We found four simple ways to make the ultimate Italian-American casserole, ranked from crock-pot easy to one-skillet-30-minutes-don't-tell-anyone-I-hardly-lifted-a-finger easy.
By Lynn Andriani
We knew slow cookers make the best stews, soups and even meatloaf
, but we didn't realize they were such fantastic tools for making lasagna -- until now. In Emeril Lagasse's book Cooking with Power
, he shares a basic recipe where you make a quick meat sauce on the stove, and then layer it into the slow cooker with noodles (no need to precook them) and cheese. It's a terrific technique that lets you enjoy cheesy baked lasagna even if you weren't home for the bulk of the cooking time.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooked Lasagna
Those cans of pumpkin puree aren't just for pies and breads: The squash also happens to make an unexpected (and delicious) filling for vegetarian lasagna. As this straightforward recipe from celebrity caterer Andrea Correale
shows, it's as simple as mixing the pumpkin with flavorings that are both familiar (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove) and unexpected (sauteed garlic); and then, spreading it into a dish with the noodles and cheese.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Lasagna
Frozen ravioli and jarred spaghetti sauce are the secrets to this cheater's version of the classic. Although this recipe makes mini lasagna, which is perfect for a party, you can also use an 8-by-8-inch baking dish and serve the meal family style. Start by spreading sauce on the bottom; and then, cover it with a layer of ravioli, followed by the ricotta mix, mozzarella and more sauce. Repeat until you're out of ingredients and bake until bubbly.
Get the recipe: Ravioli Lasagna
Kate Dean, who writes the blog I Heart Eating
, created this one-skillet recipe for nights when her main goal is: Get dinner on the table. Fast. She sautes ground beef, adds canned tomatoes and seasonings and then throws in wide egg noodles (which are almost like mini-lasagna sheets). The pasta cooks in the sauce as she stirs in ricotta and shredded mozzarella -- and the cheeses melt on the spot.
Get the recipe: Easy One-Skillet Lasagna
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