Thursday, July 21, 2016

Clean Skillet Lasagna

I've seen these recipes on Facebook before but had never made skillet lasagna until I found it in a cookbook my daughter brought home from 4-H. Since I can be lazy in the kitchen from time to time, it's still not my favorite way to make lasagna. That would be in the crockpot because I don't have to precook the noodles. However, I do like the skillet method second best because you don't have to heat up the oven which means I can make it in the summer, too. 

Lately I've been up to my elbows in yarn (yes, literally) and in the middle of some major changes with my crochet "business", so this post is going to be short and sweet.

Here's what you need for the clean version: whole wheat lasagna noodles, cottage or ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese (grate your own! don't buy the pre-shredded crap!), frozen spinach (thawed), Italian seasoning, and homemade clean spaghetti sauce.

So basically your typical lasagna ingredients. 
One thing that I like about this recipe is the spinach. Sometimes we make this our meatless meal for the week and I use plain sauce but since the spinach is in there it still has extra flavor. And sometimes I use meat sauce and still add the spinach. Either way, it's an easy way to sneak some veggies into your kid's dinner. The original recipe also suggests using broccoli instead of spinach, but we have never tried that.

First step (and most annoying) is to cook your noodles according to the directions on the box. While those are cooking, mix together your ricotta or cottage cheese, half of your parmesan cheese, and italian seasoning.

Once your noodles are cooked, you are going to layer everything in the skillet. DO NOT turn on your skillet until all the layers are done. 

Spread half of your sauce on the bottom of the skillet and place 4 noodles on top.

Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles...

...and then add half of the spinach (or broccoli). 

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the spinach and then repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients: noodles, cheese mixture, sauce, spinach, mozzarella.

Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top and cover with the lid or aluminum foil.

NOW turn on your burner to medium-low and cook until the cheese is melted (usually about 20 minutes).

Once the cheese is melted, turn off your burner and let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving. 

There you have it, lasagna without the hot kitchen or oven! Cook up (or microwave like me - see? lazy cooker here) some veggies and you have a nice clean, balanced dinner. 

I supposed the only downside to the skillet version of lasagna is that it's not as pretty and it doesn't come out in perfect little squares. But honestly....does it really matter what it looks like going down when it all comes out the same? Ha.

Hope you enjoy the recipe and are having a great summer!

Clean Skillet Lasagna
  • 8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/4 tbsp Italian seasoning 
  • 24 oz of clean spaghetti sauce (or jar if you don't want clean)
  • 1 (15oz) carton of ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 10 oz of frozen thawed spinach OR cooked chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • Cook the noodles according to the directions on the box. Drain and set to the side.
  • In a small bowl, mix the ricotta/cottage cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
  • Spread half of the sauce on the bottom of a deep-dish skillet and lay 4 noodles on top.
  • Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Top with half of the spinach/broccoli.
  • Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese on top of the spinach. 
  • Repeat layers with remaining ingredients: noodles, cheese mixture, sauce, spinach, and mozzarella cheese.
  • Sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil.
  • Turn on stove to medium-low and cook until the cheese is melted. About 20 minutes.
  • Turn off burner and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. 

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