauce to a boil, then add the lasagna noodles. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. You want the noodles to be cooked just until al dente. 
showing how to make easy skillet lasagna by adding broken lasagna noodles to the sauce to simmer in a skillet
  • Step 4: Add half of the cheese. Reduce the heat to low and stir in half of the mozzarella and ¼ cup Parmesan.
a collage showing how to make skillet lasagna by stirring mozzarella and Parmesan into the noodles and sauce
  • Step 5: Add ricotta. Dollop with ricotta (mixed with sour cream), then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
showing how to make easy lasagna recipe in a skillet by dolloping with ricotta and topping with mozzarella and Parmesan before baking
  • Step 6: Bake. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees F, for 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted. Dig in!
showing how to make skillet lasagna recipe by melting the mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan in the oven

TIPS FOR making Easy Lasagna Recipe

  • Use the right pot. Use a large braiser or Dutch oven for this recipe so you can easily combine the sauce and pasta in one pot. This is my favorite braiser I used in this recipe. The best pots to cook tomato sauces in are stainless steel or enameled cast iron because they’re resistant to both acidic and alkaline foods. Don’t use reactive cookware like aluminum, cast iron or nonstick pans. 
  • Shred the cheese yourself. Please buy blocks of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and shred them yourself. The bags of pre-shredded cheeses contain anti-clumping ingredients like starch, so they don’t melt as beautifully as freshly grated blocks of cheese and most importantly, don’t taste as good!
  • Use fresh ingredients – or don’t. Use fresh garlic and onions for the ultimate sauce, or use dried/powdered substitutes when needed for a convenient pantry friendly meal. 
  • Use a good-quality marinara. Since we’re using jarred marinara sauce rather than homemade, it’s important to use a brand you love. My favorite is Rao’s Homemade.
  • Use regular lasagna noodles. You do NOT want to use no-boil noodles for this recipe or they will have a funny texture.
  • Submerge the lasagna noodles. While simmering, take care to press down any unruly lasagna noodles so they are covered in liquid, otherwise, they won’t cook evenly.
  • Don’t overcook lasagna noodles. Cooking times will vary due to the type of pot and exact simmering temperature, so check the lasagna noodles for doneness at 10 minutes, then cook on as needed. The noodles should be 1 minute shy of al dente– meaning they should be a little firm/have a “bite” because they will continue to cook in the oven. 
  • Stir the lasagna noodles. It’s important to stir the lasagna frequently and replace the lid, especially towards the end of simmering as the liquid reduces, otherwise, the noodles can stick to the bottom of the pan, tear and burn.
up close of serving easy lasagna in a skillet showing the tender noodles, cheese and marinara sauce

possible recipe variations

  • Use a different pasta. No other pasta will have the same layered mouthfeel as lasagna noodles, but you may substitute them for medium pasta shapes such as farfalle or penne, with adjusted expectations. Note: I have not tested this recipe with other pasta shapes which will likely need more or less broth and adjusted cooking time.
  • Skip the ricotta. If you’re not a fan, just skip it.
  • Swap the protein. You may use Italian chicken or turkey sausage. You can also use plain lean ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey. If you go plain, be aware you will be losing the Italian seasonings and spice, so I recommend additional Italian seasonings and ground fennel (about ¼ teaspoon fennel).
  • Add veggies. Add chopped carrots and celery to make a sofrito (not necessary in this recipe because we’re using store-bought marinara). You are also welcome to add different veggies such as bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, etc.
  • Choose the spice level. If you really want to kick up the heat, add extra red pepper flakes. You can also add them to individual servings. 
  • Use fresh herbs. Remember that you’ll need 3X the amount of fresh herbs as dried. 
  • Make gluten-free. Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
  • Make it creamy. Stir in ½ cup of heavy cream at the end of cooking to create more of a pink sauce.

Skillet Lasagna FAQS

What is skillet lasagna?

Skillet lasagna is a one-pan version of classic lasagna that is made on the stovetop instead of in the oven. It typically includes lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, cheese, and meat or vegetables stirred together to create layers, then finished off with mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta.

How do you make skillet lasagna?

To make skillet lasagna, cook the onions in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until softened, then add the meat to brown. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth and seasonings and bring to a boil, then stir in the broken lasagna noodles. Cover and simmer until the lasagna noodles are al dente, stirring occasionally and replacing the lid. Stir in some mozzarella and Parmesan, then top with dollops of ricotta, additional mozzarella and Parmesan. Transfer to the oven for the cheeses to melt to gooey perfection.

Can I make skillet lasagna without meat?

Yes, you can make skillet lasagna without meat by using vegetables, such as mushrooms or zucchini, instead. You can also use meat substitutes, like crumbled tofu or tempeh, if you prefer a protein source.

What type of cheese is best for skillet lasagna?

The best type of cheese for skillet lasagna is a blend of shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese along with ricotta. This combination provides a gooey and salty taste that complements the tomato sauce and lasagna noodles, reminiscent of classic lasagna.

Can I use no-boil lasagna noodles in skillet lasagna?

No, please don’t use no-boil lasagna noodles in this skillet lasagna recipe because the noodles are supposed to be simmered with the sauce to soak up the flavor until al dente. No-boil lasagna noodles will fall apart and won’t have the same pleasing chewy texture.

What are some variations of skillet lasagna?

Some variations of skillet lasagna include vegetarian versions made with vegetables, spicy versions with added red pepper flakes, versions using ground beef or turkey instead of Italian sausage, versions using homemade from-scratch marinara made with carrots, celery and crushed tomatoes, and versions with added vegetables like spinach or eggplant.

How long does it take to make skillet lasagna?

Skillet lasagna takes about 45-60 minutes to make, including the simmering time, depending on the skill level of the cook.

Is skillet lasagna a healthy meal option?

Skillet lasagna can be a healthy meal option when made with lean protein sources, plenty of vegetables, and reduced-fat cheese. However, it can also be high in calories and sodium if made with fatty meats and high-fat cheese, so it’s important to make mindful ingredient choices.

WHAT to serve with Easy Lasagna

We love enjoying this easy Skillet Lasagna recipe with Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread, or any of the following:

up close or skillet lasagna recipe showing how cheesy it is

a slice of skillet lasagna recipe on a plate that's easy to make




©Carlsbad Cravings by

showing how to make skillet lasagna recipe by melting the mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan in the oven

Easy Skillet Lasagna

This Skillet Lasagna is an astonishingly easy, cheesy, ONE POT dinner on your table in less than 45 minute without any layering!  It’s made with tender lasagna noodles, ground Italian sausage and aromatic, basil infused store-bought marinara sauce simmered together in a skillet on the stove top, then covered in buttery mozzarella, nutty Parmesan and creamy ricotta.  Best of all, this easy lasagna recipe is perfect to make ahead and also reheats and freezes well.  Serve this Skillet Lasagna with Caesar Salad and garlic bread or garlic breadsticks for a hassle free weeknight dinner win!
Servings: 6 servings
Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped (may sub 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce (I like Rao's Brand)
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 TBS EACH fresh minced basil, fresh minced parsley (may sub 1 tsp EACH dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper
  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles (NOT no boil), (7.5 oz.) broken into 1 1/2-inch pieces


  • 2 cups (4 oz. packed) freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  • pinch salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven or braiser over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until sausage is cooked through and onions are softened. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 additional minute.
  • Stir in marinara, broth, all herbs and seasonings.
  • Bring to a boil, then add the broken lasagna noodles. Press down to submerge them in the liquid. Cover, and reduce to medium. Simmer until pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes (bendy and nearly tender but not fully cooked), stirring occasionally and replacing the lid so the noodles don’t stick and burn. Test for doneness early and cook on as needed.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta with sour cream, salt and pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 cup mozzarella and ¼ cup Parmesan until melted.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Dollop with ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F, for about 8-10 minutes, until cheeses are melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil and/or parsley if desired.



  • Meal Prep: Prepare the entire recipe up to topping with cheeses, refrigerate, then bake to reheat.  Or, prepare elements of the recipe in advance (such as chopping aromatics, grating cheeses, breaking noodles, etc.) so the dish comes together quickly at dinnertime.
  • To store: Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: After you simmer the noodles (take care to cook them just to al dente), and stir in the cheeses, transfer the lasagna to a freezer safe container (like a foil dish). Top with remaining cheeses, cool to room temperature, cover, and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating per instructions.
  • To reheat:  Microwave individual servings for 1 minute, then at 15 second intervals until warmed through or bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

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  1. Madeline says

    Thank you for sharing this!! I had tried several other skillet lasagnas and they often fell flat. I knew when I saw this posted that it would be stellar. I did some alterations as I buy Rao’s in 40oz jars and wanted leftovers. My kids aren’t huge ricotta fans but this worked out well for everyone. I doubled most of the recipe (meat, seasonings, broth, cheese that gets stirred in, whole jar of sauce and whole pound of noodles) but kept the ricotta as listed. I made this in a 5qt braiser so had plenty of surface area to spread out the ricotta (pot was almost full to brim, will grab something bigger next time). This got thumbs up all around and it made enough that I put the rest in the freezer for another meal, with or without ricotta. Noodles were perfectly cooked, the spices were just right and it was a quick comfort meal.

    • Jen says

      Thank you for the glowing review, Madeline! I am so delighted this was a hit and that your alterations worked well! I hope you are having a wonderful week and find more recipes to enjoy!

  2. Samantha Halpenny says

    I made this one last night and my family really enjoyed it. It was an easy pne that I will definitely be able to throw together after work with ease. I could even see doing prep work to make it even easier. I think what I liked the most was the texture of the noodles. Usually, I’m not a huge pasta fan, but these noodles were cooked perfectly by following your method. We paired this with your sauteed Brussels sprouts and it was a great meal. Great recipe!

    • Jen says

      Yay- so glad you liked the noodles! I’m so happy to hear that this was easy to make and the family enjoyed! Thank you so much, Samantha!