5 from 6 votes

Easy High Protein Skillet Lasagna

 March 3, 2024

Say hello to the easiest and most delicious high protein lasagna you will ever make – in one skillet. There’s no boiling the lasagna noodles beforehand and no layering project involved. To make this Easy High Protein Skillet Lasagna, all you have to do is brown the onions and garlic, add the seasonings, lasagna noodle pieces, marinara sauce and cheeses, and the entire meal gets cooked right in the pan. How easy is that! And trust me, you’ll never go back to making lasagna the traditional way ever again because this is so much easier.

A pan of the high protein skillet lasagna, sitting on a countertop with a spoon resting inside of it

Before we begin, let me call out the obvious – this is NOT an authentic Italian lasagna, nor am I claiming that it is. It’s lasagna-like, and a fantastic idea for busy moms like myself that unfortunately don’t have time to make everything from scratch and prepare lasagna the traditional way. So just go with it, because I promise your taste buds will thank you. And so will your kids, earning you the mom-of-the-year award!

High Protein? Sign me up!

It is no secret that protein is the macronutrient of choice in 2024. And for good reason. Protein is the building block for muscle growth and maintenance, provides satiety and helps regulate your blood sugar by keeping cravings at bay. I am not going to tell you how much protein to add to your diets, but I can just speak to what I do: I consume 135g protein/day and then evenly divide that throughout the day. Doing so really helps me eat normal sized portions and keeps me looking and feeling my best!

In this recipe, the protein sources comes from the beef and also the cottage cheese. Instead of using ricotta cheese like a traditional lasagna would, we are using cottage cheese, and I promise you can’t tell the difference!

What You Need to Make This Easy High Protein Skillet Lasagna

  • Olive oil: I like using olive oil to sauté the beef in this recipe because I find that it does add a nice, subtle flavor. If you prefer to use another oil, use avocado oil.
  • Onion: Onion is going to provide a lot of texture and flavor in this dish and I recommend using fresh over powdered if possible.
  • Garlic: I like using fresh garlic cloves in this recipe, but you can use garlic powder if that’s all you have. And if you have a gut sensitivity or follow a Low-FODMAP diet, you can omit entirely, and I promise this meal will still be delicious.
  • Ground beef:  I used 95/55 fat ground beef to keep this as lean as possible, but you can definitely use 85/15% as well. It will add more flavor for sure, and you can drain any excess fat off during the cooking process, if needed. You can also use ground chicken, turkey, or even plant-based “meat” crumbles.
  • Italian seasoning: Italian seasoning is going to give this dish a big flavor boost, so be sure to use it.
  • Cumin: Cumin is my secret seasoning in so many dishes. It adds the best flavor, so if possible, don’t skip it!
A large pot, filled with the ground beef and marinara sauce, with the lasagna noodles actively being broken apart and added to the pan
Next, break up the lasagna noodles into pieces and lay them on top of the beef mixture and stir, ensuring each noodle is covered with liquid. Then, cover the pan and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook on low-medium heat, for 23-25 minutes, or until the lasagna noodles are al dente.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: Add this for a little KICK, if you know what I mean! Use just the recommended amount in the recipe if you have little kids, or more if you love spicy!
  • Marinara sauce or bolognese: For this recipe, you can definitely make your own sauce, but like I already stated above, this is a 30-minute meal, so go jarred. You need a 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce or bolognese sauce. I love the Rao’s brand, which I pick up at major grocery stores. And, if you have a gut sensitivity or follow a Low-FODMAP diet, then perhaps try the Fody Foods brand. I can vouch that their vegan bolognese sauce and marinara sauces go perfectly in this dish.
  • Lasagna noodles: Ok, let’s chat lasagna noodles. You can use ANY lasagna noodles in this recipe. And, you do not need to pre-boil anything. See the picture below? You literally just break the lasagna noodles and toss them into your skillet. If you are following a Low-FODMAP diet, use rice or quinoa-based lasagna noodles.
  • Cottage cheese: Using full fat cottage cheese is going to replace ricotta cheese in this recipe. One, you won’t miss the ricotta, and two, you get a nice protein boost from the cottage cheese. I love the Good Culture brand, but use whatever you can find.
  • Parmesan cheese: I believe that grating your own parmesan cheese is always the most flavorful and it is certainly freshest. But in a pinch and in an effort to keep time down in this recipe, you can use pre-grated/shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Mozzarella cheese: Shredded mozzarella cheese is a must in this recipe because what is lasagna without mozzarella? You tell me! 
  • Basil: Garnish with fresh basil. Not only does it add a nice pop of color, it adds a little extra burst of flavor.
A pan, filled with the ground beef, topped with the marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, all actively being mixed together
In a bowl, mix together the cheeses (cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese).Then, turn the heat off and remove the cover. Mix in the cheese mixture. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese and mozzarella on top.

How to Make This Easy High Protein Skillet Lasagna

Friends, it could not be easier to make this dish and get it on the table for dinner TONIGHT. Here’s how:

Start by heating a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet on medium heat. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, that’s ok! Use ANY skillet, as long as it is large enough. Once the skillet is hot, add the olive oil followed by the onions, garlic, and ground beef. Sauté the meat and break it up with your cooking utensil for 5 minutes, it should just be beginning to brown.

Then, add in the Italian seasoning, cumin and red pepper flakes, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes longer, until fragrant. Pour the jar of marinara sauce on top, along with the water.

Next, break up the lasagna noodles into pieces and lay them on top of the beef mixture and stir, ensuring each noodle is covered with liquid. Then, cover the pan and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook on low-medium heat, for 23-25 minutes, or until the lasagna noodles are al dente.

In a bowl, mix together the cheeses (cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese).Then, turn the heat off and remove the cover. Mix in the cheese mixture. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese and mozzarella on top.

Next, turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes until the cheese mets and turns a nice golden brown. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of chopped basil, if desired, and enjoy!

How to make this one Gut-Friendly /LOW Fodmap

As I noted above, this is a fantastic recipe that can be adapted for this with gut sensitivities/follow a Low-FODMAP diet. To make this gut-healthy, all you need to do is omit the garlic and the onion, and make sure to use a marinara sauce/bolognese sauce that contains no garlic or onion.

A bowl filled with the high protein skillet lasanga
Broil the skillet lasagna for 2 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned. Once it’s done, garnish it with fresh chopped basil, then serve and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A pan of the high protein skillet lasagna, sitting on a countertop with a spoon resting inside of it
Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free

Easy High Protein Skillet Lasagna

5 from 6 votes
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
SERVES 6 Servings
Print It Pin It
Say hello to the easiest and most delicious high protein lasagna you will ever make – in one skillet. There's no boiling the lasagna noodles beforehand and no layering project involved. To make this Easy High Protein Skillet Lasagna, all you have to do is brown the onions and garlic, add the seasonings, lasagna noodle pieces, marinara sauce and cheeses, and the entire meal gets cooked right in the pan. How easy is that! And trust me, you'll never go back to making lasagna the traditional way ever again because this is so much easier.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion finely diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 24 Ounce Jar Marinara or Bolognese Sauce
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 7 Large Lasagna Noodles broken into pieces
  • 3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 Cup Cottage Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions

  • Heat a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet on medium heat. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, that's ok! Use ANY skillet, as long as it is large enough.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes then add the ground beef.
  • Saute the meat and break it up with your cooking utensil for 5 minutes, it should just be beginning to brown.
  • Add the Italian seasoning, cumin and red pepper flakes, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes longer, until fragrant.
  • Pour the jar of marinara sauce on top, along with the water.
  • Break up the lasagna noodles into pieces and lay them on top of the beef mixture and stir, ensuring each noodle is covered with liquid.
  • Cover the pan and reduce heat to low-medium.
  • Cook on low-medium heat, for 23-25 minutes, or until the lasagna noodles are al dente.
  • In a bowl, mix together the cheeses (cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese).
  • Turn the heat off and remove the cover. Mix in the cheese mixture. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese and mozzarella on top.
  • Next, turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes until the cheese mets and turns a nice golden brown.
  • Finish the dish with a sprinkling of chopped basil, if desired, and enjoy!

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  1. Your recipes never disappoint – this was a hit with the fam and I will be adding it to the regular rotation.

  2. This recipe was delish and so easy! Why would anyone make regular lasagna again?!

    There was one question I had – the ingredients list includes 2 teaspoons of salt but the directions say to only add a pinch. I added the full 2 teaspoons and it may have been slightly too salty but not overly so. What is the correct amount?

  3. In process of making this & ingredients don’t match the instructions when it comes to mixes of cheese. There is no mozzarella in ingredient list but has mention of it in the instructions but no mention of the ricotta. Just curious if you actually use mozzarella? Or was this a mistake

    • Hi Angie, I apologize about this. It should be mozzarella, parmesan, and cottage cheese.

  4. 5 stars
    MAKE THIS! It’s so delicious & so much more family friendly than a huge pan of lasagna. I omitted the cumin & added more Italian/ Basil/Oregano instead.

    • I am so happy to hear that you loved this recipe, Heather! Thank you so much for your review!

    • Hi Mark! It will depend on the exact ingredients you’re using. I recommend plugging this recipe into an app like MyFitnessPal to get the macros!

  5. This dish was very good. I don’t care for spaghetti at all but the added seasonsing & different cheeses as well as the process made (in my opinion) very good. My adult son liked it very much too. Great job!!

    • I’m so thrilled that you and your son loved this recipe, Lisa! Thank you for making this recipe and for leaving such a kind review!