This elk lasagna is easy to make and so delicious! Elk lasagna in cast iron is so rustic and beautiful, I think. The wild game flavor of the elk is mellowed by the tomato and onion, and the cheesy layer is extra cheesy! (I also have a great trick for cooking the lasagna noodles, so you aren’t fighting a small kettle.)
Elk Lasagna in cast iron skillet
- You will need:
1.5 pounds of ground elk meat (you can use just 1 lb, it will just be less meaty, but will totally work!),
- 2 cans of pasta sauce,
- 12 lasagna noodles,
- 1 onion
- 1 egg
- 16 cottage cheese (or ricotta)
- 4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
First, dice the onion and add it to a large skillet with the elk burger, and cook till the meat is brown. While the meat is browning, lay the noodles in a 9×13 pan and put boiling water to cover the noodles. Let them sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. This is easier than trying to fit long lasagna noodles in a pot of water! The pasta will be al dente, which is perfect for this lasagna meal. Next, place the egg, cottage cheese, parsley, and 2 cups of cheese in a bowl and stir with a spoon. Set aside.
When the meat is brown, turn the heat off, and add 1 can of sauce to the pan of meat. Stir it in. Pour 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a deep cast iron skillet, or any 3 quart baking dish. (An enameled dutch oven would be perfect!) Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, you might have to break the ends off, and use them to fill in the edges. Then spread half of the meat mixture over the noodles.
Place 3 more noodles on top of the meat, then spread the cheese mixture over the top. Add another layer of noodles, then top with the remaining meat sauce. Top with the last three noodles, and pour the rest of the pasta sauce over the noodles, making sure the entire top of the elk lasagna is covered with sauce.
Cover with a lid of foil, and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of cheese over the sauce, and bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let the lasagna rest for 10-15 minutes.
Serve this elk lasagna recipe with a side salad and some savory, cheesy bread sticks.
Can I use beef instead of elk meat?
Yes, definitely! I have used beef, antelope, or deer for this recipe. You can also use half elk burger and half sausage for a delicious twist!
What is the best cheese for lasagna?
I like the Italian blend, it is tasty and not quite as stringy (read: too messy for little tots!) as mozzarella. But I have used mozzarella at times and it works great!
Can I use a 9×13 pan for lasagna?
A 9×13 baking dish is too shallow for a good lasagna. I have tried it many times. It will probably overflow. I think it is better to use a baking dish that is too big, rather than too small! The noodles will puff up more while baking, and the sauce will bubble, and soon it goes over the edge of the pan. If you don’t have any deep pans at home, you can buy a disposable lasagna pan at the grocery store. That will be so much easier to clean up, anyways!!
Elk Lasagna in cast iron
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 1.5 lbs elk meat ground
- 2 cans pasta sauce 24 oz each
- 1 onion diced
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon parsley dried
- 4 cups Italian cheese shredded
- 16 oz cottage cheese or ricotta
- Brown elk burger and onion together in a large skillet. When meat is brown, add 1 can of pasta sauce and turn off heat.
- Lay teh noodles in a 9x13 pan and cover with boiling water. Let them set for 10 minutes to soften.
- Place cottage cheese, egg, parsley, and 2 cups of Italian cheese in a bowl and stir.
- Place 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a deep cast iron skillet or any 3 quart casserole dish or dutch oven. Place 3 noodles on the sauce - break off the ends and fill the corners if necessary.
- Spread half of the meat sauce over the noodles. Place 3 more noodles on top of the meat.
- Spread the cheese mixture over the noodles, then top with three more noodles.
- Spread remainng half of meat saice over noodles, and top wth 3 more noodles. Pour remaining sauce over the top of it all.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 350*. Remove lid, and top with remaining 2 cups of cheese. Bake uncovered for anotehr 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted or brown. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes to set up a bit, before cutting it.