If there’s one meal that screams comfort to me, it’s lasagna. There’s nothing to not love about layers of pasta, meat, cheese and sauce, but all that deliciousness comes at a cost: far too much prep time and work.
If you want all the comfort of lasagna in a meal you can actually make during the week and not have to sit there, cursing noodles that stick together and/or rip while having a million prep dishes to wash after you finally get it in the oven, then this skillet casserole is for you. It’s got everything you love and want in lasagna, in a way easier package and far less cleanup.
Mozzarella, pasta and meatball casserole
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 cups dry rigatoni pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 dash red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 16 ounces jarred pasta sauce
- 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 12 ounces store-bought, precooked meatballs (fresh or frozen)
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rigatoni, and cook according to the package directions. Drain, and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, to a large, deep skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onions, and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
- Add the garlic, red pepper and Italian seasoning, and cook for another minute.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the pasta sauce, spinach and meatballs. Stir everything together, and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the drained pasta to the skillet, and toss to combine.
- Lay the sliced mozzarella pieces on top, and place the skillet in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until the mozzarella has melted and the pasta ends are crispy.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.