Melted, bubbly, cheese. A filling that is airy and rich. Only one dish to clean. Do I have your attention yet? This lasagna is only SEVEN ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes. If you know me, you know I’m ALLLLL about the speedy weeknight dinners that don’t leave my kitchen a mess!
why this recipe works
This rich and hearty lasagna is super easy to make and requires minimal time in the kitchen! Since we use oven-ready lasagna noodles, this can all be made in cast-iron skillet! No pile of dirty dishes in the sink.
There is a two step cooking process involving browning the sausage and making the filling. The sausage can be browned in the cast-iron skillet and then the lasagna can be layered directly over it.
This recipe makes a generous 12” round skillet and can easily serve six hungry peeps, probably with a leftover serving or two.
Don’t have oven ready noodles? No problem! Use any pasta noodle hiding in the pantry. Just remember to boil them l’dente according to the package directions.
For those who prefer a little more bite to the lasagna, try adding cubed zucchini or crushed tomatoes to the sausage during the last few minutes of cooking. This will really beef up the texture and flavor profile of this dish.
My family is split 50/50 on adding cottage cheese to the ricotta. I was raised with this delicious duo, but our boys give it two thumbs down. For those who DO like a little extra cheesiness, I recommend adding 8-12 ounces of cottage cheese to the ricotta mixture.
- SAUSAGE Quality is SO important when it comes to selecting the meat base for this lasagna. We typically use home-made venison sausage, but my second favorite is Jimmy Dean’s All-Natural Pork Sausage. It has an even grind with minimal grizzle, plus a very neutral sausage flavor. Not to breakfast-y, not too bold and spicy.
- RICOTTA Ricotta is a smooth textured Italian cheese. The whole-milk version definitely provides an extra creaminess to the filling, but use whichever option that tickles those tastebuds the most.
- PARMESAN CHEESE Grated or slivered, it will add an extra nutty flavor to the lasagna.
- MOZZARELLA Hello, this is the shining star of all lasagnas! I’ve discovered lately that I can buy a large cube of mozzarella and chop it into fine crumbles in my high speed blender.
- NOODLES Oven ready noodles are one of the best things to ever happen to lasagna. Boiling, straining, touching the slimy and easily torn noodles used to drive me crazy. No more, friend!
- EGGS Not munch to say here, but farm fresh eggs have a more golden yolk and will create a richer filling.
- ITALIAN SEASONING This mixture can be fresh or dried. If using fresh, save some sprigs for garnishing the top of the lasagna after it has baked. Fresh basil, anyone?
making lasagna in a cast-iron skillet
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Looking at a sink piled height with dirty dishes gives me anxiety… seriously. Washing dishes is my least favorite house chore, so that is one of their reasons why I love this recipe. I brown the sausage in the cast iron skillet and then use it as the base layer of the lasagna. This is the twelve inch skillet that we have used for nearly five years. It’s a bit of a beast, but nothing cooks better than cast iron! When the kids were little and not such big eaters, I usually used my ten inch skillet.
While the sausage is cooking, I mix the egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings directly into the container of ricotta. This can be a bit tricky to stir without making a mess, but it’s worth it to not wash an extra bowl!
Cover the layer of sauce and meat with oven-ready lasagna noodles. Break a few into smaller pieces as needed, and don’t overlap the noodles.
Spoon the ricotta mixture over the lasagna noodles and gently spread it around. This is the part where I sneak in a little extra mozzarella crumbles for a cheesier oomph.
One more layer of lasagna noodles, then add the remaining sauce and mozzarella. If you have a tomato handy, slice it and add a few slivers to the top. I like to give it an extra dusting of Parmesan cheese before baking, but I wait to add the fresh herbs until it is done. Pop that baby into the oven at 375° for about twenty minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly like a pizza. Add any fresh herbs like oregano or basil, extra Parmesan cheese and serve it hot!
When I’m not cooking for my three little picky eaters, I like to sneak extra veggies into my meals. This lasagna is a very neutral, family friendly flavor. It can be dressed up or dressed down in many different ways!
Sometimes a spicy kick can be just what the tastebuds are craving. When I feel like I want to crank up the heat, I add extra flavor with sautéed onions and red bell peppers. Once the veggies are browned and delicious, I remove them from the pan and begin cooking a spicy sausage. Then I continue with the recipe as written.
On the days when I have a basketful of summer squash, they get to shine in my baked lasagna. My husband isn’t a fan of zucchini noodles, but I think they are really delicious. If he is joining me for dinner, which he almost always does, I will dice the zucchini and add it into the meat layer. If I am making a lasagna for just myself, I slice the zucchini into lasagna noodle strips and give them a gentle sauté. Squash likes to get mushy, so I make sure not to over cook it.
Mushrooms, pesto, cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic and eggplant are all optional add-ins for this recipe!
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want a more delicious, scratch-made recipes you can grab my free E-BOOK and follow along on Instagram! This lasagna would be delicious with one of my salad recipes fresh from the garden!
Cast-Iron Skillet Lasagna
- cast iron skillet or baking dish
- 1 Lb Sausage
- 1 Box Lasagna noodles Oven ready
- 30 Ounces Ricotta
- 1 Egg
- 1 Cup Grated parmesan
- 12 Ounces Mozzarella cheese Shredded
- 25 Ounces Marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian herbs dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350° and begin heating the cast iron skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the skillet with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Brown the sausage until done, making sure to break it up into small pieces.
- While the sausage is browning, mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning together. I do this in the ricotta container to avoid making extra dishes.
- Leave the sausage in the skillet and pour ½ of the marinara sauce over the meat. Layer oven ready lasagna noodles until the mixture is covered as completely as possible. Add spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture and gently smooth it until the layer is covered. Place more noodles on top and then add the remaining marinara. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top of the marinara. If you would like to add fresh tomato slices on top, go for it!
- Bake at 350° for about twenty minutes, or until the mozzarella is browned and bubbly. Lasagna can be stored in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Enjoy!
If you love lasagna, I recommend trying my 30-Minute Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Cast Iron Skillet bake! Another recipe that is sooo good and is made in a cast-iron skillet are my crepes. If you try these recipes, please let me know what you think!