Lasagna Macaroni

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. I really like lasagna, but sometimes (most of the time) I find it a bit tedious because of all the steps and the layering and the long baking and the cooling time. Who has that kind of time? I don’t! So I wanted to create an easy weeknight recipe that you can make when you are craving lasagna but don’t have all that time. This Lasagna Macaroni has all of the classic lasagna flavors but the best part is that it comes together in no time at all and without the hard work. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s absolutely delicious. Everyone will love it! If you’re looking for more lasagna inspiration by the way, I wanted to remind you of these Lasagna Tarts because they’re out of this world.

Set a large dutch oven over moderate heat. Once hot, drizzle in the oil and add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage and cook until crispy and fully browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, oregano, basil, fennel, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to soften the onions a bit.

**Note: You can also make this with either ground beef or ground chicken or turkey instead!**

Add the tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds or so to develop the flavor. I always recommend this step whenever using tomato paste.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with a large pinch of salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened.

**Tip: If you want to speed things up a bit, you can always use your favorite store-bought pasta sauce for an even quicker meal!**

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon, parsley, parmesan, basil, red pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper until evenly combined.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season liberally with salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and add the cooked noodles to the pot with the sauce.

Add the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Stir until well combined and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes to heat everything up and melt the cheese.

If you want to keep things vegetarian, you can skip the meat and sauté zucchini and/or summer squash and/or eggplant at the beginning instead. Spinach would also be delicious!

To serve, spoon the pasta into bowls or plates and top with a dollop of ricotta mixture along with some parmesan and parsley or fresh torn basil for garnish.

This is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that you can make whenever you’re craving lasagna but don’t necessarily have the time to whip up one. It gets the job done in a quarter of the time. You can’t beat that. Let me know what you think below. Thank you for reading and following along.

Lasagna Macaroni
5 from 1 vote

Lasagna Macaroni

This Lasagna Macaroni tastes like lasagna but comes together much easier and in a quarter of the time. It's the perfect weeknight meal!
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Large pot

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb spicy or milld Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (32oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 lb dried macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Ricotta Topping:

  • 1 (15oz) tub ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper

Instructions

  • Set a large dutch oven over moderate heat. Once hot, drizzle in the oil and add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage and cook until crispy and fully browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, oregano, basil, fennel, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to soften the onions a bit.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds or so to develop the flavor. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with a large pinch of salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season liberally with salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and add the cooked noodles to the pot with the sauce along with the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Stir until well combined and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes to heat everything up and melt the cheese.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon, parsley, parmesan, basil, red pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper until evenly combined.
  • To serve, spoon the pasta into bowls and top with a dollop of ricotta mixture along with some parmesan and parsley for garnish. Enjoy!
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Dinner, Main Dishes, Pasta, Quick and Easy

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    nice mash up, a great reason for me to eat macaroni! ha, kinda just what it needs in terms of flavor, at least in my opinion, so thank you!

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