Brow Beat

Weeknight Lasagna Is Possible, Thanks to a Genius New Trick

On a table, a skillet filled with sauce and cheese sprinkled with small green leaves.
Rocky Luten

It feels awfully unfair that the exact food that would solve those back-to-real-life, end-of-summer blues feels juuust outside our grasp at the moment.

What we want is a tall, bubbly square of lasagna (edge piece, thanks). Yet we’re too crazed putting away snorkels and beach towels and figuring out how to get to school and work and the gym on time (how did we ever?) to even think about dinner that requires cooking, layering, then baking.

But lo, we can still have our edge pieces, friends, with this Genius Recipe from Taste’s first-ever cookbook Lasagna, written by senior editor Anna Hezel and recipe-developer-to-the-stars Grace Parisi.

A cutting board with a knife, fresh basil, garlic cloves, and cheese. Nearby, frozen ravioli, shredded mozzarella, and an open can of tomato sauce.
Rocky Luten

It’s fast. It’s made in a single skillet, sauce and everything (1). And it’s all thanks to—hold for dramatic pause—frozen ravioli, the only pasta that brings its own layers of cheese. “The idea of skipping the whole pasta-boiling and ricotta-scooping part of the process and using frozen raviolis was totally her genius,” Hezel said of Parisi.

And, thanks to Parisi’s vast recipe-developing experience (she’s written more than 1,400 in her years at Food & Wine alone), what could be a clever but flavorless hack is reminiscent of the best gooey-saucy-crusty lasagnas out there (2). Same soft ricotta cushioning, same molten mozz through the middle and on top, same slightly chewy-burnt noodle poking up in the corner that everyone fights over. All made in the time it takes to watch an episode of Frasier, give or take.

“We tend to think of lasagna as a long project, but I’m extremely in favor of making impulse-lasagna,” Hezel told me. In moments lacking for time but not inspiration, she’s made lasagnas in loaf pans and out of frozen wonton wrappers and leftover Bolognese. “Break some rules, have some fun, use frozen ravioli, eat lasagna for breakfast,” Hezel says.

But first, dinner.

Ravioli in a skillet with tomato sauce and roughly torn pieces of mozzarella.
Rocky Luten

Weeknight Lasagna (Speedy Skillet Ravioli Lasagna)

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 2 large fresh basil sprigs, plus torn leaves for garnish
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal)
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 pounds frozen cheese ravioli
• 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (preferably fresh), shredded (2 cups)
• 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

See the full recipe on Food52.

(1) Another Genius, slightly-more-traditional path to skillet lasagna. (Also: how the heck they make no-boil noodles.)

(2) For more of Parisi’s brilliance, see/eat the Frozen Lemon Cream Sandwiches in Genius Desserts.

More from Food52:
The Italian Pasta Trick No One Talks About
The Key to the Most Flavorful Braised Chicken on the Block
The Genius Salad Green You’re Probably Throwing Away (No, It’s Not Poisonous!)
The Chickpea & Tomato Salad That Presented a Moral Dilemma
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash: A Noodle-y, Saucy Love Story
16 Ways to Use Up Bruised Tomatoes