This Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna gives you that great lasagne taste without all the fuss of a traditional lasagne, making it an easy weeknight meal for two!
Happy New Year! As much as I’m focused on healthier eating as we move into the new year, I still love a good hearty pasta dish on a cold winter night so for my first post of the year I thought I’d start out by sharing one of my favorites. This yummy, creamy, deconstructed lasagna takes all the components of traditional lasagna and incorporates them into an easy to make, easy to cook version.
This skillet version will change the way you make lasagne forever! No need to spend time layering anymore. This one is easy to make and packed with flavor. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner for two, or if you’re cooking for one it’s dinner one night with a second portion for lunch the next day!
While I love to cook, I also like to have easy things planned for the days I go to the gym or know I’m going to be at work late. This is one of those “go-to” meals that’s ready in less than 30 minutes and can be partially made ahead to time and then popped in the oven when you are ready to eat it!
One of my tricks for lightening up this pasta dish is using cheese sauce instead of shredded cheese. By making the cheese into a nice, thick sauce it goes much further with a lot less cheese, yet still gives you that lovely, creamy texture we all love in a great cheesy pasta! That cheese sauce, combined with the wine based meat sauce gives this dish loads of flavor.
If you don’t have mini skillets you can either use another small baking dish, or you can make this in a larger skillet though you will need to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes.
To keep it simple, I like to pair pasta with a nice green salad. My quick and easy salad is greens topped with some shaved asiago, a squeeze of lemon juice, some olive oil and a bit of balsamic glaze. Add a nice glass of red wine, perhaps the merlot you used in the sauce, and you have the perfect meal!
Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna
For the meat sauce:
- 1 cup Cellentani pasta, uncooked
- ⅔ pound ground sirloin
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 ounces beef broth
- 4 ounces Merlot, or other fruity red wine
- 1 15- ounce can petite diced tomatoes
For the cheese sauce:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup non-fat or 1% milk
- 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Grated asiago or parmesan for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two small cast iron skillets with olive oil.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is done cooking.
- While the pasta is cooking heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and onions; cook for 4-5 minutes until the ground sirloin is browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the basil through pepper and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Add the beef broth, wine and tomatoes; continue to cook until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer while you make the cheese sauce.
- For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms.
- Slowly add the milk, a small amount at a time, stirring with a whisk after each addition until the sauce is smooth. Once all of the milk has been added cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheese; continue stirring until the sauce is smooth (sauce will be quite thick). Add the pepper and nutmeg; stir to combine.
- Add half of the pasta to each of the prepared skillets. Top each skillet with half the meat sauce mixture then half of the cheese sauce. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese sauce begins to bubble around the edge of the skillet. Top with grated cheese and serve
- If you are saving one or both of the skillets for another time, wait to put the dish in the skillet until you are ready to bake. You can refrigerate in an airtight container and then transfer to the cast iron skillet.
- Alternatively use a non-cast iron mini skillet or baking dish.
- When ready to eat, cook as directed, however you will need to increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes to ensure everything gets hot!