Deconstructed Lasagna Soup Recipe

Assembling a delicious, classic lasagna is no easy task, requiring 1 hour or so in the kitchen to make a meaty sauce, tender noodles, and a creamy béchamel. And after all that, you still have to stack and bake the layers of pasta to gooey perfection. What if we told you there is a weeknight version of lasagna, requiring only 1 pot and less than 30 minutes of your time? With the same great flavor, but deconstructed, lasagna soup is the answer to your mid-week lasagna craving.

In this recipe developed by Michelle McGlinn, beef and hot sausage are crumbled into a tomato-based sauce, then joined by pesto for a burst of herby flavor. Lasagna noodles are broken into pieces and tossed into the boiling broth to soften, and while those thick noodles cook, ricotta is whipped into a soft cream to dollop onto the soup. It's the best way to have lasagna in a pinch for a cozy, savory, cheesy family dinner.

Everything you need for deconstructed lasagna soup

Starting with the meaty base, you'll need a drizzle of olive oil, ground beef, Italian sausage, onions, garlic, tomato paste, and whole, peeled can of tomatoes. You can use ½ beef and ½ sausage, or 1 pound of one or the other. Use mild sausage for no heat, or hot sausage for a little kick.

To make the soup broth, you'll need chicken or vegetable stock, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, pesto, and lastly, lasgna noodles. You can use water if you don't have stock on hand, and dried spices if you can't find any fresh. Unless you have an abundance of basil that needs using, use premade pesto to keep this recipe fast and easy. For topping, you'll need whole-milk ricotta, a few more sprigs of oregano and thyme, and a pinch of salt.

Brown the meats

Start by browning the ground beef and sausage (casing removed) in a Dutch oven over medium heat, until crumbly and cooked through, about 5 minutes. If you are using particularly fatty beef, and there's a lot of grease, drain before adding the diced onion and minced garlic. Then, sautée the aromatics until softened, about 2 minutes. If you want to add a few more vegetables to your soup, like carrots, celery, bell peppers, or even spinach, now's the time to add them. 

Crush the tomatoes, and add the broth

In a pinch, you can substitute the whole, canned tomatoes for crushed, but for the freshest tomato flavor, you'll want to use whole, peeled tomatoes. When possible, buy San Marzano tomatoes for the best flavor. Dump the tomato paste and canned tomatoes into the pot, crushing the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon. If you want to use the fresh Roma tomatoes on your counter, you can, but you'll need to peel them first — using the canned version is just as good, and saves a lot of time.

Stir in the chicken stock, 2 tablespoons oregano, 1 tablespoon thyme, and pesto, and bring it to a boil.

Boil the noodles in the broth

Once boiling, break the noodles into pieces (bigger pieces will be more lasagna-like, and smaller pieces will be easier to eat), then add them to the boiling broth. Boil according to package directions, around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the noodles are submerged, and the beef is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once the pasta is done, taste the soup, and season accordingly. Too acidic? Try adding a pinch of sugar.

Whip the ricotta, and serve

While the noodles cook, make the whipped ricotta. If you don't own a mixer, you can use a whisk, or skip whipping altogether (there's nothing wrong with lumpy ricotta). For whipped ricotta, beat air into the thick cheese until it's light, fluffy, and smooth. Stir in the remaining herbs and salt to taste, until the ricotta tastes savory. If you have extra pesto, stir in a spoonful for a pesto- flavored ricotta, or try adding lemon for some brightness.

Add a spoonful or so of ricotta to the soup, and sprinkle with extra herbs to serve, if desired. Stir the ricotta around in the broth to make the soup creamy, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve this soup with crusty garlic bread, Brussels sprout salad, or roasted eggplant for a full, cozy, Italian meal.

Deconstructed Lasagna Soup Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
Enjoy all the flavors of lasagna with half the work with this easy and comforting deconstructed lasagna soup recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
soup on a table with spoon
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, divided
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • ½ pound dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground beef and sausage, and crumble. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, and mix well. Add the whole tomatoes, and crush with the back of the spoon.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and stir, then add 2 tablespoons oregano, 1 tablespoon thyme, and the pesto. Bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, add the lasagna noodles. Cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions.
  6. In the meantime, put the ricotta in a bowl, and beat using a mixer until light and fluffy. The ricotta should be smooth and whipped. Add the remaining herbs and a pinch of salt to taste, then stir to combine.
  7. Once the pasta is soft, season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, dollop the ricotta onto each bowl of soup.
Calories per Serving 927
Total Fat 53.8 g
Saturated Fat 18.6 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 123.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 69.4 g
Dietary Fiber 8.6 g
Total Sugars 12.4 g
Sodium 1,697.4 mg
Protein 42.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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