This easy skillet lasagna is made with a homemade basil tomato sauce, store-bought ravioli, and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. A satisfying weeknight dinner that the entire family will want repeatedly.
Those days when meal planning goes south and weeknight weariness looms, this easy skillet lasagna made with store-bought ravioli is simple salvation. A few pantry staples equate to a stress-free, one-pan supper that’s hard to mess up—and even harder to resist.–Jenny Howard
Easy Skillet Lasagna
For the tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- One can crushed tomatoes
- 2 large basil sprigs plus additional leaves for garnish
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the lasagna
- 1 1/2 pounds frozen cheese (or your fave variety) ravioli
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese preferably fresh (227 g), shredded
- About 1/2 cup Parmesan or to taste
Make the tomato sauce
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
- In a large (12-inch |30-cm) ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat, warm the oil until shimmering, about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it darkens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, basil sprigs, sugar, and water. Season with salt and pepper and increase the heat slightly to bring to a boil.
Make the lasagna
- Gently separate any frozen ravioli stuck together without tearing them.
☞TESTER TIP: Don’t worry if the frozen ravioli refuse to separate from one another. They’ll fall apart during cooking.
- Slip the ravioli into the sauce and cook over medium heat, stirring gently to prevent the ravioli from sticking to the skillet, until the sauce is very thick and the ravioli are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Spoon half of the ravioli and sauce into a bowl.
- Spread the ravioli remaining in the skillet in an even layer and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Arrange the ravioli and sauce from the bowl on top and cover with the remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
- Bake the lasagna until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven, tear a few basil leaves and scatter them on top, and let rest 10 minutes before making it disappear.
How To Change Up This Easy Skillet LasagnaThis easy skillet lasagna welcomes a few impromptu script changes to fit your family’s preferences or the state of your pantry. In even more of a rush than usual? Rely on your standby jarred sauce. Need something to satisfy hearty eaters? Cook up some Italian sausage and crumble it into the sauce. No fresh mozzarella in that cheese drawer? Some fontina, jack, part-skim mozzarella, and/or provolone will work just fine.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Skillet lasagna made with ravioli? OK, I’m game. If this recipe was to save me from boiling lasagna noodles and spending time layering and layering, I wanted to try it! This was so easy I believe it’ll go into my staples of recipes.
I began the recipe by slicing my cloves of garlic and getting all of my ingredients ready. I used a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. Adding the oil, I threw in my sliced garlic. Whoops, my skillet was too hot and the garlic began to burn. Do over. Tried once again and this time followed the recipe exactly. I swapped out fresh ravioli I found in the refrigerated section of my grocery. I used Priano spinach and cheese ravioli (three 9 oz. packages). Other than that, I followed every step exactly and cooked the ravioli in the skillet for about 9 minutes, and then popped it in the oven for about 12 minutes. The skillet was almost full to the brim but, low and behold, it turned into lasagna with all of the layers.
My husband said I added too much crushed red pepper (I guess my pinch was a little too big), so next time I’ll cut down on that a bit. All of the timings in the recipe were spot on.
When it comes to testing recipes, my husband and I have a bit of a ritual. Since he is my primary guinea pig, he and I sit down and review the recipe options and he gets to let me know which ones he’s excited to try. This period, we went over the list and said, “OOOOH I want that ravioli lasagna! I want that as my birthday dinner!”
I was slightly hesitant as I had never made this recipe, and heaven forbid it fall flat on his birthday (that would be such a bummer). But we decided to go for it.
Really, how wrong can you go with that much cheese and pasta? Thank goodness it was quick because of course I got called away to my office just as I was about to start prepping dinner. When I got home we were both ravenous and I was jumping into a recipe I’ve never made. I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet. And it was the perfect size. Total time was 45 minutes.
It was lava hot so we did have to wait a bit. But it was entirely worth the wait. I would say that the recipe feeds 6 sensible people. Or 4 adults who are eating like teenagers. It really couldn’t be easier to make. And my husband was THRILLED with how good it was. He gave it a 10+.
This is a perfect quick dinner. Other than the frozen ravioli, I had all the other ingredients at home. And I’m willing to bet most people probably have the ravioli. We will definitely revisit this one in the future.
My husband gobbled his portion up and went back for more. There’s not much to not like when you have a cheesy, bubbly skillet of food in front of you.
I cooked the sauce and ravioli in a Le Creuset shallow dish (about 9 inches at the bottom). I would probably add the tomato paste at the same time as the garlic in the future as it really sputtered and splashed adding it afterwards.
After going to 3 stores, I could not find any plain cheese ravioli in the frozen section. I ended up purchasing a large bag of frozen spinach and cheese ravioli from Costco.
You do need to stir the sauce as I found the ravioli did like to stick to the bottom of the skillet.
You definitely need to let the skillet lasagna sit once it comes out of the oven for the sauce to thicken some more.
This recipe is certainly good for a weeknight meal as well as guests since it’s quite tasty.
This recipe is now my go-to pantry meal. I love having a recipe where all the ingredients are stocked for when the inevitable meal planning goes south. It’s written in a straightforward way, so even if you’re dog-tired, you can’t mess it up. Just use a larger skillet and watch the heat at the start. Plus, experiment with vegetable or meat ravioli and you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Confession: I started with a 10-inch skillet and medium heat. My thinly sliced garlic burned and, when adding the other ingredients, I realized the 10-inch pan was going to be a problem once the ravioli was added. So before layering in the cheese, I switched to a 12-inch skillet, layered it up, and popped it in the oven. The 12-inch skillet made stirring and serving much more manageable.
I think using an entire 2 pounds of ravioli would have been just fine.
The timing of the recipe was spot on. However, I could have left the dish to bake for 15 minutes for a nicer golden color.
This skillet lasagna is the answer to all my weary weeknight dinner woes. It’s a 45-minute meal and uses few dishes and most of the ingredients are usually on hand, so that’s a huge win. After 1 bite, my kid gave it a thumbs up and asked to have it again. There you have it, friends.
If you’ve got big eaters, the skillet lasagna serves 4, but serve it with a big salad (and some bread for sopping up the sauce in the pan) and it could easily serve 6 or even 8, especially if you use meat-filled ravioli.
I thought the ravioli were overcooked. Next time, I’ll simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes before adding the ravioli. The brand we like only needs about 10 minutes. I used part-skim mozzarella to avoid adding more liquid to the pan. And a large handful of grated Parm on top never hurt anyone.
I would categorize this recipe as “Easy Meals For Busy Families.” I also think kids would really enjoy it. A good vegetarian meal as well. It’s very simple and tasty. And this recipe makes great use of ingredients you already have in your cupboard and freezer.
The sauce was quite good, it could be made ahead of time and then everything put together before eating. I used a spinach cheese ravioli and 1/2 cup Parmesan for the mix of cheeses on the top.
I’ve tried other shortcut lasagna recipes in the past, but the blandness of the outcome negated the time saving convenience. However, this shortcut lasagna recipe really wowed us!!! Why go to all the trouble of making a labor-intensive lasagna when you can throw all the ingredients into a skillet and be done in under an hour! We’ll be doing this again!! So good!!!
The super easy sauce was very rich and flavorful and carried well throughout the entire dish, especially into the ravioli. I used a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole plum tomatoes, which I smashed to bits with my hands into the skillet along with the puree. I can also see the addition of Italian sausage to this sauce for the true lasagna lover, as well as using a mixed blend of Italian cheeses rather than all mozzarella.
For us, the servings were closer to 4. We couldn’t eat small servings!
This is an easy, fun, economical skillet recipe that the entire family will love! As a busy mom, I seek out one-pan suppers, especially the kind of recipes that don’t require boiling the noodles in a separate pot! My family of 4 gobbled this up and there was only 1 serving left for the next day.
Originally published January 27, 2020