Lasagne is a creamy, cheesy, and rich baked pasta dish which is loved all over the world. There is no better comfort food than a big plate of lasagne. However, there is some confusion over how to classify this indulgent dish. Is lasagna actually pasta, or is it a casserole? Let’s find out!
What Is Considered a Casserole?
A casserole refers to a meal cooked in a deep baking dish. A typical casserole includes meat, vegetables, starch such as flour or pasta, and cheese. Casseroles are slowly baked in the oven and then served in the baking dish they were cooked in.
Casseroles get their name from the deep pan or bowl they are cooked in. The word comes from the French “casse,” which means pan. Casseroles are very popular in America as they are easy to make, require little clean-up, and are hearty meals packed with nutrients. The typical American casserole contains meat, vegetables, some kind of starch, cheese or bechamel sauce, and sometimes stock.
What makes a casserole a casserole? A casserole must be baked in the oven in a deep pan or dish. It must contain protein (usually meat), vegetables, and starch to hold everything together and then is topped with cheese to give it an extra creamy flavor.
Casseroles are not a strict dish. So there is plenty of room to experiment and come up with your recipe. However, if you don’t include some kind of meat and vegetables and there is no flour, pasta, or bechamel sauce to hold everything in place, then your family may be a little confused. Also, while cheese is optional, most people expect their casseroles to have it on top!
What Is Lasagne?
Lasagne refers to long wide flat sheets of pasta. It also refers to a baked dish that contains these sheets of pasta. Lasagne is made by stacking sheets of pasta on top of each other and placing vegetable and meat filling in between the layers, and topping it off with cheese. Lasagne often contains bechamel sauce to give it a rich, creamy taste and is seasoned with pepper and oregano. A classic lasagne is made from a tomato sauce and beef ragu.
Did you know lasagne was first mentioned in Italy in 1282! The lasagna we enjoy today actually originated from Bologna. In Bologna, they make lasagna with a thick ragu made from ground pork meat, bechamel sauce, and Parmigiano cheese. However, the sheets of lasagna are actually green because they add spinach to the dough!
Lasagna in Naples is very different from the American version of the dish. In Naples, lasagna is made with hard-boiled eggs, small meatballs, sausage, ragu, and ricotta. I bet you have never had boiled eggs in your lasagna before!
What’s the Difference Between Lasagna and Casserole?
Lasagna is a type of casserole. However, its use of different layers of pasta, lack of vegetables, and whole protein make it unique from standard casseroles. Lasagna is made with a tomato and meat sauce, whereas casseroles usually have chopped-up pieces of meat and vegetables.
Lasagna is a casserole, but it is not your standard casserole. A classic casserole is slowly baked in the oven in a deep pan or bowl. It contains chopped pieces of meat and vegetables, a starch to hold the ingredients together, and is often topped with cheese. As you can see, lasagna meets most of the typical requirements of a casserole. Lasagna is also slowly baked in the oven in a deep pan or bowl, it contains starch in the form of pasta and is topped with cheese. The key difference is that lasagna contains a meat and tomato sauce known as ragu and does not contain large pieces of meat and vegetables like a classic casserole.
Casseroles refer to virtually any dish that is slowly baked in a deep pan or bowl. Lasagna certainly meets this definition. The only way you could argue that lasagna is not a casserole is because it contains pasta and is made from ragu rather than pieces of meat and vegetables. However, casseroles should contain starch to bind the ingredients, which pasta is, and the ragu is made from tomatoes, grounded meat, onion, and other vegetables.
What Is Lasagna Categorized?
Lasagna is both a baked pasta dish and a casserole. Most people refer to it as an Italian baked pasta dish as they view casseroles as American. Also, most people view casseroles as containing large pieces of meat and vegetables and not containing pasta.
The definition of a casserole is very loose. Essentially any dish that is slowly baked in the oven in a deep pan or bowl could be a casserole. Casseroles typically contain protein, veggies, a starch and are topped with cheese. Even though most people think a casserole should not contain pasta, it is perfectly fine. Lasagna meets the definition of a casserole because it is a baked dish that contains vegetables and meat in the form of ragu sauce, is topped with cheese, and contains starch which binds the dish together in the form of lasagna sheets.
Is Lasagne A Casserole?
Lasagna is technically a casserole, but most people classify it as an Italian baked pasta dish. Even though lasagna meets the casserole definition, it is unique because instead of containing pieces of meat and vegetables, it is made from a ragu and features layers of pasta stacked on top of each other.
A Casserole is any dish that is baked in a deep bowl or pan and usually contains starch, protein, and some vegetables. Lasagne is a unique casserole. In a casserole, ingredients are typically thrown together into a deep bowl or pan. While with a lasagne, a sheet of pasta is laid down, and then the ingredients are meticulously placed on top, and this process is repeated until you have a perfectly constructed lasagna. Lasagna also doesn’t contain pieces of meat and vegetables; instead, it is made from a vegetable and meat sauce known as a ragu.
Is lasagna pasta or casserole? Lasagna is both a baked pasta and casserole. It is pasta because it contains lasagna sheets which are a type of pasta. But it is also a casserole because it is baked in a deep pan or bowl and contains starch, meat, vegetables, and cheese.
Lasagna is technically a casserole, but if you tell your family you are cooking a casserole for dinner and pull a lasagna out of the oven, they will be surprised. Lasagna is commonly classified as a baked pasta dish like ziti or macaroni and cheese. While these baked pasta dishes are casseroles, people usually distinguish between casseroles and baked dishes containing pasta. So while you are correct to call lasagna a casserole, you might confuse people, and you are better off referring to it as baked pasta!