Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other casserole recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Lasagna Casserole Recipe

It’s a simplified lasagna with rich flavor; no layering is required! Thick rigatoni pairs with a delicious meat and tomato sauce to form the core of this dish. A ricotta mixture with parsley, Parmesan, and mozzarella adds an unparalleled creaminess. An ideal weeknight meal, this dish provides the essence of a classic lasagna with just a fraction of the work.

Why I love this recipe.

This recipe title says everything you need to know about this recipe; it is both lasagna and casserole. The case could be made that a traditional lasagna is a casserole since it is nearly a whole meal layered in a baking dish. But to understand a midwestern mindset on the casserole, we had to add some parameters. Casseroles are usually quick and easy. Some ingredients quickly stir together and are poured into a baking dish, topped with cheese, and baked. A traditional lasagna takes more time. Multiple layers, all made separately, then put together before baking. This recipe uses the same flavors, almost unrecognizable when blindfolded, to create a quick casserole that pleases everyone. Even those craving a layered lasagna. Pantry items are stirred together and poured into a baking dish; this is the best kind of casserole.

Black baking pan filled with baked lasagna casserole with browned top and plate with serving to the side.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Pasta sauce can be any preferred jarred brand. This can range from spicy arrabbiata to traditional marinara. My family makes our own spaghetti sauce and cans it each year! This would work perfectly in this recipe!
  • Rigatoni pasta works well for this recipe. The ridges on the exterior and hollow cylindrical shape grab the sauce.
  • Italian sausage gives layers of flavor to the recipe. The spices in Italian sausage fortify the other flavors and spices added.
  • Ricotta adds the creamy component usually layered in a lasagna.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients for lasagna casserole including tomato sauce, pasta, spices, meat, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Cook the pasta. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the box instructions. Drain the water.
  1. Cook the sausage. Place the sausage in a large pan over medium heat. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to the sausage along with the Italian seasoning, black pepper, salt, and pasta sauce. Mix together and let simmer for 4 to 6 minutes.
  1. Create the ricotta mixture. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add in the ricotta and salt. Add the parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Mix together.
  1. Assemble the dish. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix thoroughly. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Dollop the ricotta on top of the pasta in six areas, barely working the ricotta into the upper layer of pasta.
  1. Bake the casserole. Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella over the top of the ricotta. Place the baking dish into the 350°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Use good quality cheese. Freshly grate the Parmesan and shred the mozzarella from a block of cheese. This allows for better flavor in the finished dish and creates a softer cheese.
  • It can be difficult to spread the ricotta mix, but multiple dollops in different areas is the most effective. In the end, the assembly of the dish does not need to be perfect. Random pockets of ricotta throughout works well.
  • If a darker, golden-brown cheese is desired, turn on the broil setting in the oven for the final 1 to 2 minutes of baking. This turns on a heating element at the top of the oven, cooking the cheese on top.
White plate filled with serving of lasagna casserole with fork resting on the plate with rest of baking dish filled with lasagna.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can a different type of noodle be used?

Yes, other noodle types can be used in place of rigatoni. Rotini or penne work well.

Should the grease from the sausage be drained?

This becomes a personal preference. Some sausage has more excess grease or fat and it can be drained and discarded. If you want to keep it for flavor or there is not much in the pan, leave it.

What is a good substitution for the ricotta?

Cottage cheese can be used instead of ricotta. For the same texture, blend the cottage cheese first.

Can this be prepared and baked later?

Yes, this can be fully prepared in a baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until it is time to bake. The baking time will increase by 15 to 20 minutes when chilled.

Rectangular baking dish filled with baked lasagna casserole with spoon scooping out a serving.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More casserole recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

White plate filled with serving of lasagna casserole with fork resting on plate as well.

Lasagna Casserole

4.91 from 10 votes
It's a simplified lasagna with rich flavor; no layering is required! Thick rigatoni pairs with a delicious meat and tomato sauce to form the core of this dish. A ricotta mixture with parsley, Parmesan, and mozzarella adds an unparalleled creaminess. An ideal weeknight meal, this dish provides the essence of a classic lasagna with just a fraction of the work.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 15 servings

Ingredients

  • 10 oz rigatoni

For the sauce

  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 24 oz pasta sauce

For the ricotta mixture

  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set it aside.
  • Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package instructions for al dente. Drain and set the pasta aside.
    10 oz rigatoni

For the sauce

  • Brown the sausage in a 4-quart saucepan, breaking it into small pieces. Once browned, add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt. Cook until the onion is softened, 4-6 minutes.
    1 lb Italian sausage, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp black pepper, ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • Add the jarred pasta sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    24 oz pasta sauce

For the ricotta

  • In a bowl, combine the whisked eggs, ricotta, salt, chopped parsley, Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Mix together until combined.
    2 large eggs, 1 cup ricotta, ¼ tsp kosher salt, ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Add the prepared meat sauce to the cooked pasta and stir to combine. Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Distribute the ricotta mixture evenly into 6 mounds in the pasta. Roughly stir a bit of the ricotta mixture into the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until the pasta is bubbling and the cheese is melted, 35-45 minutes.

Notes

Use good quality cheese. Freshly grate the Parmesan and shred the mozzarella from a block of cheese. This allows for better flavor in the finished dish and creates a softer cheese.
It can be difficult to spread the ricotta mix, but multiple dollops in different areas is the most effective. In the end, the assembly of the dish does not need to be perfect. Random pockets of ricotta throughout works well.
If a darker, golden-brown cheese is desired, turn on the broil setting in the oven for the final 1 to 2 minutes of baking. This turns on a heating element at the top of the oven, cooking the cheese on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 294kcal
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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8 Comments

  1. Love your recipes, videos! Thank you for explanations as you are cooking.

    For this lasagne recipe, can I substitute penne rigate substitute for the rigatoni?

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent. Just like lasagna without the hassle. It would be great for parties.Thank you Kaleb for the great recipe.

    1. Hi Emma! I love to use Rao’s pasta sauce as it has such a rich flavor. That’s the brand that I used when I made the video and it was super delicious!

  3. 4 stars
    Made this after a long day on the road with kids sports. It was easy to put together and filled everyone’s belly’s! It’s a keeper for sure!

  4. I cut this recipe in half and it was perfect for the two of us! Will definitely make it again.

  5. 5 stars
    ~ excellent recipe >> it is a ‘keeper’ in my books!!
    Love your entire show. Your kitchen family recipies, your home decorating and ( I’ve missed your upstairs completed looks😿) >> also, the plants & gardening shows!!!
    = and your sweet side-kick pooch😍

  6. 5 stars
    Thoroughly enjoyed this very tasty and easy to pull together casserole. It froze well and tasted just as good the second time around! Thank you Kaleb!!