Five ingredients and about twenty minutes of your time are pretty much all you’ll need to whip up this crazy delicious Italian Sausage Skillet Lasagna!
That’s right! 5 ingredients (well, unless you start counting water and seasonings as ingredients, that is…) and 20 minutes. Promise!
And you won’t believe how tasty it is, or how easy it is to make.
The first time I made this dish, I was feeling particularly uninspired. I was also pretty exhausted from having spent the day out picking apples with the fam, hadn’t planned anything for dinner, had very little time ahead of me and had 3 very hungry guests to feed.
I glanced quickly at the content of my fridge and pantry and came up with this idea for a meal; Not only was it a total hit, but it also became an instant favorite!
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made it since…
If you want to make it for your family, too, here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Mini Lasagna Noodles
- Italian Sausage
- Canned crushed tomatoes
- Baby Spinach Leaves
- Mozzarella Cheese
That pretty much sums it up! Don’t be afraid to play with the ingredients, though. I like to use hot Italian sausage, but you could use any kind of sausage you like, or even improvise and use an entirely different kind of protein instead! Ground beef, pork or chicken, or even leftover cooked roast, or chicken, would work great!
You can swap the mozzarella for another kind of cheese, too, if you like. And if spinach was not your thing, you could very well leave it out entirely. Then you’d only need FOUR ingredients!
Obviously, you can also choose to use whatever kind of pasta you prefer. I’m totally in love with those cool mini lasagna noodles, but any other kind would work just as good, even tortellini or ravioli. You’d only need change the name of the dish to “whatever-kind-of-meat-you-used skillet xyz-pasta”
No matter what you decide on using, though, one thing’s for sure: this dish serves to prove that good food really doesn’t have to be complicated!
Step-by-step instructions with pictures immediately follow recipe
- 300g (10.5oz) Mini Lasagna Pasta
- 4 large (425g | 15oz) Italian sausages, hot or mild, casings removed and torn into bite size chunks
- 1 large (796ml | 28oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 4-5 cups (150g | 5.3oz) fresh baby spinach leaves
- 175g (6.2oz) mozzeralla cheese, cubed
- 75g (2.6oz) mozzeralla cheese, grated
- 2-3 tbsp finely chopped parsley for garnish, optional
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water, according to the directions on the package, then drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, brown the chunks of sausage meat in a 5½ quart saute pan over medium-high heat, stirring delicately from time to time. Try not to break the chunks of meat as you stir.
- When the meat is nice and brown, add the crushed tomatoes, water and seasonings to the pan; stir and bring to a simmer, then continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the baby spinach leaves and stir delicately until they're completely wilted.
- Delicately add the cooked pasta and stir until well combined, then add the cubed mozzarella and stir quickly, just to mix it in. Don't stir too much at this point, you want the cubes to keep their shape.
- Top with the grated mozzarella and place in the oven under the broiler until the cheese has melted and starts to bubble, about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with a little bit of chopped parsley if desired, and serve.
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS & PICTURES
Before you get started on the sauce, get the pasta going; chances are the sauce will be ready before the pasta even is… Cook your pasta in plenty of salted boiling water, according to the directions on the package, then drain and set it aside.
That’s IF there’s even time to set it aside…
While the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage meat in a saute pan set over medium-high heat, stirring delicately from time to time. Try not to break the chunks of meat as you stir.
What I did is I used hot Italian sausage and removed the casings, then I tore the sausages into little bite size pieces with my fingers. You could also leave the sausages in their casings and just slice them up with a knife, if you preferred.
Or, like I said earlier, use any other kind of protein that you happen to have on hand that day. I can’t really think of anything that wouldn’t work well with this dish.
When the meat is nice and brown, add the crushed tomatoes, water and seasonings to the pan; stir and bring to a simmer, then continue cooking for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Now add the baby spinach leaves… (that’s if you haven’t decided to make this into a 4 ingredient dish)
This may seem like a lot, but fear not. Spinach wilts like crazy and reduces down to almost nothing!
As soon as you start pushing the delicate leaves into the hot sauce and stir them in, you’ll see they’ll practically disappear!
I’m guessing your pasta should be cooked by now, right? Right! Delicately add it to the pan.
Hum yeah… that was *supposed* to be delicately. I had a bit of an accident where the whole lot decided to jump in at once! Gah!
Stir well until all the ingredients are combined and then add the cubed mozzarella.
Stir the cheese in quickly, just to mix the cubes in with the sauce. Don’t go stirring too much at this point, else your cheese will end up melting and blending in with the rest of the dish. You don’t want that to happen: you want those cubes to remain intact and keep their shape so they get to turn into big blobs of ooey, gooey melted cheese, hiding among the pasta.
Finally, sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese all over the pasta and place the pan in the oven under the broiler until the cheese is completely melted and starts to bubble, about 5 minutes.
Garnish the top with a little bit of chopped parsley if desired… I strongly recommend that you do, desire it, though. That little touch of green will make your dish look so much better!
Now there’s only one thing left to do and that’s to serve without delay.
I’m just about ready to bet that, no matter how quick this dish came together, you have a mob of hungry people eagerly waiting, plate in hand, for dinner to FINALLY be served.
You wouldn’t want to let them hang for too long, now would you?