This deconstructed lasagna is extra saucy, cheesy, and veggie-packed. Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis, this lasagna is made in a sheet pan to speed up the baking process and create more of those crispy, cheesy edges.
This recipe is an easier, quicker, and more delicious version of traditional homemade lasagna. Instead of burning your hands on long, steaming hot lasagna noodles and spending time layering the dish, lasagna noodles are broken into smaller pieces prior to being cooked and drained, just like any other pasta. All of the ingredients are then mixed up together in a big bowl and spread onto a baking sheet.
The best part is that this deconstructed lasagna only takes 20 minutes to cook, making it the perfect weeknight dinner recipe. You won’t want to use any other lasagna recipe after making this one!
What You’ll Need
Lasagna noodles: You’ll want to make sure to use regular lasagna noodles, NOT oven-ready noodles. In this deconstructed lasagna recipe, the noodles are broken up into 1-2 inch pieces, then cooked and drained just like regular pasta. This makes things so much easier than trying to wrestle steaming hot lasagna noodles, just to have them end up breaking or sticking to each other.
Ground beef: I generally prefer the flavor and texture of ground beef in lasagna, but Italian sausage would be delicious in this recipe, too!
Marinara + tomato sauce: When I initially tested this recipe, I only used one jar of marinara sauce and it was just the slightest bit too dry (probably due to the zucchini soaking up some of the liquid). I knew it needed more sauce, but probably not an entire second jar of marinara, so I tested it again with an additional cup of canned tomato sauce and it was perfectly saucy.
Veggies: I love adding veggies to my lasagna. It improves both the texture and the flavor, plus adds a little color and fiber! In this recipe, I used fresh thin sliced zucchini, that becomes tender while being cooked in the lasagna, as well as canned mushrooms. I like to use canned mushrooms to simplify things and cut down on cooking time.
Cheese: Cheese was not spared in this recipe. You’ll use a combination of mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta. The parmesan and most of the mozzarella get mixed in with the rest of the ingredients, and finally, “dollops” of the basil ricotta are scooped on top of the lasagna, which makes it look and taste amazing.
Aromatics: Garlic and onion are used as aromatics in this lasagna, added to the ground beef to give wonderful flavor.
Spices + seasonings: Simple and classic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning are used in this lasagna. Half of the salt gets mixed with the ricotta mixture, and the other half with the meat and sauce mixture.
Basil: Fresh basil is a star of the show here in this recipe. It gets mixed with the ricotta and some spices to create a delicious, fragrant basil ricotta that gets dolloped over top of the pan of lasagna just before cooking.
How to Make Deconstructed Lasagna
- Break and boil the noodles. In order to simplify this lasagna recipe, but still get that delicious texture from traditional lasagna noodles, you’ll break the noodles into 1-2 inch pieces and boil them just as you would any other type of pasta.
- Brown the meat. Next, you’ll brown the meat with flavorful and aromatic onion, garlic, Italian seasoning. Then, add a cup of tomato sauce to cook with the meat mixture for a couple minutes to blend the flavors.
- Make the basil ricotta. The basil ricotta is one of my favorite things about this recipe. You’ll simply combine the basil, salt, pepper, and ricotta until smooth and blended together. This will get scooped on top of the sheet pan lasagna in “dollops” just before baking.
- Mix everything. Mix together the meat, sauce, noodles, veggies, and cheese in a large bowl until everything is evenly coated. Transfer this mixture to a sheet pan for baking.
- Top with cheese. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over top the lasagna, then scoop the basil ricotta over top into the “dollops.”
- Bake. Bake at 400˚F for just 20 minutes, let cool slightly, and then it’s ready to devour!
Notes & Tips for Deconstructed Lasagna
Substitutions & Additions
Ground beef: This recipe would be delicious with Italian sausage used in place of ground beef if you prefer a little spice. You could also do a 50/50 mix of ground beef and Italian sausage.
Veggies: Feel free to change out the vegetables for your favorites. Spinach, roasted red peppers, artichokes, eggplant, olives would be great, too! Or if you prefer, you can leave the vegetables out and have them on the side or not at all.
Noodles: Substitute any type of noodle to change this lasagna into more of a lasagna-inspired pasta bake. Other kinds that would work well are farfalle, campanelle, reginetti, or mafalda. I would NOT recommend substituting oven-ready or no-boil lasagna noodles as these will likely soak up too much liquid during baking and result in a very dry lasagna.
What to Pair with Deconstructed Lasagna
This deconstructed sheet pan lasagna is very complete on its own–it provides carbs, fat, protein, and fiber. However, if you like extras on the side consider something like:
- Caesar salad, like this Lemon Kale Caesar Salad
- Roasted asparagus – Perfect Roasted Asparagus
- Warm crusty bread or garlic bread
This lasagna can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until ready to bake. For easier storage, you can use a 9″x13″ pan or disposable aluminum pan instead of a sheet pan.
Storage & Reheating
The beauty of lasagna is that is it is one of those dishes that tastes even better eaten as leftovers. The extra time that it sits allows the flavors to really blend together.
This lasagna is good stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, simply heat individual portions covered in the microwave until warmed through or reheat the entire pan in the oven at 350˚F until warmed through.
The lasagna can also be frozen for up to three months. I like to freeze individual portions for easy lunches or dinners when I need them. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
Other Recipes You Might Like…
- Feta Gnocchi
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup with Boursin Cheese
- Kimchi Mac and Cheese
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches
Deconstructed (Sheet Pan) Lasagna
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 lb lasagna noodles
- 24 oz jar marinara
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
- 8 oz can mushrooms, drained
- 16 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 15 oz whole milk ricotta
- fresh basil, chopped (6-8 large leaves)
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break the lasagna noodles into 1-2 inch pieces. Add the lasagna noodles to the pot of water once boiling. Cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the ground beef, onion, italian seasoning, and garlic and cook on medium-high heat until meat is browned.
- Add tomato sauce and ½ teaspoon salt to the meat mixture and let cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, chopped basil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the meat sauce mixture, noodles, zucchini, mushrooms, and marinara. Mix well.
- Then add the parmesan cheese and all but about 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Mix well.
- Pour this mixture onto the greased sheet pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese, then with a spoon or small cookie scooper, scoop dollops of the basil ricotta mixture overtop.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese begins to brown on top. Let cool slightly before serving.
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