Easy Lasagna Casserole (2023)

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This easy lasagna casserole has all the flavors of lasagna but comes together in a fraction of the time. We take a shortcut with the sauce by using jarred pasta sauce and canned diced tomatoes. Italian sausage adds flavor to the sauce without a lot of ingredients or long cooking time.

Easy Lasagna Casserole (1)

Pasta casseroles are a family favorite. I love them because they’re easy, affordable and feed a crowd. Best part, there’s usually leftovers so lunch is covered for a day or two. Like this lasagna casserole, baked ziti with sausage and this ham and cheese casserole make delicious dinners the whole family will enjoy.

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Ingredients

Meat – Italian sausage adds flavor to the sauce without using a ton of ingredients. Use mild or hot sausage.

Vegetables – Onions and garlic help give the sauce homemade taste without a lot of work.

Pantry – Canned diced tomatoes and jarred pasta sauce help make the sauce quickly. For the sauce, use your favorite brand of a meatless variety.

Oil – A little olive oil is used to sauté the onions and garlic.

Easy Lasagna Casserole (2)

SeasoningItalian seasoning, black pepper and salt (for the pasta water) are the only spices needed for the pasta casserole.

Pasta – We use rotini because the twist mimics the wavy edges of lasagna sheets, but other tube shape or twist pasta (like ziti) will work well too.

Dairy/refrigerated – Like a traditional lasagna, this casserole has plenty of cheese, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese combine to add creamy, cheesy goodness. We also need an egg to bind the ricotta mixture.

Garnish – Chopped parsley, optional.

Easy Lasagna Casserole (3)

Recipe tips

  • Don’t overcook the pasta; cook it only to al dente to avoid it getting mushy.
  • Place the baking dish on a large baking sheet. If the lasagna casserole bubbles over the baking sheet will catch the drippings keeping your oven clean.
  • Choose a pasta sauce that is not too thick so it will stay saucy when cooked with the sausage, then combined with the pasta and baked.
Easy Lasagna Casserole (4)

Instructions

There are three components to this meal, the sauce, cheese mixture and the pasta. Start the sauce first and while it cooks, make the cheese mixture and cook the pasta.

Sauce

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or large pot, over medium heat.Add the onions and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic and Italian seasoning, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high and add the Italian sausage. Cook approximately 5 minutes to brown the meat. Stir it frequently while breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Next, add the diced tomatoes and the pasta sauce and stir well to combine. When the sauce comes to a simmer, lower the heat to medium to medium-low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally and keep it at a simmer, raise or lower the heat as needed.
Easy Lasagna Casserole (5)

Pasta and ricotta mixture

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to package directions for al dente.

Combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg and black pepper in a large bowl.Stir well until the ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Preheat the oven 350°F

Build the lasagna casserole

Add a few heaping tablespoons of the meat sauce to a baking dish (about 2.5 quart 8×12 inch). Use enough to just cover the bottom of the pan.

Easy Lasagna Casserole (7)
  • Layer the lasagna casserole by adding half the pasta, arrange it in an even layer.
  • Top with half the Italian sausage sauce.
  • Add half of the ricotta cheese mixture by adding dollops over the top.
  • Sprinkle with ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Repeat the layers (pasta, sauce, ricotta mixture). Hold off on the remaining mozzarella cheese, reserve that for after baking.
Easy Lasagna Casserole (8)

Bake the casserole for 40-45 minutes. Then remove it from the oven, top with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and bake another 2-3 minutes until melted. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, serve and enjoy.

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Storing and reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The best way to reheat is in microwave. Cover the plate loosely with a paper towel (or microwave cover if you have one) and cook until hot all the way through.

You may also like these casserole recipes:

  • Turkey Taco Casserole
  • Ground Turkey Tater Tot Casserole
  • Frito Pie Casserole
  • Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
  • Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole
  • Chicken Tetrazzini

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Easy Lasagna Casserole (10)

Print Recipe

5 from 1 vote

Easy Lasagna Casserole

This easy lasagna casserole has all the flavors of lasagna but comes together in a fraction of the time. We take a shortcut with the sauce by using jarred pasta sauce and canned diced tomatoes. Italian sausage adds flavor to the sauce without a lot of ingredients or long cooking time.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time1 hr 15 mins

Total Time1 hr 30 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: casseroles, easy pasta recipes

Servings: 8

Calories: 606kcal

Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

Italian Sausage Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion finely diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 pound Mild or Hot Italian Sausage casings removed and torn into pieces or use bulk
  • 1 (14 ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes do not drain (we use petit dice)
  • 1 (24 ounce) Jar Pasta Sauce use your favorite meatless variety and brand

Cheese Mixture Ingredients

  • 15-16 ounces Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese grated or shredded
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

Remaining Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Rotini Pasta fusilli, ziti, or other tube or twist pasta will work also
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded (for the top of the lasagna casserole at the end)
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish – optional

Instructions

Sauce instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or large pot, over medium heat. Add the onions; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Add the garlic and Italian seasoning, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

  • Raise the heat to medium-high and add the Italian sausage to the skillet. Cook approximately 5 minutes to brown the meat, stirring frequently and breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula.

  • Add the diced tomatoes and the pasta sauce and stir well to combine. When the sauce comes to a simmer, lower the heat to medium to medium-low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Keep the sauce at a simmer, if it’s boiling too vigorously, lower the heat a bit.

Prepare the remaining ingredients while the sauce cooks

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to package directions for al dente.

Cheese mixture instructions

  • Combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg and black pepper in a large bowl. Stir well until the ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Preheat the oven 350°F

Casserole instructions

  • Add a few heaping tablespoons of the meat sauce to a baking dish (about 2.5 quart 8×12 inch). Use enough to just cover the bottom of the pan.

  • Layer the lasagna casserole by adding half the pasta, arrange it in an even layer.

  • Top with half the Italian sausage sauce.

  • Add half of the ricotta cheese mixture by adding dollops over the entire top.

  • Sprinkle with ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

  • Repeat the layers (pasta, sauce, ricotta mixture). Hold off on the remaining mozzarella cheese, reserve that for after baking.

  • Bake the casserole for 40-45 minutes. Then remove it from the oven, top with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and bake another 2-3 minutes until melted. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, serve and enjoy.

Notes

Choose a pasta sauce that is not too thick so it will stay saucy when cooked with the sausage, then combined with the pasta and baked.

Nutrition

Calories: 606kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 1176mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1092IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 346mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.

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