If your family’s schedule is anything like ours this month, things are busy. And when things get busy, finding time to make dinner becomes a real challenge. But this quick and comforting One-Pot Lasagna Pasta dish will help you get a meal on the table that your family will love on even the busiest nights of the week.
We are still getting a steady supply of tomatoes from our garden, which means that I’ve been stocking the freezer with bags (and bags, and bags) of Veggie-Loaded Marinara Sauce. I love adding butternut squash to my marinara sauce at this time of year since it’s a nice way to bridge the seasons and it adds a natural creaminess to the sauce. (We’ve also been getting 1 or 2 butternut squash each week in our CSA box, so this is a good way to use those up too!) But if you don’t have homemade sauce on hand, don’t worry at all—this works just as well with a jar from the store.
Have you guys made one-pot pasta before? Oh man, it’s the best! There’s one less pot to clean and the pasta has a silky texture that makes it taste like you added a heaping amount of butter. This version includes all of the classic flavors of lasagna, but in a much easier—and faster—skillet meal. I added some ground pork to mine since both my daughter and my husband like meat, but you could make this a vegetarian dinner by simply skipping it.
And if you skip it, there’s still plenty of protein (and fiber) because of the inclusion of white beans. Before adding the sauce to the skillet, you’ll blend it together with a cup of white beans. This way your kids won’t notice that anything is different about your dinner but you will know that you added some great nutrition to the meal. I’ve found that as long as the color is right, my daughter will pretty much eat any veggie or bean blended into her pasta sauce!
The one trick to this recipe is to make sure you stir it thoroughly at least once during the cooking process, about at the halfway point. This will help the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan and it will ensure that everything cooks evenly. Other than that, the stove does the work and you simply get to take the credit!
- 4 cup spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 1 can white beans
- 1/2 pound beef, ground, 95% lean
- 12 ounce pasta, shapes
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, part skim milk
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Blend the marinara sauce, milk or stock and beans in a blender or food processor until smooth, about 20-30 seconds. Set aside.
- If adding meat, cook until golden brown in a wide and deep skillet over medium heat, stirring often. If skipping the meat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a wide and deep skillet.
- Add the marinara-bean mixture to the pan and stir. Stir in the pasta and combine well. Bring to a simmer, cover, lower the heat to low (you want it at a low simmer) and cook for 20-22 minutes or until the pasta is just soft. Stir once or twice through the cooking process to ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese.
- Dollop with the ricotta cheese and serve with Parmesan if desired.