Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow Cooker Lasagna is easy to prep and full of comforting meat, sauce, and cheese. The best part is you don’t even have to boil the noodles first!

two servings of lasagna on white plates

Slow Cooker Lasagna is as delicious as baking it, but it’s hands-off, and you don’t have to take time to boil the noodles so assembling it is a breeze. Serve it with a side of roasted zucchini, a garden salad, and some garlic knots.

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. Everyone makes theirs just a little bit different, but that’s what makes it so special. Some people use ricotta cheese and some people opt for cottage cheese. Some add veggies, others just use meat. Some make theirs in the oven, while others choose to use their slow cooker. Whichever your method, lasagna is a family favorite.

portion of lasagna being lifted from the slow cooker

What’s in Slow Cooker Lasagna?

Slow Cooker Lasagna only has a handful of ingredients but it’s full of flavor.

  • Beef – I use a lean sirloin (usually 93/7) so it is not greasy.
  • Onion – White onion for great flavor.
  • Garlic – Two minced garlic cloves.
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and oregano.
  • Ricotta Cheese – Whole milk or low fat. You can also sub cottage cheese if that’s your preference.
  • Egg – An egg mixed in with the ricotta helps bind it.
  • Parmesan cheese – Grated parmesan.
  • Mozzarella cheese – Shredded mozzarella.
  • Marinara sauce – Use your favorite jar of sauce. I used an Italian Herb. Or you can use a fresh Homemade Marinara Sauce or Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
  • Lasagna noodles – Regular lasagna noodles (not oven-ready).

I like to garnish with some fresh basil for additional flavor. If you want to add some more green to your lasagna, you can also chop up fresh baby spinach and add it to the cheese layer.

overhead shot of turner getting a portion of lasagna from the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Lasagna

Brown the meat: You’ll start this dish by sautéing the onion and garlic and then adding the ground beef and seasonings. Cook until no longer pink, pour in the sauce, and let simmer until warmed through.

Mix the cheeses: To a large bowl, you’ll add the ricotta cheese, half of the grated parmesan, and half of the mozzarella with an egg. Season to taste with salt & pepper and stir until fully combined.

Assemble in the slow cooker: Add a layer of sauce to the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with uncooked noodles – break them to fit. Top that with a layer of the cheese mixture. Repeat until you’re out of ingredients. Finish with the remaining cheeses, making sure all the noodles are tucked under the sauce. If not, they won’t cook properly and will dry out.

Cook. Cover and cook on LOW for 3.5 hours. Slow cookers vary so yours may take a bit longer, some take 4-5 hours. Once your cook time is up, remove the lid, and let sit for approximately 10 minutes before slicing. Resist the urge to check on it and risk releasing the steam – it’s necessary for cooking the noodles.

Garnish with chopped basil and serve!

overhead process collage of assembling lasagna layers in a slow cooker

Serving Suggestions

Because lasagna is so filling, it really is a meal in itself, but I usually serve it with a crusty piece of cheesy garlic bread, a salad, and then some Kitchen Sink cookies for dessert.

Make Ahead, Leftovers and Freezing

Make Ahead: Since this recipe doesn’t take as long to cook in the slow cooker as some, you can prep the meat sauce and cheese mixture a day ahead of time and then assemble in the slow cooker when you’re ready. Making the night before and assembling the next day will work well.

Storing Leftovers: Cooked lasagna will keep, stored in an airtight container, for 3-5 days in the fridge.

Freezing: Any leftover lasagna can be placed in an airtight, freezer-safe container and stored for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, move the frozen lasagna to the fridge to thaw overnight. If reheating in the microwave, give the lasagna a splash of water to prevent it from drying out.

Doubling: If you want to make a double batch of this lasagna, you’re going to need a pretty large slow cooker. The standard 6 quart will not have room to double.

More Tips and Tricks

  • You need to add a little bit of water to the sauce while it’s cooking. Make it pull double duty by pouring the needed water into the empty jar of sauce and shaking it up to get any leftover in the jar. You want to use every bit of that beautiful red sauce and this is a great way to ensure you get it all.
  • I cook lasagna in the crockpot on LOW. You can try the high setting, but it will be key to make sure that all of the noodles are covered in sauce. I recommend sticking with the low setting for the best results.
  • To prevent sticking, lightly grease the pot with nonstick cooking spray.

overhead shot of cheesy lasagna in slow cooker

More Slow Cooker Recipes to Love

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two servings of lasagna on white plates

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow Cooker Lasagna is easy to prep and full of comforting pasta, meat, sauce, and cheese. The best part is you don't even have to boil the noodles first! 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 50 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 762kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef use a lean cut like 97/3
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • 25 ounces marinara sauce
  • 16 ounces lasagna noodles uncooked

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, over medium high heat, saute the chopped onion until translucent. Add in the minced garlic and stir until fragrant.
  • Add in the ground beef, salt, pepper, and oregano. Brown the meat until no longer pink.
  • Pour in the jar of sauce. Add approximately ½ cup of water to the jar, cover and shake, then pour into the skillet. Let simmer until warmed through.
  • While the sauce is cooking, to a large bowl, add the ricotta cheese, egg, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir until fully combined.
  • To the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker, add approximately 1 ½ cups of the meat sauce. Top with uncooked noodles. Break to fit into a single layer (mine took 3 noodles). Top with spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture then spread evenly. Repeat layers ending with sauce.
  • Top with remaining shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 3.5 hours or until noodles are soft. Uncover and let set for approximately 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you will likely only use half of the box of lasagna noodles - mine used 9 noodles. 
Each slow cooker cooks differently. Mine was done in 3.5 hours on LOW. Yours may take 4-5 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 762kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 46gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 1495mgPotassium: 935mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1202IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 485mgIron: 5mg
Keyword slow cooker lasagna

 

 

Melissa Williams

Melissa Williams is the creator of Persnickety Plates where she shares simple, family friendly recipes with everyday ingredients. She especially loves to bake and rarely meets a cookie she doesn’t like. This wife and mom of two girls aims to share recipes that are quick and easy because even though life is busy, there’s always time for good food.

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