Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Super Easy (And quick) Kid Friendly Recipe: One Pan Lasagna

As a mother I know sometimes it can be difficult to keep the house clean, and if you're working, work an 8 hour shift, take care of the kids and still get dinner on the table all in one day. It doesn't help when you have a picky eater and don't you enjoy cooking. And then cleaning up a big mess after... NOT FUN.

Growing up my mother hated cooking, so I learned how to cook by myself at a young age. Since I have years of experience in the kitchen I've learned how to take recipes like this one that I found online, and make them simple so anyone can make them without fail.

 The great thing about this lasagna recipe is that if you have picky eaters or don't have all the ingredients you can make easy substitutions and it will still taste delicious. You can also add more or subtract any of the ingredients in this to your family's liking. For example, my daughter likes hers with lots of sauce so we put a little more in, but if your family isn't big on sauce but likes a lot of cheese you can add more cheese.

One Pan Lasagna

Serves: 6  Prep Time: About 10 minutes Cook Time: 25-30 minutes


1 lb Italian sausage (You can use turkey sausage if you prefer or don't have Italian sausage)
Half a box of lasagna ribbon noodles, broken into thirds (I like to use whole wheat to make it healthier but you can use any kind you like)
2 Jars of Marinara Sauce (If you don't like it real saucy then just use 1 jar)
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese (you can use more or less depending on your tastes)
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon of fresh oregano finely chopped (if you don't have fresh oregano dried works just as good)
1/2 teaspoon fresh basil finely chopped (again dried basil works just as good)

You can add any other ingredients your family likes if you wish like mushrooms, onions, garlic, etc.


1.) Begin by dividing all the cheeses except the ricotta into three equal portions (don't worry if it's not exact it will still come out fine) then set aside.
2.) Using a large non-stick skillet* with cooking spray or 1 tablespoon of oil (I like extra virgin olive oil) remove the sausage from the casings into the pan and cook on medium/high heat for about 5 minutes or until sausage is brown. While the sausage is cooking gather the rest of the ingredients.
2.) Once the sausage is finished cooking remove it from the pan and put it aside for later, then place the skillet back on medium/high heat. Add half the jar of pasta sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.
3.) Now we begin layering if you haven't already done this, begin breaking the lasagna noodles into thirds and place them in the pan anyway you like, the add some a sprinkle of sausage, and the first portion of cheese. Now start adding 4-6 small dollops of ricotta cheese over the top with a small spoon. Do this 2 more times while adding the rest of the sauce each time you start a new layer so there are a total of 3 layers.
4.) Once you've added all the ingredients add 1 cup of water to the top making sure everything is covered, if you need to press ingredients down with a spoon gently. Cover and let it simmer on medium heat for 25-30 minutes.
5.) Check the pasta to make sure it's done but pressing down on it with a fork, if the pasta still feels firm let it cook for an additional 5 minutes.
6.) Once the noodles are cooked and the cheese is bubbling, now add the oregano and basil and remove from heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes too cool before serving. Sprinkle additional cheese over the top when serving if desired.

*If you don't have a non-stick skillet make sure you use plenty of cooking spray or enough oil so the noodles don't stick your pan and create a mess to clean, also make sure if you're not using a non-stick skillet that after you cook the sausage and before your coat the pan with sauce, your re-spray or oil the pan.

This recipe also tastes great the next day, so if you make too much you can save the leftovers and eat them for lunch or again for dinner. 

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