Delicious Cast Iron Sausage Lasagna Recipe
Welcome, coffee lovers! I am thrilled to share with you my all-time favorite recipe – cast iron sausage lasagna. This recipe is based on the America Test Kitchen recipe, which means it has been carefully crafted with a scientific approach and tested multiple times until it reaches perfection. But why settle for just any lasagna recipe? This cast iron sausage lasagna is different from others – it’s cooked in a cast iron skillet. You might have gotten fear of cooking tomato-based dishes in cast iron cookware, but trust me, once you try this recipe, it will be a game-changer.
The spicy sausage paired with the acidity of whole canned tomatoes creates an irresistible flavor that is complimented by layers of creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheese. And don’t forget the fresh herbs like basil and thyme that elevate the dish’s overall taste. By cooking all these ingredients in a cast-iron skillet, this lasagna can be brought directly from the stove to the oven, creating crispy edges and evenly cooked filling.
If you’re looking for something hearty and satisfying, this recipe is for you! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out in the kitchen, this cast iron sausage lasagna will be sure to impress your friends and family. So let’s dive into the ingredient list and get started on making this delicious dish together!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
As a barista, I believe that the Cast Iron Sausage Lasagna ATK Recipe is the perfect dish for any occasion. Whether you are having a family gathering, a potluck party or simply want to enjoy a cozy dinner at home, this recipe has everything you need to satisfy your cravings and impress your guests.
First of all, let’s talk about the ingredients. With fresh basil, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, fresh thyme, dried thyme, whole milk ricotta cheese, hot Italian sausage and the perfect mix of spices including red pepper flakes and garlic cloves, this recipe provides an explosion of flavors that is sure to excite your taste buds.
Secondly, the use of cast iron skillet takes this lasagna to the next level. Not only does it provide an even heat distribution that results in crispy edges and perfectly cooked fillings but it also adds a rustic touch to your presentation that will leave your guests thinking you spent hours in the kitchen!
But wait! There’s more. This recipe is incredibly versatile and can be easily customized to fit your preferences. You can substitute Italian sausage with ground beef or even make it vegetarian by adding kale or mushrooms. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even try making a Detroit-style pizza with spicy sausage mushroom spinach topping – trust me, it’s worth it!
At its core, this cast iron sausage lasagna recipe is all about comfort – hearty, filling and delicious. The America Test Kitchen has tested and perfected this recipe so you can cook with confidence knowing that each step has been carefully crafted and backed up by science.
In conclusion, whether you are an experienced cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to make something special without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. So go ahead and give it a try! You’ll love it as much as I do – guaranteed.
Before cooking this Cast Iron Sausage Lasagna recipe, you need to gather all the ingredients that you will need. This recipe is savory, hearty and cheesy, all thanks to its flavorful ingredients.
Here are the key ingredients for this recipe:
- Lasagna noodles: You can use any brand of lasagna noodles you prefer. However, it’s best to choose ones that are made for oven-ready dishes.
- Hot Italian sausage: Italian sausage adds depth of flavor to this dish. Choose hot Italian sausage if you want a spicier taste or sweet Italian sausage for a milder flavor.
- Whole canned tomatoes: Use 3 (14-ounce) cans of whole canned tomatoes in their juice.
- Onion: One onion should be enough for this recipe.
- Garlic cloves: To add a burst of garlic flavor, use four cloves minced garlic.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is used for cooking the onion and garlic.
- Fresh basil and thyme: These herbs provide an aromatic accent to the dish.
- Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese: These cheeses give richness, creaminess, and saltiness to the dish
- Whole milk ricotta cheese: A layer of creamy ricotta cheese enhances the texture and taste of the lasagna.
Don’t hesitate to experiment with your recipe according to your preference. You can add some kale or spinach if you’re feeling extra healthy. You can even substitute hot Italian sausage with spicy sausage or vegetarian lasagna for a meat-free option.
The Recipe How-To
I recommend using a 12-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe but if you don’t have one, any oven-safe skillet or baking dish will work.
Step 1: Cook the Sausage and Onion
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in the cast iron skillet. Add 1 chopped onion and cook until softened for about 5 minutes. Next, add the sausage and hot red pepper flakes to the skillet. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage and cook until browned for about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Add Tomatoes and Spices
Add 2 minced garlic cloves to the skillet and cook for another minute. Pour in three 14-ounce cans of whole canned tomatoes with their juices into skillet. Crush tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the skillet. Stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, 2 teaspoons of dried thyme leaves, salt and black pepper to taste.
Step3: Make Ricotta Cheese Mixture
In a separate medium mixing bowl, add one cup of whole milk ricotta cheese along with some chopped fresh basil leaves, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well.
Step4: Layer Lasagna Noodles and Cheese Mixture
Preheat oven at 375°F or 190°C.
Place lasagna noodles on top of tomato-sausage mixture in an even layer that covers much of the sauce.
Using a spoon or spatula, spread the ricotta cheese mixture all over noodles evenly.
Step5: Add Cheese Toppings
Place slices of mozzarella cheese on top of ricotta mixture all over it ensuring every inch or two is covered in cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over mozzarella slices.
Step6: Bake it!
Repeat layers with remaining sauce and noodles until ingredients are gone.
Finally, bake in pre-heated oven at 375°F or 190°C for around half an hour until it’s bubbly hot and browned on top of cheese toppings & crispy around noodle edges.
You can consider making this warm and hearty dish any night of the week! Enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
Lasagna is a versatile dish that can be customized to fit your preferences. Here are some substitution and variation ideas to add variety to this classic recipe.
– Vegetarian lasagna: For a vegetarian version of this recipe, omit the sausage and replace it with kale or another hearty green. You can also add sliced mushrooms for more texture and depth of flavor.
– Cheese lasagna: If you’re not a fan of meat, leave out the sausage altogether and make a three-cheese lasagna instead. Increase the amount of ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese to compensate for the loss of protein.
– Spicy sausage: If you like your lasagna with a bit of heat, use spicy Italian sausage instead of mild. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for an extra kick.
– Detroit-style pizza: Mix things up by layering the sausage on top of the noodles, rather than mixing it into the tomato sauce. This creates a “pizza” feel to your dish.
– Sausage and mushroom: Elevate your lasagna by adding sliced mushrooms to the tomato sauce before simmering it with the sausage. The earthy and meaty flavors will complement each other nicely.
No matter which substitution or variation you choose, remember that this recipe is all about making it your own. Experiment with different ingredients and techniques until you land on something you love.
Serving and Pairing
Now that your cast iron sausage lasagna is ready, it’s time to decide how to serve and what to pair it with. Firstly, I would recommend letting it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven, to allow the lasagna to set and make for easier cutting.
For a classic Italian experience, you can serve it with some garlic bread or focaccia on the side. Alternatively, a nice green salad with fresh produce like tomatoes, lettuce and arugula will make for a refreshing counterpart to the rich flavors of the lasagna.
You could also try pairing your sausage lasagna with a bold red wine like Zinfandel, Sangiovese or Barbera. The tannins in these wines complement the spices in the sausage while also standing up against the heavy cheese in the dish.
As for presentation, you can serve the cast iron skillet right at the table, letting guests scoop out their own portions. Or if you prefer more formal plating, you can transfer portions onto individual plates and garnish with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.
No matter how you choose to enjoy it, this cast iron sausage lasagna from America’s Test Kitchen recipe is sure to impress everyone at your dinner table.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As with most lasagna recipes, this Cast Iron Sausage Lasagna is a great candidate for making ahead of time. In fact, I recommend preparing it a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld together and the lasagna to set up properly. To make this dish ahead of time, simply prepare everything as directed and cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Then, refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.
When it comes to storing leftovers, make sure you remove any remaining portions from the cast iron skillet and transfer them to an airtight container. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 3 months. When reheating, I recommend using the oven instead of the microwave as it will help ensure that the lasagna heats evenly and the cheese stays nice and gooey.
To reheat leftover lasagna in the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, wrap your leftover lasagna in aluminum foil and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until heated all the way through. If you’re reheating frozen leftovers, adjust your baking time accordingly and expect it to take at least an hour.
It’s worth noting that this lasagna recipe is quite versatile and you could easily swap out the sausage for other proteins such as ground beef or even kale for a vegetarian twist on classic lasagna. The possibilities are endless!
Tips for Perfect Results
Cooking a sausage lasagna in a cast iron skillet requires some tips to achieve the perfect outcome. Here are some helpful tricks to keep in mind before starting to cook.
Firstly, it is best to use hot Italian sausage in the recipe for added flavor. Its spiciness will complement the other ingredients’ taste and enhance the overall flavor of the dish. However, if you prefer a milder taste, you can always substitute it with ground beef or mild Italian sausage.
Another thing to note is that it’s best to cook the sausage in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. This will allow the meat to brown evenly and give it a nice texture without getting burnt. Using a smaller skillet will cause the sausage to cook unevenly and become mushy.
In addition, be sure not to overcrowd the skillet with too many ingredients as this can affect the overall texture and flavor of the lasagna. Instead, layer them carefully while keeping everything in moderation.
Furthermore, to add a depth of flavor, incorporate some fresh herbs such as thyme or basil into the tomato sauce. Using dried herbs is also acceptable if fresh ones are unavailable.
When assembling the lasagna, remember to spread each layer of cheese and sauce out evenly across the noodles before adding another layer. This ensures that every bite has an equal amount of flavorful cheese and rich tomato sauce.
Lastly, after baking your lasagna in the cast-iron skillet, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This allows all of the flavors to combine and settle into each bite.
By following these tips and tricks, you’re guaranteed perfect results for your cast iron sausage lasagna every time.
Now that you know how to make this delicious cast iron sausage lasagna, it’s common to have a few questions about the recipe. In this section, I’ll address some of the FAQs that people usually ask when they try this recipe for the first time. It’s essential to follow each step of the recipe closely to achieve a perfect result, but if you encounter any issues, don’t worry; I got you covered. Let’s dive into the most asked questions about this iron cast sausage lasagna recipe.
What’s the best way to cook sausage in a cast iron skillet?
Let’s get started by heating up a spacious cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Once the skillet is all warmed up, add the sausage to it and cook thoroughly for about 3 minutes on each side until they’re slightly browned.
How to cook sausage in cast iron skillet in oven?
Here’s a nifty trick for cooking sausages done in a jiffy. Pop your sausages into a cast-iron skillet at room temperature, then place it inside the cold oven. Only when the oven is preheated to 350 F, should you turn it on and let the sausages cook for around 4 to 5 minutes. Once done, remove the sausages from the skillet and serve them hot. This cooking method results in evenly cooked sausages with juicy flavors you won’t be able to get enough of.
In conclusion, the Cast Iron Sausage Lasagna recipe is perfect for anyone who wants a hearty and flavorful meal that’s easy to make. It’s versatile enough to accommodate substitutions and variations, so you can put your own spin on it. Whether you want a spicy sausage pasta or a vegetarian lasagna with kale, this recipe has got you covered.
I highly recommend using a cast iron skillet for this recipe because it gives the lasagna a crusty and crunchy bottom that’s reminiscent of Detroit-style pizza. Not to mention, America Test Kitchen recipe has been kitchen tested and proven to work, so you can cook with confidence knowing it’ll turn out perfectly every time.
Make sure to follow the tips I’ve provided and don’t be afraid to experiment with different cheeses or herbs like fresh basil or thyme. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to check the FAQ section.
Trust me, once you try this Cast Iron Sausage Lasagna recipe, you’ll be hooked. It’s an impressive dish that tastes like it took hours to make but comes together in under an hour. So get cooking and let your taste buds do the talking!
Cast Iron Sausage Lasagna-ATK Recipe
- 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans whole canned tomatoes (with juices)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- salt and pepper
- 3 -4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 lb hot Italian sausage or 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 12 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (1 1/2 cups full fat)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups, full fat)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (can sun Asiago or Romano)
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles, broken in half
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse tomatoes and their juice in food processor until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses.
- Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in processed tomatoes, bring to simmer, and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes; transfer to bowl.
- In separate bowl, combine ricotta, egg yolk, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan in third bowl.
- Spread 3/4 cup sauce over bottom of now-empty skillet. Shingle 7 noodle halves around edge of skillet and place 1 noodle half in center. Dollop one-third of ricotta mixture over noodles, then top with one-quarter of mozzarella mixture and one-third of remaining sauce (in that order). Repeat layering process twice, beginning with noodles and ending with sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella mixture.
- Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese is golden brown and lasagna is bubbling around edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Let lasagna cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.
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Tony is an experienced chef, crafting delicious comfort food. He’s also an influential blogger, providing helpful recipes and tips on his website, taosburgersandbeer.com. As an expert in his field, he offers valuable advice to readers. His knowledge and creative recipes make it easy to cook exciting, flavorful dishes.