Giada De Laurentiis' Sheet Pan Method For Crispy Lasagna In Every Bite

If you love Italian food, then it's hard not to love lasagna. It takes everything that is wonderful about Italian cooking and combines it into one delicious dish. There are a lot of pros about lasagna, but on the cons side, the dish does have a lot of steps to cooking it. In truth, sometimes it's best enjoyed at an Italian restaurant where you can enjoy all of its glory without having to put in all of the effort. 

But what about those times when you want it at home? Lasagna is a crowd-pleaser, and it does feed a crowd pretty easily. It's a great family meal, and it saves well in the fridge as well.

On the nights when you're in the mood for lasagna at home, but you just don't have the time or energy that goes into making it well, Giada De Laurentiis has you covered. Her lasagna method will save you those valuable resources and it'll ensure that you get that perfect crispy texture in every bite. The best part is that there's no layering involved, and all you need is your trusty sheet pan. 

This recipe is perfect for the end of a busy day, or if you've got little ones running around who need your attention. With this simple lasagna-making technique in your culinary toolbox, you may never go back to the traditional method again.

How it's done

To make Giada De Laurentiis' sheet pan lasagna, you'll want to start by boiling your lasagna sheets. Once they're al dente, remove them from that water and snip them into two-inch pieces with kitchen sheers. Alternatively, you can break them up before boiling them, or use any broken lasagna noodles you may have on reserve in your pantry. While the pasta is cooking, you'll want to brown some Italian sausage in a pan with some diced onion.

Once the pasta and sausage are both cooked, combine them — along with your favorite marinara sauce — in a bowl. You'll also add a generous helping of shredded mozzarella cheese before mixing (about a cup). When that mixture is fully combined, spread it out on a greased sheet pan so that it's nice and even.

In a separate bowl, combine cooked spinach with ricotta cheese, garlic, and some chili flake, and then dollop your pasta mixture with the ricotta before sprinkling more mozzarella and some Parmigiano on top. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about half an hour until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned. Serve immediately with your favorite salad or wine pairing, and if you can't finish the entire pan, it'll save in the fridge for three to five days.

Why sheet pan lasagna is better

There are two compelling reasons to try Giada De Laurentiis' sheet pan lasagna method. The first reason has to do with simplicity: The traditional way of making lasagna, where you carefully layer all of your ingredients, is labor-intensive and takes time. Sometimes when making lasagna, you'll have as many as two or three bowls of ingredients on the counter at once. 

That's a lot of cleanup to do after, and it takes a lot of time to carefully layer the dish. A thicker lasagna also takes longer to heat through in the oven. Not that all of these steps and time are not worth it, but if time is of the essence, this sheet pan method is a game changer.

The second reason to try this method is about texture. If you find yourself cutting corner pieces of lasagna before you'll cut from the middle, then you know you're a crispy lasagna fan. When making this sheet pan lasagna, every slice has some crispness to it because it's thin. If you tend to like the soft center of the lasagna better, then you can use De Laurentiis' trick, but use a smaller, deeper dish to have a softer end result.

When all is said and done, this methodis a great way to make delicious lasagna in a pinch: it's perfect if you already have a bag of broken lasagna noodles in your pantry from previous lasagna-making attempts.