It’s back-to-school time around here, and oh my goodness, my social media feeds are all kinds of adorable.
Facebook’s algorithm, especially, seems to have picked up on the fact that I will “like” every single photo with kiddos pausing to pose for the classic first-day-of-school pic before running to catch the bus, because my feed right now is one solid ode to education.
And I love it.
I love seeing siblings lined up next to one another, another year older and probably an inch or two taller. I love seeing the brand-new backpacks, the oh-so-carefully-selected outfits, the busses and bicycles and “brand new” clunkers that the 16-yr-olds are driving for the first time. I love the those smiles that are worth a thousand words — so eager and excited and full of anticipation to begin a new year, yet always a little nervous after a restless night wondering what the new school year will bring. And of course, I love the posts from their parents — who a week ago were so ready to send those kids back to school — but today are all hot, loving, little messes, all choked up about having to wave good-bye and send off their brave kiddos into that big wide world all by themselves.
As Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty quickly. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Always so true, which makes me especially grateful for little traditions and moments like these where we stop to document another milestone in the lives of kiddos and celebrate the wild and wonderful lives they’re creating. Of course, armed with shiny new pencils and notebooks and a good dose of hope for the year ahead as well. :)
Anyway, from watching the blog’s statistics and comments behind the scenes this week, it’s clear that everyone’s already in full-on back-to-school mode cooking too. So today I prepared a super-easy dinner recipe that only requires a few minutes of prep and is sure to be a favorite with even the pickiest of eaters coming home after a big day at school. And all you need are 7 ingredients to make it happen.
Let’s make some ravioli lasagna!
Yep, a few bags of frozen ravioli are the rockstar ingredient in this recipe, and the best news is that you totally don’t even have to cook them! Just grab all of your ingredients and layer them in the pan, and then let your oven do all of the work for you, baking this casserole up to delicious cheesy perfection.
I chose to make mine more of a “meaty” lasagna, browning up some (hot) Italian sausage and then tossing it with some roasted red peppers for extra flavor. But you could also sub in ground beef or shredded chicken, or nix the meat entirely and add in some spinach and/or sauteed veggies to make this dish vegetarian. Totally up to you!
The basic method of making the ravioli lasagna is simple. Begin with a layer of sauce, add in half of your ravioli, top with the sausage mixture, a little more sauce, and then lots of cheese. And then repeat, cover, and bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly and everything is deliciously warm and ready to go. Top it with a little fresh basil if you’d like, especially since it’s in season this time of year…
…and then gather your family or friends around the table, and dive in and enjoy all of these classic flavors of lasagna (without all of the classic work)!
I’m pretty sure everyone will give this one an A+. So simple, so satisfying, and SO GOOD.
So to all of you students and parents and teachers out there, I wish you all the best this schoolyear! You’ve got this! :)
(optional) 1/2 cup chopped or julienned fresh basil leaves, loosely-packed
Heat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
In a large saute pan, cook sausage over medium heat until browned and no longer pink, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a metal spatula or spoon while it cooks. Drain off the excess grease, then stir the diced roasted red peppers in with the sausage. Set aside.
To assemble the lasagna, spread half of a jar of marinara sauce (about 1 3/4 cups) evenly across the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the contents of 1 package of ravioli in an even layer on top of the sauce. Spread half of the sausage and red pepper mixture evenly on top of the ravioli, followed by the remaining half of a jar of marinara sauce, half of the mozzarella, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat each of these layers, minus the Parmesan. (So that means a second round of sauce, ravioli, sausage/peppers, sauce, and mozzarella.)
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for a final 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Remove, and garnish with the remaining Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.
Looks delicious Ali! Can’t wait to try it.
It seems everyone is heading back to school already. I’m surprised to learn that Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley seem to be the ONLY areas that start school AFTER Labor Day. The week leading up to LDW is always busy for Philadelphians, as many of us flock to the Jersey Shore (“The Shore”) for the last summer hurrah.
I love ravioli lasagna. It’s so much easier than actually making a lasagna. I love making it when we’re having a casual dinner with friends. Everyone loves it! This recipe looks delicious. I love how you added red peppers for extra flavor. I will have to try that next time!
Thanks Melissa, we hope you love it! :)
This dish looks so incredibly warm and comforting! Such a perfect easy back to school meal!
Thanks Lindsay, we hope you enjoy it!
Those back to school pictures are too sweet!! I love seeing my feed filled with them. This recipe looks so incredibly easy and delicious. While I am not sending kids back to school, I could definitely see myself whipping this up for an quick weeknight meal for my husband and me!
Thanks Chelsea, we hope you and your husband enjoy the recipe! :)
Two of my favorite things in one dish? Count me in!
Josh | The Kentucky Gent
Yay, we hope you enjoy it Josh!
Ahhh comfort food! Looks delicious!!
Thanks Deborah, we hope you enjoy the recipe!
This looks delicious. We are making it for supper tonight. I see a few errors with the recipe. Parmesan is not listed as one of the ingredients, but is mentioned in the directions. Diced tomatoes are mentioned in the directions, but not as an ingredient. I think that is where the peppers are used.
It smells good – we can’t wait to eat!
Thank you Amy! Thank you for catching those errors, we just fixed them, and we hope you and your family enjoy the recipe! :)
looks great! I’m making this tonight!!
I just wanted to point out that you listed mozzarella twice instead of Parmesan in the ingredient list! ?
Oops, thanks for catching the mistake, we just fixed it! We hope you enjoyed the lasagna, thanks for making it! :)
After “discovering” ravioli lasagna a few years ago, I’ve never made it any other way. It’s just too dang simple! Pre-boil noodles? Ain’t nobody got time for that! ;) I haven’t made it in a while, and this recipe looks yummy! Italian sausage is the way to go, too – I find that it gives the lasagna a much needed boost of spice and flavor vs. ground beef!
Thank you Emily, we hope you enjoy the lasagna! :)
I love Ravioli lasagnas! Kinda like two of my favorite Italian foods-in-one! Ali, as always, pictures look mouth-watering!
Looking delicious! I heard for a very first time about ravioli lasagne but I can’t wait to try it this weekend. Perfect recipe for upcoming Saturday night. Thanksss!
Thanks Nicole, we hope you love it! :)
This recipe looks so easy as well as delicious. I love such kind of dish and I will try it that next time. Thanks a lot for sharing such informative recipes.
Thank you Jim, we hope you like it!
I made this last night for some friends and it was such a hit!! Thank you so much for your recipes! You do a great job! I like that your stuff is tasty, healthy, and quick!
That’s awesome Katherine, we’re happy to hear this was a hit with you and your friends! And thank you for being a fan of the blog! :)
Quick question – I couldn’t find frozen so I bought a couple of packages of fresh ravioli from the refrigerated section of my store. I assume this would mean I should cut back on cooking time? Any thoughts on cook time/temperature? Thanks!
Hmmm, I may have to see if I can trick my husband with this recipe. He doesn’t like ravioli (or other pre-stuffed pastas, like tortellini) but he likes lasagna. I see so many yummy raviolis that I want to eat but he always turns his nose up at the idea (I know he’ll eat whatever I put in front of him but I hate to make something that I know he doesn’t like). I may try to very neatly layer the raviolis and I think if I layer enough cheese in there, he wouldn’t even notice it. :D Thanks for the recipe!
That’s too funny! We hope it works! ;)
Hi! I made this last night for my family, and we all loved it. I used fresh homemade pasta from Whole Foods, and it was delicious. I cut down on the cooking time, but followed your recipe otherwise. I wish I could’ve taken pics but we were pretty hungry lol. Thank you so much for sharing your delicious, super easy recipe. The leftovers are phenomenal, by the way :D
Hey Fallon, that’s awesome! We bet that homemade pasta was amazing too! We’re happy you and your family enjoyed this! :)
Do you think I could add in some frozen spinach as well?
Definitely, we think that would make a great addition – we hope you enjoy!
This looks fantastic! Quick question – if I put this together the night before and refrigerate all day and pop into the oven when I get home from work, would it still turn out ok? Would the cooking time need to be adjusted since the ravioli would most likely not be frozen when it goes into the oven? Trying to think of a way to save time on busy work/school nights! Thank you!
Thanks Sandy! We haven’t tried that, but we think that should work! We’d suggest baking it (uncovered) at 375 for about 20-25 minutes (or until the cheese is completely melted and is bubbling and golden brown). We hope this helps, and that you enjoy! :)
Just wondering why all the recipes like this say to leave the raviolis unthawed? What would happen if i use fresh raviolis? Overcooked…
That’s exactly it Patty, they’d be overcooked. We hope you enjoy this! :)
How many does it feed, thinking of making it for a wedding shower?
Hi Marianne! This makes about 12 servings.
First off, delicious and very easy. Here’s where I got in trouble…..there was no way my ravioli fit in the 9×13..I actually had to divide it into two pans. My ravioli came in 20oz pkgs so I bought three. One 20 ounce almost filled the pan. Can you share the brand you used? I used spinach and cheese, but don’t think they were any bigger than the plain cheese. I will definitely make it again…but will adjust my amounts unless I find a smaller ravioli.
Oh no! I have no idea why that happened. I just used a generic brand from the grocery store I think, but don’t remember exactly. Did your pan by chance have shorter sides than usual? Sorry about that…
I can’t find that big a bag of raviolis!!
I added spinach in too! Yummy!
I cannot find an updated recipe listed showing the diced tomatoes that were mentioned in one of the comments about needing to be added to the ingredient list. Where can I find it? The recipe looks fabulous and I cannot wait to try it! Love all your recipes.