Easy Deconstructed Lasagna (Lazy Lasagna)

This easy deconstructed lasagna recipe has absolutely everything you love about traditional lasagna, but it’s so much easier. Plus, I’ve thrown in lots of tips to make it a healthier option too! You and your family are going to love this easy meal- let’s get into how to make it!

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Deconstructed lasagna topped with golden brown melted cheese and shredded basil in a white casserole dish.

Why you’ll love this lasagna bake

Let’s be honest, homemade lasagna is a pain to make. It’s the ultimate comfort food meal, but it’s definitely not something you can throw together quickly. This is going to be your new favorite lasagna recipe because it’s just as good, it’s nutrient-packed, and it takes a fraction of the time!

  • This pasta bake is packed with classic lasagna flavor. Tomato sauce, garlic, onion, and lean ground beef make a hearty meat sauce and there’s tons of cheesy goodness. But, without the fuss!
  • It’s easy and comes together in less than 30 minutes. There’s a time and a place for regular lasagna, but busy weeknights when you need something delicious on the table in a pinch isn’t that time. This is going to be your new favorite quick weeknight meal!
  • Everyone’s going to love this one! It’s a true family favorite, for sure.
  • It makes great leftovers, making it the perfect meal to prep ahead with minimal effort. This stores and reheats super well. You can even make freezer portions ahead to save yourself time in the future.
Ingredients needed for deconstructed lasagna on a countertop in small bowls with labels.

Lasagna ingredients

Pasta noodles: You can use just about any pasta for this recipe, but my absolute favorite is this whole grain reginetti. They’re just like mini lasagna noodles and I love that these are whole grain, too! Others that works well are ziti, campanelle pasta, rotini, and farfelle (love this whole grain option).

Cheeses: We’re of course using all of the traditional cheeses that are used in lasagna- mozzarella cheese, creamy ricotta, and parmesan cheese. Both whole milk ricotta and part-skim ricotta cheese work great here.

Tomato sauce: Use your favorite pasta sauce or marinara sauce here. My favorite hands down is Rao’s Tomato Basil Sauce because it truly tastes homemade. If you make your own homemade spaghetti sauce, use that of course!

Ground beef: Choose lean ground beef or even ground turkey or ground chicken for a lower saturated fat option.

Fresh onion & garlic cloves: Diced onion and garlic are essential here! It’s amazing how fresh garlic and fresh onion truly transform a meat sauce. If you don’t have any fresh, make sure to use garlic and onion powder instead.

Optional ingredients: Top your finished pasta dish with fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh parsley, more fresh parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil a large pan of water and boil the pasta noodles according to package directions, (usually 8-10 minutes) until al dente. When done, drain and set aside.
  2. On medium heat, heat 1-2 tsp of oil and add ground beef to a large skillet. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper or to taste. Brown the beef and then add minced garlic and chopped onion to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  3. Add tomato sauce and water and turn heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until sauce reduces just slightly.
  4. Add cooked pasta noodles to the pan and mix well with the sauce.
Four photos in a grid showing the first four steps of making deconstructed (lazy) lasagna- browning the ground beef, adding onions and garlic, adding tomato sauce, and then adding the pasta.
  1. Transfer pasta and meat sauce to a casserole dish or large baking dish.
  2. Add dollops of ricotta cheese on top of the pasta layer and smooth with the back of a spoon (don’t worry about making it perfect!). 
  3. Top with parmesan cheese and then mozzarella. 
  4.  Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Four photos in a grid showing the last four steps of making deconstructed (lazy) lasagna- Putting the pasta mixture into a casserole dish, adding ricotta cheese, topping with mozzarella and parmesan, and then baking in the oven.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Keep it “one pan” by using an oven safe skillet, topping with cheeses as directed and then baking the same pan in the oven.
  • Stir 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese into the tomato sauce mixture for a super creamy version.
  • Add 1/4-1/2 lb of chopped or ground sweet italian sausage for an even more flavorful dish.

Dietitian tips for upping the nutrition

As a Registered Dietitian, I always have nutrition in mind so that I can make dishes that are delicious, nutritious and filling. As is, this recipe already packs 5g of fiber per serving and it’s high protein! Here are some other ways to bump up the nutrition of this easy recipe:

  • Stick to leaner meats like lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken.
  • Use lentils or plant-based crumbles to make a meatless option.
  • Add chopped kale, mushrooms, spinach, bell pepper or broccoli to the pan with onions and garlic for a veggie boost in your lasagna.
  • Use a legume-based pasta for more plant-based protein and fiber! My absolute favorite is Barilla chickpea pasta.
  • Use half cottage cheese and half ricotta cheese for a protein boost!
A close up shot of a scoop of deconstructed lasagna on a serving spoon.

You’ll also love:

Easy Healthy Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Easy Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers (One Pot!)

Easy Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

A close up shot of a scoop of deconstructed lasagna on a serving spoon.

Easy Deconstructed Lasagna (Lazy Lasagna)

All of the flavors of lasagna you love with none of the hassle- pasta, tomato sauce, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, and ground beef layered in a casserole pan and baked to perfection.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 12 oz whole grain pasta I used reginetti because it's like mini lasagna noodles! Use whatever you have.
  • 24 oz pasta sauce Use your favorite store-bought or homemade pasta sauce
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated

Optional

  • fresh basil and parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Boil a large pan of water and boil the pasta noodles as directed on the box, (usually 8-10 minutes) until al dente. When done, drain and set aside.
  • On medium heat, heat 1-2 tsp of oil and add ground beef to a large skillet. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper or to taste.
  • Brown the beef and then add minced garlic and chopped onion to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Add tomato sauce and water and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until sauce reduces just slightly.
  • Add cooked pasta noodles to the pan and mix well with the sauce.
  • Transfer pasta and meat sauce to a casserole dish.
  • Add dollops of ricotta cheese on top of the pasta and smooth with the back of a spoon (don’t worry about making it perfect!).
  • Top with parmesan cheese and then mozzarella.
  •  Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 847mg | Potassium: 527mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 597IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 4mg

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4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    I made this last night and my family enjoyed it! I love that in the middle of Summer this only needed 10 minutes in the oven. I couldn’t find reginetti noodles and wanted that lasagna noodle texture so I simply bought a box of lasagne noodles and broke them apart into small pieces before boiling. Took a few minutes but worked out great. I’ll be making this again!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Anita! Using broken up lasagna noodles is a great idea! I love this recipe because it works with almost any type of pasta 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great idea! I am no stranger to the lengthy process of traditional lasagna but this recipe gave all the traditional flavors in a fraction of the time! I used high protein Farfalle and ground pork. It was delicious and gave me plenty of leftovers for lunches. Thinking I’ll add in some zucchini next time.

    1. Yum! Zucchini is a great idea, especially in the summer! Sometimes I add broccoli or cauliflower and its delish

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?