Canned Ravioli Is The Ultimate Hack For No-Frills Lasagna

A homemade bowl of warm lasagna beats out any pre-made or frozen versions, but let's face it — those cheesy layers can take a while to make. Whether you're whipping up a kale lasagna or buffalo chicken lasagna, you can eliminate a step from your recipe and cut down on cooking time by using canned ravioli. If ravioli from a can sounds a little unappetizing in your delicious baked pasta dish, don't worry — you can still add plenty of fresh ingredients like cheese, meat, and veggies. But by using the canned stuff, you can skip cooking lasagna noodles, and you've already got pre-made layers of pasta and cheese.

To make ravioli lasagna, you'll still want to cook any extra ingredients, like ground beef or spinach, ahead of time. Then you'll build your lasagna in a baking dish like normal, subbing layers of noodles and cheese with the ravioli. In a typical recipe, the sequence goes like this: sauce, ravioli, sauce, cheese, mix-ins, and repeat. 

Once you bake everything in the oven until the cheese is gooey and bubbly, you'll have a delicious lasagna that took much less time to make.

How to customize ravioli lasagna

Of course, you can make this ravioli lasagna as fancy or as simple as you want. A barebones (but still incredibly tasty) version involves layering tomato sauce with cheese ravioli and shredded cheeses like parmesan and mozzarella. But to add a little protein into your dish, try using pasta filled with beef, lobster, crab, sausage, or pork — or, cook ground meat with your tomato sauce ahead of time for a spin on classic lasagna bolognese. In fact, you can even use the extra time that you would have been cooking lasagna noodles to make a delicious sauce with onion, seasonings, and herbs like oregano and basil. Either layer the sauce as its own lasagna element, or mix it in with the ravioli and sandwich it with layers of fresh cheese.

The ravioli and sauce are great places to add in some veggies, too. You can add some chopped spinach (frozen works too) into your sauce, or throw in a ravioli stuffed with mushrooms, kale, spinach, or butternut squash. Canned versions will produce a delicious lasagna, but fresh packages like Trader Joe's cacio e pepe, vegan spinach and cashew, and ricotta and lemon zest would all be delicious options as well. And if you prefer the taste or just find a cheaper package, feel free to sub in frozen ravioli — just make sure to thaw it first.