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+ servings
A casserole full of pasta with meat and cheese.
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5 from 11 votes

Lazy Lasagna Casserole

This Lazy Lasagna Casserole is a no-fuss way to satisfy your craving for lasagna. Bake it after assembling or freeze it for an easy meal on a busy day.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 489kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces campanelle (or another short pasta like penne, ziti, or medium shells)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper divided
  • 25 ounces marinara sauce (I like Mezzetta's Marinara)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • fresh basil, optional for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta one minute shy of the package directions. Drain well and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, cook beef, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain the grease and return the pan to the heat. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the marinara and water and let it simmer for a couple of minutes until warmed through. Stir in the cooked pasta, remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add ricotta and egg to a large mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Add half of the shredded mozzarella, remaining garlic, half of the Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining pepper.
  • Add half of the beef/pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Spoon dollops of the ricotta mixture evenly over the top. Top with remaining beef/pasta mixture, spreading it out with the back of a spoon to cover the creamy layer.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh basil and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Freezer Meal Option: After topping with remaining beef and pasta mixture, cover the baking dish tightly with heavy duty foil, crimping the edges tightly. Transfer the unbaked casserole to the freezer. To serve, thaw the casserole in refrigerator overnight. Remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Top it with the final layer of cheeses and bake the casserole as directed, increasing the time as necessary to heat it through if it is still chilly when going in the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 1400mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1050IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 682mg | Iron: 4mg