Lazy Lasagna has all of the amazing taste of regular lasagna. However, it uses store-bought, cheese-filled ravioli in place of the typical layering of the lasagna noodles, and ricotta cheese mixture. This equates to less time in the kitchen and more time to do other things. As an added bonus, Lazy Lasagna can be put together ahead of time, can be frozen and makes awesome leftovers.
I like to make my own meat sauce that is cooked low and slow for this delicious lasagna. However, feel free to use your favorite meat sauce in this recipe.
For the meat sauce, I used mild Italian sausage. The spices were simple – dried basil, dried oregano, Kosher salt and black pepper. Added to the taste were onions and minced garlic. For the liquids, I used petit diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine and water. I also use a bit of light brown sugar.
Once the meat sauce was prepared, the other ingredients consisted of store-bought cheese filled ravioli, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Making the Meat Sauce
I started by browning the Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. While the sausage was browning, I tried to break it up into small pieces. Once the sausage was cooked, I removed it from the skillet and drained it on paper towels.
After I removed the Italian Sausage from the skillet, I wiped out the skillet with paper towels. Then, I added the onions. I cooked the onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Next, I returned the Italian sausage to the skillet and stirred to combine everything.
I added the basil, oregano, salt, pepper and minced garlic to the onion/sausage mixture and stirred to combine everything. I let the mixture cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic was fragrant.
For the liquids, I added the petit diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine and water. I also added a bit of light brown sugar to temper the bitterness of the tomatoes. I stirred the mixture to combine everything and brought it to a boil. Then I covered the pan and lowered the heat to low.
I let the sauce simmer for three hours. At this point, I could have refrigerated the meat sauce for use the next day, but carried on!
Putting the Lazy Lasagna Together
I started by spraying a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Then, I spread about a cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of the dish (Photo 1). Next, I added half of the ravioli (Photo 2). After that, I added half of the remaining meat sauce (Photo 3) and topped the meat sauce with half of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese (Photo 4).
I repeated the layering with the remainder of the ravioli, meat sauce and cheeses. Then, I covered the dish with aluminum foil and baked the Lazy Lasagna in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, I removed the aluminum foil and baked the lasagna for an additional 20 minutes.
To say that the Lazy Lasagna was amazing is an understatement. All of the ingredients perfectly blended together for an unforgettable dish.
I served the Lazy Lasagna with a loaf of freshly baked Crusty French Bread for an unforgettable meal. Yum!
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- 1 pound (16 ounces) mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium onion chopped, (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- 14.5 ounce can petit diced tomatoes
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup water
- Meat sauce from above
- 18 ounce package cheese ravioli (See Tip 1)
- 2 cups (8-ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- ½ cup (2-ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Brown Italian sausage in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Transfer paper towel lined plate to drain. Allow to cool; rub meat between fingers to break up into small pieces.
- Wipe skillet with paper towel to remove any remaining grease. Add onions; sauté over medium heat for about five minutes.
- Return sausage to skillet; stir to combine. Add basil, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic. Stir well to combine; cook for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.
- Add petit diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, red wine and water; stir well to combine. Bring to a slow boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for three hours, adding more liquid if necessary. (See Tip 2)
- Correct the seasonings if necessary. Yield: 8 servings. (See Tip 3)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Spread one cup of meat sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the ravioli, half of the remaining meat sauce, half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layering with the remaining ingredients.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.
- Yield: 8 servings.
Chula's Expert Tips
- I used fresh ravioli stuffed with mozzarella cheese, but you could also use frozen ravioli. If using frozen ravioli, increase the covered cooking time by 5 minutes.
If you're making your own meat sauce, you can cook it on the stove top or can transfer mixture to a crock pot and cook on high setting for 5 hours; or cook covered in 300° F oven for 3 hours.
This amazing meat sauce makes a delicious base for baked ziti and is awesome served over pasta.
- Leftovers if any are delicious. Also leftovers can be frozen for later use.