Pan seared garlic and carrots with spinach added to a rich and flavorful creamy mozzarella marinara sauce with ziti pasta. Pan tossed with parmesan cheese and herbs to give a robust lasagna flavor. A truly simple dish to make for dinner or to serve for a dinner party with a glass of wine. This recipe will become a family favorite.
I’ve been craving lasagna all week but haven’t had an hour plus to devote to making the traditional casserole our family loves. I’ve had all the ingredients for it in our fridge but couldn’t get out to the store to buy lasagna noodles. Since I usually keep other noodles stocked in the pantry, I thought I’d try making it on the stove top with ziti pasta.
Not only does this skillet lasagna have all the traditional fixings and flavors of baked lasagna but it takes less time to prepare. With classic lasagna, I usually boil the noodles in sections and just for a few minutes at a time while I layer the rest of the bake with sauce, cheeses, and vegetables.
This skillet lasagna recipe is much easier to prepare as I have the noodles boiling while the creamy sauce is created. It comes together in 30 minutes which is a huge plus on a busy night.
Perhaps the best part of this dish is its versatility. I always add vegetables to baked lasagna and this recipe is much simpler control with the moisture of those said vegetables. Instead of grating carrots and having to squeeze the extra moisture out, I’ve chopped them finely and added them to the pan.
This skillet method does not draw out as much moisture in vegetables, which means I don’t have to spend extra time prepping those vegetables as I normally would.
Other vegetables I’ll use in skillet lasagna include zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, onions. You can use any vegetables you have on hand and adapt it to your liking.
If you’re looking for a quick dinner recipe and love lasagna, this recipe is for you!
- 16 ounces ziti pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon fire roasted tomato seasoning (or sun-dried tomatoes), optional to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more to taste)
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- Fill a large pot with water and cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and toss lightly with olive oil.In a large braiser pan, heat 1 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat.Add finely chopped carrots. Cook about 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute.Stir in 24 ounces marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomato seasoning, basil, parsley, pepper, and butter. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.Stir in stock/broth and half & half. Occasionally stir for 3 minutes.Stir in ricotta cheese and stir well.Add shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir until melted.Fold in fresh spinach, combining everything well.Cook for 5 minutes.Stir in pasta and toss well.Top with parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Serve with crusty french bread or garlic bread.
- If serving leftovers, add extra milk at the time of reheating.