Easy Lasagna Casserole
This Easy Lasagna Casserole is the answer for when the desire for a slice of bubbly, cheesy lasagna strikes but you just don’t have the time to prep all of the ingredients!
I love lasagna with its layers of tomato sauce, meat, noodles, béchamel, and cheese. But I’ll be honest there are times when I just can’t muster the energy it takes to prepare the classic dish. I’m happy to say that this Easy Lasagna Casserole has come to my rescue on a couple of occasions when the lasagna craving hit.
There is nothing to pre-cook, nothing to grate (unless you like grating cheese), and with the help of no-boil noodles, nothing to boil. There is some stirring involved and a little layering – just a little!
How to Make Easy Lasagna Casserole
Putting this casserole together starts by combining the ricotta cheese, an egg, and some Italian seasoning. If you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand, use 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano. Set this aside, it’ll be used to top the casserole.
The “filling” of the lasagna is a combination of pre-made marinara sauce (you can use home-made if you have it on hand), pre-cooked sausage, half of the mozzarella, half of the Parmesan and then broken no-boil noodles stirred together.
After the filling is mixed, it’s poured into a prepared 8” x 8” baking dish, topped with the ricotta mixture, a layer of mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
The casserole is covered with a piece of foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray – spray side down. The foil helps retains the moisture to help the noodles cook as well as ensuring that the cheesy topping doesn’t burn before the noodles are cooked through. Spraying the foil makes sure that you don’t loose any of that melty deliciousness when it’s removed. Once the foil is removed, the casserole is baked for another 15 minutes to get that beautiful brown crust on the top.
Then the all important part. The rest. Allowing the lasagna to rest for 15 minutes lets the bubbly-baking-agitation calm down, making scooping out nice big portions much easier. Also, the molten cheese is less likely to burn the roof of your mouth. You’re welcome. ;)
What Kind of Meat Can I Use?
Part of the “easy” in this Easy Lasagna Casserole is using pre-cooked meat. I like using a pre-cooked Italian-style sausage because I feel like the flavors work well in the dish. If you prefer andouille or chorizo, use that. You can even use pre-cooked ground beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. The keyword in this casserole is easy.
Do I have to use No-boil Noodles?
I almost always have no-boil noodles in my pantry. If you don’t, you can use regular lasagna noodles. You will need to add 1/4 cup of water to the marinara mixture and bake another 10 minutes before removing the foil.
More Lasagna Recipes
If you do find yourself with the lasagna craving and have the time for a little more prep, here are some great recipes:
- 16 oz. whole milk ricotta
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 – 24 oz. jar marinara sauce
- 12 oz. pre-cooked Italian-style sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (I like Aidells brand but you can use your favorite)
- 24 oz. shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 box no boil lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray an 8” x 8” baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spray one side of a piece of foil large enough to cover the baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine marinara sauce, sausage, 2 cups mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- Add the broken noodles and transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Spread the ricotta mixture over the marinara mixture.
- Layer the remaining mozzarella over the ricotta and top with the remaining Parmesan.
- Cover with the foil, spray side down. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and slightly brown.
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes prior to serving.
You can substitute pre-cooked ground beef, chicken, pork or turkey for the pre-cook sausage. Regular lasagna noodles can also be used. Adding 1/4 cup of water to the marinara mixture is required to ensure the noodles cook through. Increase the bake time before removing the foil to 45 minutes.