With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, it’s officially sheet pan season. Sheet pan meals are arguably the best way to conquer weeknight dinners as the temperature dips ever so slightly and the back-to-school frenzy is in full swing.
I crank up the oven and load my sheet pan with protein, vegetables, and seasonings. From lemon chicken and quesadillas to salmon and broccoli and sausage, peppers, and onions, all the magic happens in one pan, making clean-up a breeze.
I’ve been on the lookout for exciting sheet pan recipes. That’s how I landed on a Reel of Yumna Jawad of @feelgoodfoodie making Giada De Laurentiis’ sheet pan lasagna.
Instead of layering the lasagna in a baking dish, the pasta, sauce, and cheese are mixed together, poured onto a sheet pan, topped with more cheese, and baked. This single-layer lasagna bakes for a lot less time than a classic lasagna and the top gets crispy all over.
Though this isn’t the easiest-ever sheet pan dinner because the pasta and sauce are made separately before coming together on the sheet pan, it is the easiest-ever lasagna I’ve made. It’s even pretty close to the best lasagna I’ve ever had. With over 8.5 million views, this is a viral recipe that’s worth its weight in gold.
How I Made Giada’s Sheet Pan Lasagna
I would not change one thing about Giada’s sheet pan lasagna recipe. There are three components to this lasagna that are cooked separately and then loaded onto a sheet pan together. Here’s how I made it:
1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Use your hands to break a pound of dry lasagna into 2-inch pieces as you can see in the image below. Boil the pasta for 4 minutes. Scoop out and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and strain the partially cooked pasta into a colander set in the sink.
2. Make a spinach ricotta: Sauté a chopped clove of garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add 5 ounces of chopped baby spinach and cook until wilted. Press the cooked spinach through a strainer to remove as much liquid as possible and stir it into a cup of ricotta.
3. Cook the sausage: Brown a pound of spicy bulk Italian sausage with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, breaking apart the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks. Add a chopped onion and cook until softened.
4. Assemble and bake: Off the heat, add the pasta back into the pot along with the reserved pasta water, cooked sausage, 4 cups jarred marinara sauce, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and scrape the mixture onto a sheet pan.
Dollop the spinach ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle with 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Bake the lasagna in a 425°F oven for about 30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
GET THE RECIPE: Giada’s Sheet Pan Lasagna
The One Thing To Watch Out For
My sheet pan measures 17x12x1 inches, which is the size Giada calls for in the recipe. About 15 minutes into baking the lasagna, my oven filled with smoke because some of the sauce flowed over the edge of the pan and onto the oven floor.
Next time I would place another sheet pan right underneath or I wouldn’t push the pasta so close to the edge of the pan. If you own an 18×13-inch rimmed sheet pan, which is a standard size, I don’t think you’ll run into this problem.