Lasagna soup is the latest recipe to go viral on TikTok — thanks in part to a celebrity endorsement. While the dish is rich and comforting, I learned by cooking it that not only is the name misleading, but the fairly pricey recipe can be made for less while still hitting the spot.
The dish, shared by TikTokker dannylovespasta (aka Danny Freeman) has gone viral recently thanks to singer SZA's interest in the recipe, even commenting that she wants to fly the creator to her place in order to try his version. Since I'm a sucker for cheesy pasta and always on the lookout for easy weeknight recipes, I decided to try it myself and see if all the hype was warranted.
@dannylovespasta I’ve officially peaked now that SZA asked for my recipe. It’s all downhill from here. #lasagnasoup #lasagna #pastarecipe #sza ♬ Kill Bill - SZA
The first thing you'll probably notice is that despite the name, it doesn't look soupy at all. I followed the recipe from dannylovespasta exactly and it came out the same way, so I'm not sure why this isn't called Lasagna Stew or Lasagna Skillet instead. This is squarely fork territory. Regardless, it was a ridiculously rich and creamy dish, complete with dramatic cheese pulls that made my Wisconsin heart and belly happy.
It has all the makings of an easy weeknight meal, except that when I added up the total cost of the ingredients (only counting the portion I used, and not including some staples I always have in my pantry like olive oil and spices), it came to a whopping $28.40. Figuring this could feed four, that's over $7 a serving, and too rich for a regular rotation meal in my house.
@dannylovespasta Replying to @salemcurrie this is now forever known as the SZA lasagna soup and I’m ok with that! Recipe here: @dannylovespasta ♬ original sound - Quincy
There are some easy ways to make this meal cheaper while still having a hearty, filling meal, and I'm planning to change things up the next time I make it. For one, the recipe calls for Rao's marinara, which is my personal favorite jarred sauce and has quite a fan following, but it's a massive splurge at $8.99 a jar. You can either get it for a bit cheaper at Costco, or use another good jarred sauce, like Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara for $1.99, which was one of our favorites in our taste test.
Another way to cut costs is by cutting some of the meat. The dish was actually a little too heavy for my taste, between the heavy cream, cheeses, and a pound total of beef and sausage. Next time, I plan on using half the amount of meat and half the amount of Parmesan, and don't think I'll miss either.
Taking all those changes into account, here's my less expensive version of Lasagna Soup, which I'm calling Lazy Lasagna. I included the cost for the ingredients, minus staples, based on prices at my local Wisconsin Kroger-owned grocery store or Trader Joe's in Feb. 2023, and only counted the portion of the package used. All told, the recipe adds up to $17.30, a much more reasonable $4.33 per serving compared to more than $7 per serving with Lasagna Soup.
Lazy Lasagna Recipe (aka Cheap and Easy Lasagna Soup)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced (65 cents)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced (69 cents)
- 1/4 pound ground beef ($1.69)
- 1/4 pound Italian sausage ($1.74)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 jar marinara sauce ($1.99)
- 3 cups chicken broth ($1.49)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream ($1.50)
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into pieces ($1.75)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (66 cents)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded ($3.79)
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped ($1.35)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and continue cooking for one minute. Then add beef, Italian sausage, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until meat is browned, about 8 minutes, then drain any accumulated fat.
- Stir in marinara sauce, chicken broth, and heavy cream, and bring to a boil.
- Add lasagna noodles, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally because the flat noodles have a tendency to stick to each other.
- Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and mozzarella until melted. Top with basil.