This Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna gives you that great lasagna taste without all the fuss of traditional lasagne, making it an easy weeknight meal for two!
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There is nothing like a good hearty pasta dish on a chilly winter night! This creamy, deconstructed lasagna takes all the components of traditional lasagna and incorporates them into an easy-to-make version. No need to spend time layering anymore.
This skillet version might just change the way you make lasagne forever!
- Cheese sauce! Do I really need to say more?!
- Designed for two. Since it's made in small skillets, this lasagna is the ideal two serving meal.
- Easier than traditional lasagna. Traditional lasagna can be time consuing to make. By deconstructing it a bit, this recipe is ready in just about 30 minutes, making it a weeknight staple.
- Make-ahead option. You can make everything ahead of time and refrigerate until you ar ready to cook. Then just pop the skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Packed with flavor. Cheese sauce, red wine, tomatoes and ground beef combine to give this dish loads of flavor.
The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
The key ingredients include…
- Cellentani pasta: This corkscrew-style pasta works well with both the meat and the cheese sauce. Cavatappi also works for this recipe.
- Ground sirloin: I typically use at least 90% lean ground beef.
- Beef broth: Purchased beef broth works fine for this recipe.
- Red wine: I recommend a fruitier red wine, but your favorite varietal or whatever you happen to have open will work.
- Diced tomatoes: Ideally, you'll use petit diced tomatoes for the best consistency in the sauce but sometimes they seem to be hard to find so standard diced tomatoes also work.
- Italian blend cheese: I normally prefer to grate cheese instead of purchasing pre-bagged, grated cheese, however since you want an Italian blend it's easiest to purchase a bag.
- Parmesan or Asiago cheese: Freshly grated is the best option here.
- Spices: dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, sea salt, ground pepper
- Pantry staples: Garlic cloves, milk, butter, all-purpose flour
How to make this recipe
Since it's ready in just about 30 minutes, this lasagna is ideal for any night of the week.
Cook the pasta. I always recommend following the package directions, since cooking times for pasta vary based on brand. You want to cook to al dente.
Make the meat sauce. You'll start by browning the ground beef, then adding in the beef broth, wine and tomatoes.
Make the cheese sauce. Starting with a traditional roux (butter + flour) gives you a nice, thick cheese sauce that eventually combines with the meat sauce to give you cheesy goodness in every bite.
Assemble the lasagne. You'll divide the pasta between the two skillets, then top with the meat sauce, and then pour the cheese sauce over the top. Next, you'll bake the lasagna for about 15 minutes and dinner is ready!
You can cook the pasta, make both the meat and cheese sauces and assemble the lasagna ahead of time. If you will be refrigerating for more than a few hours, I don't recommend using cast-iron skillets. Stainless steel skillets or small ceramic baking dishes will be a better choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don't have mini skillets?
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.
How should I store leftovers?
If you used cast iron skillets, I recommend removing any leftovers from the skillets and storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Tools you'll want for this recipe
Small cast iron skillets – Cast iron skillets are great for cooking so many things. Something about 6" in diameter is ideal. I like to keep two of the smaller version in my kitchen for smaller servings. You can also use a small stainless steel pan.
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, toasted pine nuts, a squeeze of lemon juice, some olive oil, and a bit of balsamic glaze.
And of course, you can't go wrong by adding some homemade garlic bread to soak up any extra sauce! Add a nice glass of red wine, perhaps the merlot you used in the sauce, and you have the perfect meal!
More pasta recipes
If you are looking for other easy pasta dishes check out these reader favorites:
- Creamy Lemon Pasta. While this recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal, the bright lemon flavor and parmesan breadcrumbs give it a touch of elegance.
- Roasted Tomato Summer Spaghetti. This is pasta is perfect for an easy, everyday meal. Tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto and pasta combine for a vegetarian dish that's ready in just under 30 minutes.
Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna Recipe
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
- Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two small cast iron skillets with olive oil.
- Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain when pasta is done cooking.
- Brown the ground beef. 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.
- Make the meat sauce. 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.
- Make the roux. melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms.
- Make the cheese sauce. 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.
- Assemble and bake. 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!
This post was originally published in January 2016. It was updated in January 2022 with some new photos and information. No changes were made to the original recipe.