The Best Pasta To Substitute For Lasagna Sheets In A Pinch

Finding a substitute for lasagna sheets can be a tall order. We loved it when the world invented no-boil lasagna noodles, not so much for the taste, but for the ease of use. We also love the heft of a good lasagna noodle, so finding a decent replacement requires using pasta with some density to it. So, if the day has been long and you're out of lasagna sheets and can't get to the store, look to your pantry or freezer for a solution. Many types of dried pasta fit the bill if you need to reinvent your lasagna, as long as they are thick enough to hold the weight of the other ingredients. Shells, penne, or ziti can all work, but we found the ultimate ingredient for replicating a good lasagna: pre-made ravioli.

In recent years, grocery stores have been widely stocked with pre-made ravioli, both fresh and frozen. This packaged ravioli boasts pasta with fillings of plain cheese, roasted chicken and garlic, mushrooms and spinach, and more. The choices are abundant, but the biggest reason pre-packaged ravioli is a game changer as a lasagna substitute is the short cooking time. Most fresh and frozen pre-made ravioli instructions call for three to four minutes in boiling water. Quick boiling time is one reason home cooks are coming up with variations on this "lazy lasagna," and the fact that you can use ravioli with different fillings makes this dish one for the rotation.

Ravioli makes a delicious lazy lasagna

Not all substitutions are created equal, but ravioli mimics the flavors and textures of a classic lasagna. We could call this a casserole, similar to the way assembling an enchilada casserole saves us the time of rolling the tortillas. Because ravioli is relatively flat, you don't have to change how you layer this lasagna. Ravioli will hold the ingredients as well as any lasagna sheet, and will even give the dish some more volume.

Begin with a classic lasagna recipe, which can include your homemade sauce or a jarred variety. Add some sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish and place the cooked ravioli in rows that cover the entire bottom of the dish. Next, top the ravioli with either white sauce or a ricotta cheese mixture (depending on your preference), and repeat the process twice more. Lastly, cover the lasagna with a cheese mixture of parmesan and mozzarella and bake in a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes.

One of the advantages of using ravioli as a replacement for lasagna sheets is the depth of flavor the ravioli brings. The options with ravioli are numerous: A bolognese lasagna recipe can be made vegetarian using a spinach-filled ravioli and meatless sauce, or try mushroom ravioli with a classic bechamel sauce in place of a red sauce. Whichever recipe you come up with, keeping a bag of ravioli on hand in the freezer will fool the family into thinking you spent the day boiling noodles, and they'll love the surprise flavors.