The Best Lazy Lasagna Soup

Lasagna is the cake of the pasta world – but it’s a small time commitment to assemble and it will get a bit messy. That’s where Lazy Lasagna Soup comes in – not only do you get all the flavors of a classic, meaty, cheesy lasagna, but it’ll take the most minimal of time and effort and it’ll be on the table in under 30 minutes!

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The BEST Lazy Lasagna Soup

Brown The Meat

Olive oil in soup pot
Begin by adding some olive oil to a basic 8-quart soup pot and heat it up.
Ground beef added to pot
Once heated and shimmering, add some ground meat of your choice.
Sautéed, browned and crumbled beef with its juices in pot.
Sauté the meat until crumbled and browned, making sure to leave the juices in the pot as they provide rich flavor to the soup!

Add Some Flavor

Adding tomato paste to pot
Speaking of flavor, let’s add some tomato paste…
Adding oregano and Italian seasoning to pot
…Italian seasoning and oregano…
Adding fresh basil leaves to pot
…and fresh basil leaves.
Sautéing it all
Sauté it all together for a minute.

Combine The Soupy Touches

Adding beef broth to the pot
It’s time to make this a pot of soup! Add some broth of your choice (I prefer beef)…
Adding marinara to the pot
…marinara sauce of your choice (the better the quality of the brand, the bette the taste)…
Adding cream to the pot
…and heavy cream (half-and-half will work fine here too).
Stirring soup
Stir it all together until combined.
Combined soup coming to a bubble.
Allow the soup to build heat and come to a bubble.

Make The Cheese Dollop Mixture

Adding ricotta cheese to a bowl
While the soup is coming to a bubble, we’ll create our cheese mixture (because let’s face it – it ain’t lasagna without cheese)! In a bowl, combine some ricotta cheese…
Adding shredded mozzarella cheese to the bowl
…shredded mozzarella cheese…
Adding dried parsley flakes and salt to the bowl
…dried parsley flakes and salt…
Adding cream to the bowl
..and finish it by pouring some cream (or half-and-half) over it.
Mixing it all together to form a cheese dollop mixture
Mix until combined and you’ll have your cheese dollop mixture! Set aside.

Add The Pasta

Bubbling soup in pot
Back to the soup – once it’s bubbling it’s time to add your pasta!
Mafaldine noodles
I like using one of two types of pasta for this. I choose either mafaldine – a narrow, long noodle with ruffled edges similar to a lasagna noodle but much more convenient for eating in a soup. Or I use mafalda which is a short-form mafaldine. (Note: you can use other short-form pastas as well, but this is truly the best kind. And definitely don’t use a whole lasagna noodle – that is no fun to eat as a soup at all. If you want to use a lasagna noodle, break it up into bite-size pieces.)
Mafaldine noodles broken up into smaller pieces.
If using the longer mafaldine, I break it into shorter pieces (about 4 pieces per noodle) – this ensures it’s more soup-friendly.
Broken mafaldine in bubbling soup.
Add the pasta to the soup and stir it around and cook according to the package instructions.
Cooked mafaldine in soup
Always test the noodle to make sure it’s done to your liking. Once it is, we’re ready to put on that final touch!

Serve It Up Like This…

Ladle with soup in it
Ladle some of the soup…
Plated bowl of soup
…into a bowl.
Scoop of the cheese dollop mixture placed in the center of the bowl
Then, place a generous scoop of the cheese dollop mixture into the center of the soup in the bowl. This is what gives the soup that final rich and savory flavor kick which really sends it home.
Final plated soup
Look at how lovely that is – it’s like you’re a fancy, gourmet chef or something!
Swirling the cheese dollop mixture into the bowl of soup.
Take a spoon and swirl the cheese mixture into the soup and you’re ready to dig in.

Or You Can Serve It Like This…

Another option is putting all of the cheese dollop mixture into the pot of soup.
While I prefer the scoop per bowl method to control how much cheese you want in your soup, you’ve got another option! Alternatively, if you’d rather add all the cheese mixture directly to the soup, then do so.
Stirring the soup to combine it all
Stir until it’s totally combined with the soup.

The Taste Test

Man holding bowl of soup with soup in the spoon
My favorite part! Let’s give this comforting creation a taste now, shall we?
Man trying soup
<Makes slurping sound>
Man looking very happy with the soup's flavor result.
And the look on my face here is really all you need to see. Lasagna in soup form without the work. Beyond spectacular, delicious and done in under 30 minutes. Goes great with my garlic bread.
Yield: 6

The Best Lazy Lasagna Soup

The Best Lazy Lasagna Soup

Lasagna is the cake of the pasta world - but it's a small time commitment to assemble and it will get a bit messy. That's where Lazy Lasagna Soup comes in - not only do you get all the flavors of a classic, meaty, cheesy lasagna, but it'll take the most minimal of time and effort and it'll be on the table in under 30 minutes! For an Instant Pot version, see the notes section at the bottom.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

The Soup

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds ground meat (any combo will work, see Jeff’s Tips)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  • 4 cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (p. 000 or your favorite brand)
  • ½ cup heavy cream or half-and-half (optional, but suggested)
  • 6 ounces mafalda (my preference for this) or mafaldine/lasagne noodles broken into bite-size pieces

The Cheese Dollop (see Jeff’s Tips)

  • 1 ½ cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or half-and-half

Instructions

  1. Place an 8-quart nonstick pot on the stove and set to medium-high heat. Add the oil and let it heat up. Once shimmering, add the meat and sauté for 3-5 minutes until browned and crumbled. Do not drain the pot of the meat’s juices – it adds loads of flavor to the soup!
  2. Add the tomato paste, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, and basil leaves and sauté for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the broth, marinara sauce, and cream (if using) and stir. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the pasta and stir. Cook according to the package instructions, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the cheese dollop ingredients, with the cream poured over everything last. Combine and set aside.
  6. Once the pasta’s cooked to your liking, turn the heat off. Ladle the finished soup into bowls and add a generous dollop of the cheese mixture to each before swirling it within the bowl to combine (this will also add that amazing, cheesy savory touch which is why we don't add salt to the soup itself when seasoning). Or, feel free to add all of the cheese dollop mixture directly to the pot of soup, stir to combine and serve.

Jeffrey's Tips

For the meat, I personally love using a meatloaf mixture for this (comprised of ground veal, beef, and pork – many markets carry this prepackaged in the meat section). But you can absolutely use Italian sausage meat (uncased) or a plant-based variety as well.

I like using one of two types of pasta for this. I choose either mafaldine - a narrow, long noodle with ruffled edges similar to a lasagna noodle but much more convenient for eating in a soup. Or I use mafalda which is a short-form mafaldine. If using the longer mafaldine, I break it into shorter pieces (about 4 pieces per noodle) - this ensures it's more soup-friendly.

To keep this dairy-free, omit the chese dollop mixture. But since that supples the soup with a savory element, you may want to add some salt to the finished soup, to taste, in Step 4 once the pasta is done cooking (or Step 6 if using the Instant Pot - see below).

To Make In An Instant Pot:

  1. Add the oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Once shimmering, add the meat and sauté for 3-5 minutes until browned and crumbled. Do not drain the pot of the meat’s juices – it adds loads of flavor to the soup!
  2. Add the tomato paste, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, and basil leaves and sauté for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the broth and marinara sauce and stir.
  4. Once bubbling, add the pasta and stir. Hit Cancel followed by Pressure Cook or Manual at High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done (NOTE: Make sure the pasta is done to your liking. If undercooked for whatever reason, hit Sauté and let it simmer in the soup until you're happy.)
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the cheese dollop ingredients, with the cream poured over everything last. Combine and set aside.
  6. If using, stir in the cream. Ladle the finished soup into bowls and add a generous dollop of the cheese mixture to each before swirling it within the bowl to combine (this will also add that amazing, cheesy savory touch which is why we don't add salt to the soup itself when seasoning). Or, feel free to add all of the cheese dollop mixture directly to the pot of soup, stir to combine and serve.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Audrea

    OMGosh, it’s like you were in my kitchen! A few days ago I was searching your site & all of your cookbooks for this recipe. Then I was delayed a few days because We unexpectedly lost one of our fur-babies. Today I thought I’d try looking on Pinterest for this recipe in the hope of keeping my mind busy/distracted & here you are with the exact recipe I want to make for my family on this chilly, Fall Minnesota day. Your timing is perfect! You truly are the Best! Thank you for all you do for my family without even knowing it & so many others. I’m so happy y’all had a great vacation – I really enjoyed your posts. Welcome home to both you & Richard & hugs to Banjo!

  2. Kate U

    Kite Hill makes a fabulous vegan ricotta (almond based) and Follow Your Heart makes a pretty good shredded parmesan (I think it’s coconut oil and some kind of starch, mostly). For mozarella, I really like the shredded cashew-based option at Trader Joe’s. So not an option for people with nut allergies, but a great option for people avoiding dairy/animal products.
    Looking forward to trying out this soup!

  3. Alexandra

    This sounds amazingly delicious. I will soon cook this soup in my Instant Pot, I still have some ground beef in the freezer. My husband will love it, I am sure! Greetings from Switzerland

  4. MARNIE

    Oh Jeffrey, I enjoy your recipes so much. I’ve been making the chili for years. My grown kids ask me to make it for them when they go camping or have friends over to their house! I saw this recipe when you posted it and couldn’t wait to make it. Well, last night I did and it did NOT disappoint. The only thing I added was garlic (measured with my heart) and it was DELISH and so easy. Thank you for all the years of excellent recipes.

  5. Lisa Searcy

    Thank you for this. We just made it and it’s delicious! Came together quickly. I found very similar though differently named noodles at Winco’s bulk section.

  6. Kathleen Clary-Cooke

    This soup is absolutely amazing… easy to make, hearty and filling, and made special with the ricotta dollop on top. Like most of Jeffrey’s recipes, it is a lot of servings. My pan was filled to the brim! After our first dinner, I stirred the ricotta mixture into the soup. Like baked lasagna, it tasted amazing the second day, too. I used sweet Italian sausage because that’s what I put in my lasagna. I had to order the pasta from Amazon, but I’m used to that, living in Wyoming. Three boxes will be enough for at least six batches of soup.

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