Making Pesto Lasagna is a great way to change up a traditional lasagna recipe. In this recipe you actually make the whole thing on the stove top in one pan in 30 minutes, no layering required here. This Pesto Lasagna Skillet Recipe is a great family style dinner to make on a busy week night or on a lazy Sunday.
It all starts with onions, garlic, and Italian sausage. Then some tomatoes, fresh pesto and marinara get poured in. While it simmers you add broken up lasagna noodles. They boil to a perfect al dente and then you add some ricotta, mozzarella and pine nuts for an amazing Lasagna dinner!
Pesto is an Italian style sauce that is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan cheese all blended with olive oil. It is traditionally served over pasta or as a dip or added to soups.
You can find pesto in the grocery store in the aisle with the spaghetti sauces/marinara, as a shelf stable jarred sauce. However, if you can find a fresh version that is refrigerated definitely buy that, even if it is $1 or $2 more!!
If you have access to a lot of fresh basil then you can make your own, which is best, but not necessary. Follow this recipe for Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce. Also- FYI you can freeze your fresh pesto!!!
Oven Ready or Traditional Lasagna Noodles
When you buy your lasagna noodles you will have two different options – Oven Ready or Traditional. You can buy either, they both work in this recipe!
Step By Step Pesto Lasagna
Pesto Lasagna Skillet Recipe
Pesto Lasagna Skillet
- 1 lb Ground Italian Sausage Any version you like – spicy, mild, turkey, pork.
- ½ cup yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- ½ cup pesto **see notes on pesto below
- ½ cup marinara
- 8 uncooked lasagna noodles 10 inch noodles, oven ready or traditional both work.
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 4 oz grated mozzarella
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- dried basil, fresh torn basil, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes
- In a large skillet over low heat toast the pine nuts just until they start to brown, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Set the empty skillet over medium heat and cook/crumble the 1 lb. ground Italian sausage. Drain any excess grease.
- Add the ½ cup onions, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tsp dried oregano, and ¼ tsp salt to the pan. Saute for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the 1 ¾ cup water, drained canned diced tomatoes, and 6-7 oz of Pesto to the pan. Give it a good stir to mix. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Break up 8-10 lasagna noodles, nestle them in the hot liquid. Lower the heat to low.Pop the lid on the pan and cook for 12 minutes. NOTE- if your pan doesn't have a lid cover with foil or pop a baking sheet over top of the pan.
- Spoon dollops of the ½ cup ricotta all over the lasagna (see photo) and lightly stir them down into the lasagna trying not to completely break up the ricotta, then sprinkle 4 oz shredded mozzarella over the top.Pop the lid on the pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and remove the pan from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.Garnish with toasted pine nuts and any other optional garnish.