skillet lasagnaI bought The Best Skillet Recipes last month solely for this lasagna on the cover. It looked amazing, and I counted down the days until I could try it. And it’s every bit as good as I thought it would be. It’s getting late in the season for something this hearty, but if it gets cold and rainy again soon this would be fairly awesome.

The book specifies that you have to use regular lasagna noodles, not the no-boil kind. I’ve never tried to the no-boil for anything, but I’m putting the word out there.

Meaty Lasagna (adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes)
Serves 4

3 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb meatloaf mix (which is a mix of beef, pork, and veal) or 1/2 lb ground pork and 1/2 lb ground beef (I just did all beef)
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles (about 8.5 ounces) broken into roughly 2″ lengths
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup) **This is where I diverge in a big way. I also used a small ball of fresh mozzarella because, as far as I’m concerned, that was nowhere near enough cheese.
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
Ground black pepper
3/4 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk or part-skim, NOT fat-free)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain, about 12 pulses.

pulsed tomatoes

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until softened (5-7 minutes). Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef/pork and cook, breaking apart the meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 3-5 minutes.

meat and onions

Scatter the pasta over the meat.

pasta pieces

Pour the pureed tomatoes over the pasta.

tomatoes on top

Cover and increase the heat to medium high. Stir often and adjust the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, and cook until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.


Off the heat, stir in all the fresh mozzarella and half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

add cheese

Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta over the noodles. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top.

almost done

Cover and let sit off the heat until the cheese melts, 2-4 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve.