No-Boil Lasagna

This No-Boil Lasagna recipe layered with a hearty meat sauce, seasoned ricotta, and gooey cheese uses regular lasagna noodles.

This No-Boil Lasagna recipe layered with a hearty meat sauce, seasoned ricotta, and gooey cheese uses regular lasagna noodles.

There are as many recipes for lasagna as there are cooks making lasagna. My recipe for the Best Lasagna has a meat sauce and a béchamel sauce and admittedly takes a bit of time to assemble. But it’s worth the time if you have it.

In an effort to have another recipe that’s a bit quicker to make, I experimented with a couple of time-saving steps. The first was to eliminate the step of boiling the noodles. And I mean regular noodles, not the no-boil type of noodles. Adding 1/4 cup water to the sauce adds the extra liquid needed for the noodles to cook through without making the lasagna dry.

The second time-saving step is to use store bought marinara sauce. There are so many quality, pre-prepared ingredients available now and I happily use them to help me get dinner on the table with ease. If you’d rather use home-made sauce, you’ll need 3 and 1/2 cups for this recipe. I also eliminated the béchamel sauce to save time and replaced it with a seasoned ricotta layer.

My choice for the ricotta layer in the recipe is whole-milk ricotta cheese. I think it’s richer and it doesn’t seem to get watery when it’s baked. Adding an egg, some of the mozzarella, parsley, salt, and pepper to the ricotta cheese creates the flavorful, rich, cheesy layer that doesn’t slip off the noodles when you serve the slices.

Start the assembly by spooning some of the meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. This is important when making any lasagna, but especially when using this method otherwise the first layer of noodles won’t cook properly. Top the meat sauce with three non-overlapping noodles. Spread a layer of ricotta over the noodles, followed by mozzarella, and then the meat sauce. Repeat the set of layers twice ending with noodles, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Then cover the baking dish with a sheet of foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. This helps reduce the risk of the cheese sticking to the foil.

Covering the baking dish with foil serves two purposes, it retains the moisture that helps to cook the noodles as well as to ensure that the topping doesn’t burn before the noodles are done. Removing the foil and cooking for an additional 15 minutes creates a bubbly, brown crust on the top of the lasagna.

The lasagna must rest for 15 minutes. Please take my word here. By practicing a little bit of patience, your lasagna will have time for all of the bubbly-baking-agitation to calm down so that when you cut into it, the slices will hold together better. Also, the roof of your mouth will thank you :)

Speaking of serving, I like to use a metal spatula that is the about the same size as the slices. I use this one. Actually, I have two of them. I have the second one on hand just in case I need a little extra support to get the slices on the plate.

I think you’re going to like the time-saving steps in this recipe. They haven’t compromised flavor, but will help you get this no-boil lasagna on the table a bit quicker.

 

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No-Boil Lasagna


  • Author: Leigh Olson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Description

This No-Boil Lasagna recipe layered with a hearty meat sauce, seasoned ricotta, and gooey cheese uses regular lasagna noodles.


Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 32 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 132 oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375˚F. Spray a 9” x 13” baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1 cup mozzarella, parsley, salt, and pepper, set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil.
  4. Add onions and cook until softened, 5 – 8 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking up with a wooden spoon, 6 – 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add marinara sauce. Stir to combine.
  8. Spread a thin layer of meat sauce in the prepared baking dish. Layer with a single layer of noodles, spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture spread over the noodles, then 1/3 of the mozzarella, and finally 1/3 of the meat sauce. Repeat creating layers, ending with noodles, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  9. Cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and slightly brown.
  10. Allow to sit 15 minutes prior to serving.
  11. Garnish with parsley.
No-Boil Lasagna

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