For when you want lasagna without all the fuss.

There are times in life when eating something hearty and cheese-filled is the only thing you can do to persevere. You need lasagna, stat.

When this happens, there is no time to make your own tomato sauce or ricotta, or lovingly hand make noodles. No, you need something that will be done in about an hour. And you need it to be quick, easy, and dirty a minimum number of dishes. This is that extra easy lasagna, one that requires very few extra steps.

The original recipe calls for normal lasagna noodles and a little hot water to help cook them in this very saucey lasagna, but you can also substitute no-boil noodles and skip adding the water. I also found that the standard packet of pre-shredded mozzerella in the grocery store is 8 ounces instead of 10 ounces, as the recipe called for. But you know what? That works just fine. This recipe is pretty forgiving. A little more or less sauce, meat, or cheese is still going to give you a satisfactory result. If you don't have beef, but you do have italian sausage or ground turkey, use that instead. It's not going to ruin anything.

Since this is a really basic lasagna—just five ingredients!—you can always add more things if you're feeling ambitious, like some parmesan to the ricotta filling, or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the beef and sauce. It's totally up to you.

When you're layering, don't worry that it seems saucier than your average lasagna—it's supposed to be. This isn't fancy lasagna. It's need-it-soon-too-tired-to-deal lasagna. It's not just easy—it's extremely easy. Play your cards right, and the only dishes you'll have to clean are a spatula or two, a lasagna dish, and a skillet. That's not bad at all.

Get the recipe for Extra Easy Lasagna.