I was flipping through an old issue of Real Simple, and came across this recipe for Microwave Lasagna. Now we’ve posted several lasagna recipes here, but this was a new twist. I was initially skeptical, as my microwave is usually used for heating things up, not actual cooking of meals. But I figured this would be a great week night dinner if it works, so why not try it?
Well, I’m hear to report that it was quite easy and tasty, so here’s the scoop.
I don’t have a square pan, as was called for, so I used a slightly larger rectangular pan that still fit in my microwave. I also was working with what I had on hand, so I subbed (shudder!) canned mushrooms for the spinach– but any combo of veggies should work for this. This made enough for dinner for the 3 of us, plus some leftovers for lunch the next day.
It came out very nicely, much like baked lasagna, but faster, with no heating up the kitchen so this would be excellent in the summertime. It’s not gourmet or anything, but it does fit the bill for a quick and flexible weeknight dinner.
The main issue was the top cheese got stuck to the parchment paper, so I’d recommend either devising a way to keep the cheese from touching — maybe using some sort of stiff mat or something to keep the paper from sagging. Or maybe removing the paper before letting the lasagna rest would do the trick.
Directions from RealSimple.com (plus my modifications for making an 11×8 pan)
- 1 15-ounce container ricotta
- 4 cups baby spinach, chopped (about 4 ounces) (or any combo of veggies – i used a large can of mushrooms)
- 2 cups grated mozzarella (8 ounces)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
- kosher salt and black pepper I didn’t add an additional s&p, as the sauce I was using was plenty flavorful, and jarred sauces tend to be overly salty anyway.
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce (2 3/4 cups)
- 6 no-boil lasagna noodles- I used 9 noodles, 3 on each layer
1. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
2. In the bottom of a microwave-safe 8-inch square baking dish, spread ½ cup of the sauce.
3. Top the sauce with 3 lasagna noodles, ½ cup of sauce, and half the ricotta mixture. Repeat.
4. Top with the remaining lasagna noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
5. Cover with wax or parchment paper, then a plate. Microwave on high (power level 10) until the noodles are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (for me, 20 was too much- will do 15-17 next time)
6. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Image Credit: image from realsimple.com