Skillet Lasagna – A Better Hamburger Helper

Skillet Lasagna is a great alternative to Hamburger Helper. Are you ever looking for an inexpensive meal to prepare on a weeknight? I know I am, and I have a solution for you.

Skillet Lasagna with ricotta cheese

Recently some of my Youtube folks were looking for inexpensive meals to prepare. I wanted to come up with a recipe that was inexpensive to make, and very hearty. I always enjoyed Hamburger Helper as a child, and I wanted to recreate this a favorite childhood recipe.

While I do use leftover boxed lasagna noodles for this recipe, you really could use any type of pasta that you like. I used Italian Sausage to help keep the costs down on the recipe which is often on sale at my local grocery store. I buy it fairly often at half the price of ground beef. I have also tried this recipe with just a half a pound of Italian sausage.

skillet lasagna with dollops of ricotta cheese on top

For this skillet lasagna recipe, I use fresh onions and garlic. If you happen to have some bell peppers in your fridge, you could toss in one of those if you like. This recipe is very flexible.

I use ricotta cheese to add some flavor. If you like, you could swap this out for cottage cheese as either one will work. I personally prefer the ricotta because I like the taste and texture more when the cheese is heated.

Inexpensive meals do not have to be flavorless they can be both filling and delicious. Cabbage roll casserole is filling and made with fresh cabbage, ground meat, and rice.

Love Hamburger Helper? Try this Hamburger Stroganoff recipe.

More Italian recipes to try:

Skillet Lasagna with ricotta cheese

Skillet Lasagna - Homemade Hamburger Helper

You can make a flavorful homemade hamburger helper lasagna in a skillet in no time at all.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hamburger Helper Lasagna, Skillet Lasagna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 277kcal


  • 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage or ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounce canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles or other type of pasta
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese


  • Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped onion and chopped garlic to skillet.
  • Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent.
  • Add tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of water, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Break the lasagna noodles into pieces and add them to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  • Cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta is done. If the liquid cooks out, you may need to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.
  • Place dollops of ricotta cheese on top. Stir in the cheese if desired. You can top with additional cheese.



Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 9.1mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1.6mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. L. Todaro

    The “skillet” dinners were by Hunt’s and not Hamburger Helper. They came in a box with noodles, sauce and for the lasagna, a packet that had ricotta solids. Thanks for making at attempt at replicating Hunt’s Skillet Lasagna.

  2. Rach's Recipes

    5 stars
    I love lasagna and I do believe in using pork sausages too as it helps create a richer sauce as compared to ground beef. I generously added mozzarella, ricotta, and chopped basil for this too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Janeane Davis

    This seems like a good recipe that will be tasty and that the entire family will enjoy having. It is nice because there is lots of room for interpretation and creativity.

  4. Michael k meske

    I would like to say that you do a very great job of bringing us simple food That looks great and taste fantastic thanks

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