Thursday, December 12, 2013

One Pot Skillet Lasagna

I'm willing to bet that you are super busy right now.  The holidays are approaching at lightening speed; and with that comes holiday shows, band performances, end of the year activities and projects, work functions, after-work functions, family functions.... you name it!  Well this recipe is a great way to have that home cooked flavor, whole-kitchen-smelling-awesome aroma, and comfort food extraordinaire feeling in a ONE POT MEAL!  

You asked for fast and easy, but delicious?  You got it!  
But wait?  Lasagna takes forever!  And all that layering!  And all those dishes!!  Well not this one, my friends!  ... oh, and one more thing.  We are going to make it just a tad bit healthier with a few tweaks along the way.  Don't look worried - you'll love it!  

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:    
  • 1 cup diced onions (about half of an onion)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 5 medium cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 medium sized zucchini, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pound lean (93/7) ground beef
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup 1% fat (or fat free) small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 cup lowfat shredded mozzarella
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 egg
  • additional 1/2 tsp kosher salt, sprinkle of black pepper and Italian seasoning for cheese mixture
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup red wine (or substitute this much extra beef broth)
  • a fresh mozzarella ball
  • fresh basil for garnish + grated Italian seasoning
Step-by-Step:

Chop/prep your ingredients first, as this goes pretty quickly.  Saute diced onions and garlic in EVOO until soft and fragrant.  Add in the seasonings - kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning.  Add in the peeled and grated zuccchini.  This is one healthy addition that your family will not even notice.  We are adding them early so they completely cook down.  
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 cup diced onions
 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 medium zucchini, peeled and grated.  1 tsp Italian seasoning.
To the sauteed vegetables, add in the ground beef.  This is one of the leanest packages of beef out there!  (You could also add ground turkey or Italian sausage.)  Break apart the ground beef while it's cooking.  Believe me - you will NOT be able so see the zucchini at the end!
Once the beef is cooked through, break apart the raw lasagna noodles into pieces.  I suppose mine were in about 2" - 3" pieces.  
12 lasagna noodles, coarsely broken
On top of the noodles, lets add in the liquids (tomato sauce, tomatoes, red wine and beef broth).  You will want this to be really soupy because it will reduce and be soaked up by the noodles as they are cooking. 
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (28oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
 1/3 cup red wine (not sweet).  2 cups beef broth. 
Add the sugar to the sauce.  This is not enough sugar to make it sweet, but it will cut the acid of the tomatoes.
1 tsp granulated sugar
Adjust any seasonings, and bring it up to a boil, making sure that the noodles are down in the sauce.   Then reduce down to a medium and allow it to simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes so the noodles can get all tender.  These noodles will have more flavor than noodles boiled in water, as they will be absorbing all those great flavors!  Give it a good stir every few minutes or so.  If it seems like it's getting too dry, add a little more beef broth.   
While the noodles are cooking, throw together the cheese mixture:  low fat cottage cheese, low fat shredded mozzarella, and freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano.  Add in an egg.  Season with a nice big pinch of kosher salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.   Healthy substitutions- the cottage cheese rather than the ricotta; and the low fat mozzarella rather than full fat mozzarella.  Please see the nutritional information below.

1 cup low fat (or nonfat) cottage cheese.  1 cup lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese.  1 egg.
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano cheese.  Kosher salt (maybe 1/2 tsp).
A sprinkle of black pepper.  A sprinkle of Italian seasoning.
Once the noodles are cooked, turn off the heat.  Drop the cheese mixture by big globs onto the meat and noodles and coarsely stir them in.  I didn't want it to be too mixed, as I like seeing "pockets" of cheese.


Now cover with slices of fresh mozzarella, a sprinkling of Italian seasoning (because you want it to be pretty), and pop this whole skillet into the oven under the broiler until everything gets all melty and bubbly and just the slightest hint of brown.  
1 "ball" of fresh mozzarella, sliced.
Italian seasoning.
Garnish with some freshly chopped basil leaves and serve to some people that you love! 
fresh basil leaves, chopped.
 Serve!!!!  YUM!!! - and it was in ONE POT!!!
I hope y'all have enjoyed this recipe!  My family killed it!!!
If you are interested in what else I have up my sleeve, pop on over to my Recipe Index and find yourself some recipes to cook with/for the people you love!

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Now here are some bonus recipes for y'all!
Black Pepper and Gruyere Popovers

Andouille Breakfast Potatoes

Lily's Blackberry Cobbler

Oriental Cole Slaw

Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Loaded Potato Balls

Written Method - 
Chop/prep your ingredients first, as this goes pretty quickly.  Saute diced onions and garlic in EVOO until soft and fragrant.  Add in the seasonings - kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning.  Add in the peeled and grated zuccchini.  This is one healthy addition that your family will not even notice.  We are adding them early so they completely cook down.  

To the sauteed vegetables, add in the ground beef.  This is one of the leanest packages of beef out there!  (You could also add ground turkey or Italian sausage.)  Break apart the ground beef while it's cooking.  

Once the beef is cooked through, break apart the raw lasagna noodles into pieces.  I suppose mine were in about 2" - 3" pieces.  

One top of the noodles, lets add in the liquids (red wine and beef broth).  You will want this to be really soupy because it will reduce and be soaked up by the noodles as they are cooking.  Add the sugar to the sauce.  This is not enough sugar to make it sweet, but it will cut the acid of the tomatoes.  Adjust any seasonings, and bring it up to a boil, making sure that the noodles are down in the sauce.   Then reduce down to a medium and allow it to simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes so the noodles can get all tender.  These noodles will have more flavor than noodles boiled in water, as they will be absorbing all those great flavors!  Give it a good stir every few minutes or so.  If it seems like it's getting too dry, add a little more beef broth.  

While the noodles are cooking, throw together the cheese mixture:  low fat cottage cheese, low fat shredded mozzarella, and freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano.  Add in an egg.  Season with a nice big pinch of kosher salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.   Healthy substitutions- the cottage cheese rather than the ricotta; and the low fat mozzarella rather than full fat mozzarella.  Please see the nutritional information below.

Once the noodles are cooked, turn off the heat.  Drop the cheese mixture by big globs onto the meat and noodles and coarsely stir them in.  I didn't want it to be too mixed, as I like seeing "pockets" of cheese.

Now cover with slices of fresh mozzarella, a sprinkling of Italian seasoning (because you want it to be pretty), and pop this whole skillet into the oven under the broiler until everything gets all melty and bubbly and just the slightest hint of brown.   Garnish with some freshly chopped basil leaves and serve to some people that you love! 

Cottage Cheese vs. Ricotta?  Here are some stats I pulled up.  I think you'll understand why I went with the cottage cheese!
226g lowfat cottage cheese has 163 calories, 2 g fat, 6 g sugars, and 28 g protein.
246g partskim ricotta cheese has 339 calories, 19 g fat, 1 g sugars and 28 g protein. 
Comparing cup for cup the cottage cheese is less caloric (123 calories vs 200), has more protein and less carbohydrates.  The full-fat versions of each of these are a little different. One cup of cottage cheese at full-fat has 9.6 g fat (6.0 g saturated), while one cup of whole ricotta has 31.9 g fat (20.4 g saturated). Huge difference.
In terms of what they are, cottage cheese is made from milk curds, so it contains casein, a slower-digesting protein. Ricotta is made from whey, so it is a faster-digesting protein.  If you're looking primarily for a source of protein, cottage cheese has ricotta beat. If you're looking at full or reduced-fat variants, then cottage cheese still has an edge over ricotta.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Julie,

    I just finished making the one pot lasagna recipe. DELICIOUS!! In spite of my changes and failure to follow the directions correctly. I used ground turkey and since I didn't have the zucchini and yellow squash I thought I did, I substituted chopped mushrooms, celery, and kale, still sauteed with the turkey and onions. I didn't add the salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning until after I put in the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and wine. Wish I would have gotten this correct as spices seem to work better added to the meat first. Anyway, about the tomato paste. Your ingredient list shows tomato paste, the photo description said tomato paste, but the photo shows tomato sauce I think. Not sure if it makes a difference.

    I grew up eating lasagna with cottage cheese thanks to having a non-Italian family living in eastern Iowa with roots in east and southeast Texas. What would we know about ricotta or a good mozzarella?

    The flavors I got from this dish were much more subtle than traditional lasagna, possibly because of my use of turkey and because of when I added the spices but I liked it a lot for lunch. I'm eating a second serving now, just to make sure I give it a fair assessment. I'd probably eat a third but I've been on J.J. Virgin's gluten, dairy, soy, egg, sugar, peanut, and corn free diet for the past two months and a third serving at one meal would go from cheating to breaking the diet and that would just be wrong. Guess I will have to start the diet again next week, but not until the lasagna is gone.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Malcolm - Thanks for bringing the tomato sauce/paste error to my attention! I have changed it to reflect the tomato sauce that I used. You are right that the turkey would have a milder flavor than the beef - but your version sounds really healthy! I love it when folks take a recipe as a concept and really make it their own! Thanks for trying my recipe, and for the comments. Have a blessed day!

      Delete
  2. What a "grate" idea for the Zucchini...LOVE! Truly a delish sounding, plus healthful rendition of Lasagna. And thanks so much for bring it by #theWeekendSocial. As always, I'm off to pin. See you next week? :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just made this one pot lasagna and it was delicious. Since I am vegetarian I substituted the mince with a pound of a mixture of grated carrots, sliced mushrooms, peppers, mange tout and baby corn; and cheddar for parmesan. I added some celery with the onions. We all really enjoyed it ☆

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  4. I just made the skillet lasagna...it was yummy! I do believe cooking the noodles this way adds so much more flavor! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi there! I would really love to try this recipe. I have a big problem cooking with egg.. always! So I try to avoid it where I can. Do you think this would work without the egg? Or do you have a suggestion for a substitute? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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