The other night I made this for dinner. It had been formulating in my head for months, but didn’t really come to fruition until this Skillet Lasagna recipe came into my life. I had an idea to lighten up mac and cheese, but by substituting the pasta for something instead of the cheesy sauce. One of life’s truths is that lightened up cheese sauce is just not worth it. With all the heartiness of a pasta dish but with a fraction of the actual pasta, my Skillet Lasagna-mac and cheese-hybrid was a winner. I made it, we ate it, and everyone was happy.
After dinner I asked K if he enjoyed it, because I’m like a puppy and must be praised. He liked it! To me, that was an opening for a whole slew of skillet lasagna options; I was off. Buffalo chicken! Cheeseburger! Spinach and sausage! Philly Cheesesteak!
I said as much, to which K replied “Sure, those sound good too, but I like this dinner. We could just make this again. We never have the same meals twice.”
“But I make tacos every week! You like tacos. Taco Thursdays!” I replied.
“Yes but you don’t blog tacos. If you blog it, it’s gone forever.“
I died laughing.
I died laughing, because he’s right, and because now my crazy blog brain has encompassed him too. I think that means I win a contest or something. But I really don’t cook the same thing twice, which means that we have no “week-night favorites” or “old stand-bys.” I’m always trying to alter something, try something new, or spice up an old recipe all for the sake of blog content.
See, I don’t practice what I preach. I write these recipes so that they do become weeknight favorites. I want them to be a part of your weekly rotation, a concept that is apparently completely foreign around these parts.
I promised K that I would start remembering our favorites and making them from time to time, because routine is good and sometimes all you want is familiarity that doesn’t come in a taco shell. Although tacos are never a bad thing. (Taco Thursdays!)
First on the list is this Four Cheese and Broccoli Skillet Lasagna. No add-ins, no changes. This is the favorite and we’re sticking to it. (I’m not promising that buffalo chicken skillet lasagna isn’t also going to be on the list. It’s stuck in my blog-brain).
The broccoli softens in the sauce and absorbs all that cheesy goodness, while the lasagna brings an al-dente texture to the otherwise cheesy bowl. You’ll be so glad that K suggested a crunchy topping, as it’s far and away the best part of any mac and cheese.
I can’t decide if I can call this “lightened up” with a straight face, as you all saw the PLATE OF CHEESE, however, logically, mac and cheese is 16 ounces of pasta with a cheese sauce, and this dish is only 8 ounces of pasta for 6 servings, with a cheese sauce. That’s got to count for something, right?! Right.
This is definitely worthy of your weeknight rotation; it’s easy, delicious, and (fairly) healthy. Even in my (now shared) blogger world, this is worthy of a repeat or two.
Here’s the recipe!
Four Cheese and Broccoli Skillet Lasagna
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds
- 2 large heads of broccoli, chopped into florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups milk (I used skim…for your health!)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup Seasoned Panko breadcrumbs (or plain breadcrumbs with a little salt and pepper)
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles. When they have 3 minutes left, add chopped broccoli and cook for 1 minute more. Drain when the noodles are 2 minutes from being done. Set aside.
- In a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add butter and olive oil. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add flour and whisk until there are no clumps. Slowly add 4 cups of milk, whisking constantly to avoid clumps. Season with mustard powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Slowly add cheddar, Parmesan, and gorgonzola. Whisk constantly until the sauce is smooth and thick. Add a little more milk if it looks too thick. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
- Add the lasagna noodles and broccoli to the sauce and move around until everything is evenly distributed. Top with seasoned Panko and spray with some cooking spray.
- Place entire skillet in the oven and let cook for 10-12 minutes, until very golden brown. This may take longer depending on your oven. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve in bowls.