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Food & Recipes

This ‘Lazy’ Lasagna Recipe Goes From Oven To Table In 30 Minutes

A simple ingredient swap cuts the cooking time in half.

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As a child, lasagna graced my family’s dinner table every week. To make the layering process quicker, my mom and I set up an assembly line of tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and pasta sheets. This, of course, didn’t make the baking time any shorter — waiting an hour or more for the piping hot dish to come out of the oven felt like an eternity — but it was always worth it. Those dinners are some of my fondest food memories. Unfortunately, my busy grownup schedule had only ever allowed me to prepare it on weekends, which is a shame for someone who loves lasagna like I do.

Recently, however, I came across a lasagna recipe from chef Giada De Laurentiis that changed all that. Her ‘lazy’ lasagna uses ravioli instead of pasta sheets, which saves a ton of time (because it cuts out the tedious layering process) without sacrificing traditional lasagna’s flavor and mouthfeel. Keep reading to see how it worked for me.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Ravioli Lasagna Recipe

Most lasagna recipes call for layering pasta sheets and ricotta cheese separately. This is one of the reasons why making traditional lasagna is so time consuming. The simple shortcut? Layer the lasagna with cheese ravioli, which contains both pasta and ricotta, thereby combining two layering steps in one. Check out De Laurentiis’ recipe and watch the corresponding video to see this easy cooking hack in action.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus one teaspoon to grease the pan)
  • 1 pound mild or spicy Italian sausage (casing removed)
  • 4 ½ cups marinara sauce
  • 2 pounds frozen cheese ravioli, thawed (about 24 ravioli)
  • 2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 29 mins 
  • Total time: 39 mins
  • Yield: 10 servings
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush 9 x 13 inch pan with one teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Heat large skillet on medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil and sausage. Cook, breaking sausage into bite-sized pieces with the back of a wooden spoon, until sausage begins to brown; about 8 minutes. Add marinara and simmer. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. Spoon a third of the sauce mixture over bottom of pan. Place layer of ravioli on top of sauce. Pour half of remaining sauce on top of ravioli. Sprinkle sauce with one cup mozzarella and ½ cup parmesan. Repeat with another layer of ravioli. Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan.
  4. Bake uncovered 25 minutes or until edges are bubbling. Switch oven to broil and broil on high 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Allow lasagna to sit 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

My Taste Test

This recipe couldn’t have been easier to make, and it had all the familiar flavors of classic lasagna. Every bite was creamy, herby, and meaty. I used marina sauce from a jar — Botticelli Premium Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce, to be exact (Buy a 2-pack from Walmart, $19.99) — which gave my lasagna a naturally sweet flavor. (Though it contains no added sugar, it’s made with ripe tomatoes that are grown and harvested in Italy.) The acidity of the tomato sauce and the saltiness of the sausage meant I didn’t even have to add salt and pepper.

This recipe proves that delicious lasagna can be made without the exhaustive layering process. So long as you use flavorful, high-quality ingredients, you’ll get the taste you crave in half the time. From now on, this ‘lazy’ lasagna recipe will be included in my catalog of staple weeknight dinners (alongside 30-minute enchiladas and three-ingredient lemon linguine). Buon appetito!

My test of lazy ravioli lasagna

This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.

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