Genius Recipes Weeknight Cooking What to Cook

Weeknight Lasagna Is Real, Thanks to a Genius New Trick

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.

It feels awfully unfair that the exact food that would solve those back-to-real-life, end-of-summer blues feels juuust outside our grasp at the moment.

What we want is a tall, bubbly square of lasagna (edge piece, thanks). But we’re too crazed putting away snorkels and beach towels and figuring out how to get to school and work and the gym on time (how did we ever?) to even think about dinner that requires cooking, layering, then baking.

But lo, we can still have our edge pieces, friends, with this Genius Recipe from Taste’s first-ever cookbook Lasagna, written by senior editor Anna Hezel and recipe-developer-to-the-stars Grace Parisi.

It’s fast. It’s made in a single skillet, sauce and everything (1). And it’s all thanks to—hold for dramatic pause—frozen ravioli, the only pasta that brings its own layers of cheese.

“The idea of skipping the whole pasta-boiling and ricotta-scooping part of the process and using frozen raviolis was totally her genius,” Hezel said of Parisi.

And, thanks to Parisi’s vast recipe-developing experience (she’s written more than 1,400 in her years at Food & Wine alone), what could be a clever but flavorless hack is reminiscent of the best gooey-saucy-crusty lasagnas out there (2).

Same soft ricotta cushioning, same molten mozz through the middle and on top, same slightly chewy-burnt noodle poking up in the corner that everyone fights over. All made in the time it takes to watch an episode of Frasier, give or take.

Tony Kim’s „Cacio” e Pepe

“We tend to think of lasagna as a long project, but I’m extremely in favor of making impulse-lasagna,” Hezel told me. In moments lacking for time but not inspiration, she’s made lasagnas in loaf pans and out of frozen wonton wrappers and leftover Bolognese.

“Break some rules, have some fun, use frozen ravioli, eat lasagna for breakfast,” Hezel says.

But first, dinner.

(1) Another Genius, slightly-more-traditional path to skillet lasagna. (Also: how the heck they make no-boil noodles.)
(2) For more of Parisi’s brilliance, see/eat the Frozen Lemon Cream Sandwiches in Genius Desserts.

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Perhaps something perfect for beginners? Please send it my way (and tell me what’s so smart about it) at [email protected].

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