Clear the marinara sauce out of your cupboards, empty the fridge of cheese, and get ready to prepare the easiest lasagna casserole you've ever cooked! Our easy lasagna casserole recipe uses up all of those leftover cupboard staples and makes for a delicious alternative to the often complicated traditional lasagna recipes you've probably already tried.
You can cook this meal in bulk and keep it in the fridge for several days, taking the hassle out of prepping dinner. If you want fresh lasagna noodles, you can always up your game by preparing homemade pasta!
The options are endlessly delicious with this recipe, which is why we love it so much.
Easy lasagna casserole recipe FAQ
You can whip up an easy lasagna casserole using many of the ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen pantry or hiding in your refrigerator. It's a great way to get rid of that extra cheese, pasta, or sauce, so it's often called the "poor man's lasagna!"
For more ideas and variations of our quick lasagna recipe, keep reading! Our chefs put together this detailed FAQ to answer the most common queries about our easy lasagna casserole.
What type of pasta should I use to prepare the lasagna casserole recipe?
The recipe works best if you use short pasta and not the long spaghetti or angel hair noodles. You'll find that you might already have this stashed away in your cupboard!
Besides using short pasta, it doesn't matter which variety you use. A macaroni lasagna is excellent if you want something the kids will enjoy. Penne lasagna or a fusilli lasagna works for a classic touch. Suppose you're scraping ingredients together from the pantry. In that case, you can even get away with using longer pasta noodles, such as tagliatelle or fettuccine, as these are a bit thicker than classic spaghetti noodles. Our recipe is versatile, so you can use your favorite noodles or whatever is on hand.
Should I prepare homemade pasta?
Easy lasagna casserole is all about cutting down on preparation time, but there's nothing quite like using homemade pasta, especially if you're a true fan of Italian cooking.
If you're making homemade pasta, then you'll need to prepare the pasta dough from scratch or try and find a packet of pre-prepared dough in the store.
Luckily, a pasta roller will take out most of the hard work if you do want to prepare a more authentic pasta for the dish. Making fresh pasta adds to the preparation time, but it will be worth it. You could even make a large batch of homemade pasta, dry it out, store it in your cupboard for later, and specifically for occasions like a lazy lasagna craving day.
Can I prepare a lasagna casserole ahead of time?
Lasagna casserole is the perfect dish for preparing ahead of time. It's quick and easy to put together, and you can do much of the work early on and finish the cooking just before it's time for dinner.
If you're preparing the casserole the night before or in the morning, we'd suggest first cooking your pasta, preparing the sauce, and mixing the different cheeses for easy dinner prep. Layer up the casserole dish, cover it in tin foil, then leave everything in the fridge until it's time to cook.
When it's dinnertime, remove the dish from the fridge and bake it in the oven as per the recipe's instructions above. Don't forget to finish the lasagna with a delicious coating of cheese!
Can I cook an easy veggie lasagna casserole?
You can quickly turn this into a vegetarian-friendly lasagna. All you need to do is remove the ground beef from the recipe. You can replace the ground beef with tofu or a veggie substitute. A vegetarian alternative will give the casserole a similar taste and texture to the original meat version.
If you haven't got a vegetable or meatless substitute lying around, you can add in vegetables you might have in the fridge or the pantry. Slice up some bell peppers, chop some zucchini, or sautee a few mushrooms to go into the dish. You can even add vegetables to the meat recipe, too, if you want to bulk out the casserole or make it a little bit more nutritious!
What about a vegan lasagna casserole?
A vegan lasagna casserole is a lot more challenging to make using our recipe as a base. It might not be quite as spontaneous for lazy days, but it's not impossible. For starters, you'll need to make sure you do not add eggs to your pasta recipe. Most dried pasta from the store doesn't contain eggs. If you're making your pasta using a pasta maker at home, you can be extra confident that it's vegan-friendly!
You'll also have to cut out the ground beef (replace this with vegetables or a meat substitute such as Quorn mince) and cut out the cheese entirely (definitely no egg-ricotta mixing!). You can often find vegan cheese in the store these days if you want to replicate this vital part of the lasagna casserole.
Can I freeze lasagna casserole leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, you can quickly freeze them and keep them safely stored for up to 6 months. Once the leftovers have cooled down, transfer them to a suitable freezer container. A resealable box or a ziplock bag will work well. We'd recommend dividing the leftovers into portions too, as this will make them easier to defrost individually at a later date.
Once boxed up, move your leftovers to the freezer and close the door! When it's time to eat lasagna casserole again, you can either let the leftovers thaw on the side or defrost them on low power in the microwave. We'd suggest that you reheat the leftovers gently in a large skillet on low heat or bake them again in the oven. To add a little bit of freshness to the casserole, you could sprinkle over a new layer of cheese to melt before garnishing the reheated lasagna with some herbs.
If you're in a hurry, then the microwave also works, but you can easily overdo it and lose the texture and freshness of your lasagna when you're reheating it this way!
Enjoy our lazy day lasagna casserole recipe!
Lasagna casserole is super easy to make and will cut your lasagna prep time down to half, if not more - we guarantee it. This delicious recipe is not only easy to prepare, but you can cook it up well ahead of time or save the leftovers in the freezer for months afterward.
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