Veggie Skillet Lasagna

Can you make lasagna without an oven? Turns out, you can… sorta.

There are a few things that make lasagna magical that you can’t get without baking it. Namely, the layers and the golden cap of cheese. And the “wander away” factor, which I will address later.

That being said, this is a pretty good dupe. Instead of being arranged in tidy layers, it’s a jumble of noodles, sauce and veggies, topped with a melty layer of cheese. Is melty cheese as good as a golden crust of cheese? I hate to say it, but yes. Yes, it is.

Like traditional lasagna, this version uses the long dry noodles. Unlike the original, they’re broken into 1-2″ bits. (Which, let me just say, is strangely cathartic.) From a production standpoint, it’s pretty straightforward – the sauce is made and then the uncooked noodle bits are stirred in and the whole thing is left to simmer for somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes.

Here’s where the “don’t go too far” part comes in. I recommend you stick around and give it a stir from time to time, though, because: a) you don’t want the noodles to stick together and b) tomato sauce has a tendency to burn when left unattended for, say, 13 1/2 minutes. You also want to check from time to time to make sure the noodles haven’t sucked up all of the moisture in the pan. If things are looking a little dry before the noodles are soft, stir in a little extra water or stock.

BUT IS IT LASAGNA? Let’s ask Wikipedia!

“Lasagne are a type of wide, flat pasta, possibly one of the oldest types of pasta. Lasagne, or the singular lasagna, commonly refers to a culinary dish made with stacked layers of pasta alternated with sauces and ingredients such as meats, vegetables and cheese, and sometimes topped with melted grated cheese.” 

So, I suppose the answer is technically not, on account of the stacking part. But all of the other elements are there… and it does make use of the lasagne noodle. I’d say that’s good enough.

Veggie Skillet Lasagna

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp double-concentrated tomato paste (or 2 Tbsp regular)
1 big can diced tomatoes (and their juice)
1 500ml jar good marinara sauce
2 cups water or stock
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend (your own or store-bought)
15 lasagne noodles – regular or oven ready (oven-ready will cook faster)
Salt to taste
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 ball mozzarella, grated (or 2-3 cups pre-grated)

  • In a large, covered electric skillet on medium-high to high heat, saute onion in canola oil until softened.
  • Add zucchini and mushrooms, along with a pinch of salt. Continue to saute until mushrooms soften and give up some of their liquid. Stir in garlic.
  • Add tomato paste, tomatoes and marinara sauce. Add the two cups of water or stock to the marinara sauce jar, replace the lid, and shake well. Add tomato-y water and Italian seasoning to the pan and stir.
  • Break lasagne noodles into 1-2″ pieces and add to pan. Stir well, distributing noodles throughout sauce.
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 15-30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed, until noodles are soft. (I like to go a bit past al dente here, but you do you.)
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Sprinkle cheeses over top, reduce heat to low, cover and let stand until mozzarella is thoroughly melted (about 10 mins.)

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