When you don’t feel like making a classic lasagna, this Deconstructed Lasagna is the way to go. So much easier than a traditional lasagna recipe but with all the same flavors. Serve with a classic Caesar Salad and some warm, buttery garlic bread for the perfect comfort food meal.
Why We Love This Deconstructed Lasagna Recipe
Not only are we excited to share this Deconstructed Lasagna recipe with you, we have lots of helpful tips and details to make this recipe look and taste it’s best!
However, if you’re ready to dive right into making this pasta dish, scroll down to the recipe card or click the “jump to recipe” button above the first photo.
- Easier Than Making A Traditional Lasagna: There’s no layering involved and you can skip the 45 minutes of baking in the oven. While we do absolutely love our Classic Beef Lasagna Recipe, this recipe is a way that we can have our favorite lasagna flavors more often.
- Feeds Many: This recipe will easily serve 6 people, if not more. It’s beefy and hearty and can easily be supplemented with a salad or roasted vegetable on the side.
- Customizable: Easily swap out or add ingredients to this pasta dish to fit your needs. We’ll get into some variations further down in the post.
- Make Ahead: There is plenty of meat sauce that gets stirred into the pasta and cheese so there’s not much fear of it drying out upon reheating.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
We’ll go over the basics here but for a full list of ingredients and amounts needed, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Ground Beef: Opt for an 85%-90% lean ground beef. We don’t love a ground beef with less fat content than 90%, it can get tough as it cooks. In all of the cooking that we’ve done over the years, 85% lean seems to be the magic number.
- Creste dei Gallo: This super fun pasta shape is new from Ronzoni®, and we think it’s absolutely perfect for this recipe. However you can use broken lasagna sheets, cavatappi, or any short tube pasta that you like.
- Onions: Sweet yellow onions are preferred, white will work also.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic.
- Seasonings: Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
- Ricotta Cheese: Full fat ricotta cheese will impart the best flavor, but a part-skim will work also.
- Parmesan Cheese: Fresh grated parmesan cheese, not from the can, will result in the best flavor.
- Dry Red Wine: Red wine will deglaze the bottom of the pan and also adds a lovely flavor. However, if you don’t want to use wine you can deglaze with 1/2 cup of water or broth.
- Crushed Tomatoes: A large, 28 ounce can.
- Beef Broth: The best quality that you can find, stock or bone broth often has a deeper flavor.
- Fresh Basil: For garnish – we love the fresh, bright flavor that it adds. Parsley can also be substituted.
How To Make Deconstructed Lasagna
Just a few basic steps to follow and you’ll have this delicious, comforting pasta dish on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- STEP 1 – Start a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef in a large, deep skillet with olive oil. Once the meat is halfway cooked through, add the onion and continue cooking until the onions are softened and the meat is cooked all the way through. Drain any drippings from the pan.
- STEP 2 – Season the ground beef and onions with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning after you drain the grease from the pan and then add the garlic, cooking one minute longer.
- STEP 3 – Add a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes to the pot and stir to combine with the ground beef mixture. Add the cooked pasta and gently fold into the beef until combined.
- STEP 4 – Mix together 1 cup of ricotta cheese with 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add dollops of the cheese on top of the pot of pasta and then garnish with fresh basil.
There are many ways that you can customize this deconstructed lasagna recipe to your liking or for what you have on hand in the refrigerator.
- Swap Out The Protein: Use ground turkey or Italian sausage instead of ground beef. Of course you can also leave the meat out for a meatless meal.
- Add Vegetables: Bulk up the veggies and add fresh or frozen spinach, chopped broccoli, sliced mushrooms or peas to this recipe. If you’re adding a vegetable like mushrooms, cook them with the ground beef and onions first.
- Make It Pink: Add a swirl of heavy cream to the sauce to make it a pink sauce for an extra comforting feel.
- Different Pasta: Like we mentioned before, if you can’t find this pasta shape you can use any tube pasta like penne or rigatoni or just broken sheets of lasagna noodles. Bow ties or farfalle would also be delicious.
- Stir In The Ricotta: If you don’t like the dollops of ricotta cheese on top, you can stir it into the whole dish. We love the flavor contrast of having it separate, some bites get a little bit of cheese and some don’t, but it’s all in your preference.
Tips For Success
This is a fairly straight forward pasta recipe, but we do have a few tips for you to make sure that it comes out tasting it’s best!
- Season the ground beef AFTER you drain the grease. If you season the beef and then drain the drippings, some of the seasoning drains out with it so you’re final dish could be bland.
- Good Quality Ingredients: Don’t grab parmesan cheese from the can, buy it grated in the produce section or buy a block and grate it yourself. Even the brand of crushed tomatoes will make a difference in the flavor, so make sure that it’s one that you like the flavor of.
- Don’t Overcook The Pasta: Cook the pasta until just al dente, it will continue to cook a little bit as it sits and you don’t want it to become mushy when you stir it into the meat sauce.
Here’s Some More Easy Pasta Recipes To Try
- Cheesy Tortellini Bake
- Easy Chicken Spaghetti
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole (with a recipe hack!)
- Cheesy Shells and Ham
- One Pot Beef Goulash
This Deconstructed Lasagna recipe is so much easier than making a traditional lasagna! All the same flavors you love, ready in 30 minutes. A cozy and comforting dinner that everyone will love.
- 1 pound Creste dei Gallo pasta, or any short tube pasta, bow ties or broken lasagna noodles
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef, 85% lean
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
- Start a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef in a large, deep skillet with the olive oil. Once the meat is halfway cooked, add the onion and continue cooking until the onions are softened and the meat is cooked through. Drain any drippings from the pan.
- Season the ground beef with the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Add the garlic, stir and cook one minute longer.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine with the ground beef mixture. Add the cooked pasta and gently fold into the meat sauce until combined. Remove from the heat.
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Add dollops of the cheese on top of the pasta, garnish with fresh basil and serve. You might not use all of the ricotta cheese mixture, but you can save it for serving on the side or for when you reheat leftovers.
Store: Store leftover pasta in a container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat: Reheat leftover pasta in the microwave with a little more marinara sauce (from a jar) if desired.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: mantitlement, deconstructed lasagna, easy lasagna recipe, comfort food recipe, less than 30 minutes, family dinner ideas