Quick Cheesy Lasagna – Instant Pot (or Stove-top)

This Quick Cheesy Lasagna dish is made in the Instant Pot in less than 30 minutes. Simply mix cheeses and add before serving.

Quick Cheesy Lasagna in Instant Pot Served in Mini Cast Iron Skillets

I admit it, I saw a photo the other day of lasagna soup made in an Instant Pot and while interesting, it was SO lacking for me. Adding noodles to some tomato sauces does not make lasagna anything, cheese is required and seriously…soup?

Nope, I wanted something more like the real deal so I tried my hand and the result was this amazing Quick Cheesy Lasagna made in an Instant Pot.

Now I love my Instant Pot, enough that I’ve actually got two of them. I don’t need two often but I’ve had neighborhood barbecues where it sure was nice, pulled pork like this Apple Cider and Brown Sugar Pulled Pork in one and a favorite rice recipe too; this Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Rice Pilaf.

I was hesitant at first about the need for one but I’m glad I took the plunge; they really are a great addition to the kitchen arsenal of appliances. Since you can make rice in them, they can replace a rice cooker and have considerably more functionality.

Three Cheeses, Parmesan, Ricotta, and Mozzarella in Small White Serving Cups

So…did I mention cheese? Seriously how could any recipe with lasagna in the name not include almost copious amounts of cheese. For this recipe it’s a trifecta of:

  1. Ricotta – Desperate? Use cottage cheese too.
  2. Mozzarella – Or provolone or even Swiss; something melty is nice
  3. Parmesan – I don’t prefer dry but if that’s your thing, do it. Parmesan, Pecorino…anything in that family is fine.

I did serve additional cheese in bowls if someone wanted more but for the mixture I was putting into the bowls it was easier to mix the combination together. I poured a scoop of the noodles and meat sauce into a bowl, dolloped the cheese all around the top of it and the added another scoop of meat and noodles on top.

I did put these skillets in the oven for about 5 minutes; just enough to get that layer of cheese really melty. If that’s more of a pain than you want to deal with or if you have young kids and a hot plate would be a safety concern; use your judgement.

While you can definitely serve this without the one extra step I took, I do think just a couple of minutes in a hot oven took it from great to that really melted cheese nirvana. Everyone finished by topping their individual bowls if they wanted more. Yes, I used parsley but it’s not a flavor necessity; more of a photo necessity. 🙂

Closeup of Quick Cheesy Lasagna in a Small Cast Iron Skillet

Honestly, this Quick Cheesy Lasagna was far better than I imagined it could be; especially when you factor in the ease. Of course if I had been smart, I would have portioned out individual servings and frozen them for later. But what I did instead was have a plate every night for dinner for a week; not kidding! I told myself each night…this is it, just this once more; until it was all gone.

I know we’re all going though an unbelievable and sometimes difficult time right now. I’m still in somewhat a state of shock at the fact that food has become a difficult to find resource so until people quit hoarding and something closer to whatever normal is returns, we have to be resourceful.

Can you make this without beef? Sure, try ground beef or a great protein source when going meatless are black beans; they have a nice hearty look too so whether you’re a vegetarian (use veggie broth in the recipe too) or simply having to cut back on beef, try this lasagna without the burger meat; it’s still a great meal.

The oldest recipe I have for Lasagna calls for cottage cheese; so try your hand at something else. I also have a great pizza I love that has found melted balls of cream cheese on top…be creative!

Pantry a bit bare? Instead of the multiple canned tomato items in the recipe for the sauce, how about a jar of marinara? I ordered a delivery from Costco last week; no pesto but they had marinara…I said sure, I know it will come in handy!

Quick Cheesy Lasagna in Instant Pot Shown with Appliance and Three Cheeses

After this success, now I’m ready to do more pasta dishes…I hear plain spaghetti is ideal. Imagine simply adding a jar of marinara sauce to some spaghetti noodles and having the whole thing done for you in one pot without have to barely touch it…just a sprinkling of Parmesan when it’s served.

Or you could make a bunch of these perfect meatballs like I do and freeze them and quickly heat them in the microwave to add to your spaghetti dish.

Honestly, if you don’t have an Instant Pot; it is truly one modern convenience I can heartily recommend…and then make this lasagna!

More Instant Pot Favorites!

PIN IT! Quick Cheesy Lasagna from the Instant Pot (or Stove-top)

Mini Skillet of Easy and Cheesy Lasagna Topped with a Mixture of Three Cheeses

Quick Cheesy Lasagna in Instant Pot Served in Mini Cast Iron Skillets
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Quick Cheesy Lasagna - Instant Pot (or Stove-top)

This one pot lasagna includes ground beef, a marinara sauce, and pasta topped with a trio of cheeses. Ready in only 30 minutes it's our newest favorite dish!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Pasta, Potatoes, Rice & Grains
Servings: 8 Servings (approximately 1.5 cups each)
Calories: 471kcal
Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

Pasta and Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 & 1/2 lb. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion medium dice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 15- oz cans diced tomatoes including the juice
  • 1 15- oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 6- oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 15- oz can broth; chicken beef, or vegetable
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black Pepper as needed
  • 3 cups uncooked pasta; broken lasagna noodles pasta shells, or bow tie (it's all I had!)

Lasagna Cheeses and Garnish

  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh Parsley chopped optional

Instructions

  • Select “Sauté” on  your Instant Pot, add the olive oil and get it hot. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef, onion, and garlic and sauté while stirring until the beef is cooked; about 3-4 minutes. Hit cancel to turn off the pot.
  • Drain any excess fat from the beef and add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper to taste, and pasta.
  • Secure the lid; seal the pressure release valve and choose the "Manual" and then 'High' pressure setting and set for ONE MINUTE. The pot actually takes about 15 minutes to come to pressure so this is plenty of time for the pasta to cook. Don't be tempted to cook longer, your pasta might get overdone. It's a nice al dente cooked this way and a bit softer in leftovers that are stored in the fridge.
  • When your pot beeps that the pressure cycle is complete, release the steam via quick pressure release. The pot will go into a 'Keep Warm' mode until it is shut off. * See Notes for instructions on 'QPR' or Quick Pressure Release.
  • To Serve
  • Combine the cheeses together in a box and mix together well.
  • Fill a large scoop with the lasagna mixture and put into a wide bowl. Dollop a couple of tablespoons of the cheese mixture on the lasagna and add additional sauce on top. Top with more cheese, garnish with parsley (optional) and serve.
  • Optional: Place bowls in the oven at 350 degrees for five minutes to completely melt the cheese before garnishing with the parsley.
  • (Stove-top Instructions)
  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat; sauté the ground beef, onions, and garlic until the beef is cooked through, stirring as needed.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes (with the juice), tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Turn the heat up to high and heat until mixture starts to boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and add the pasta noodles. Cover and simmer until the pasta is tender (about 15 min).
  • Serve the same as the Instant Pot version.

Notes

Easy substitutions

  1. Use ground turkey in lieu of ground beef, substitute black beans or even go meatless.
  2. No ricotta? No problem. Try Cottage cheese or cream cheese; both will have a nice creamy texture, especially if melted.
  3. Sub a large jar of marinara instead of the canned tomato products.

* How to Quick Pressure Release (QPR) of the Instant Pot

To do a Quick Pressure Release, turn the pressure release valve from “sealing” to the “venting” position using an oven mitt.
Be careful as the steam shoots upward from the pressure valve during this process. The pressure cooker will have to release ALL of the pressure and the lid won't open until you hear or see the ‘float valve’ drop.
This process can take up to 5 minutes; don't attempt to open the lid before then.

Nutrition

Serving: 18 | Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 998mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g

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4 Comments

  1. One of these days I’ll get an Instant Pot. Maybe. 🙂 Actually, they sound like a terrific device, but I already have too many devices. Maybe when my slow cooker dies . . . Anyway, this looks really good. And an easier, more streamlined version of lasagna is always a good thing. Thanks.

    1. I got rid of my rice cooker and quite honestly John I don’t think I’ve used my slow cooker since I got an instant pot. I never use my slow cooker that much anyhow I have to admit. For everyday use it makes terrific rice and honestly the best hard-boiled eggs you can imagine. Beautiful yellow yolks and the shells just slide off!

      You can actually make this lasagna on a stovetop to if you want to try it. It’s not like a multi-level mix of millions of things baked in the oven lasagna all gooey and wonderful but I’ll tell you it tastes damn good and it took me less than a half-hour!

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