CROCKPOT LASAGNA is my favorite way to get this classic Italian dish on the table! The noodles cook perfectly in the slow cooker and the lasagna is so rich and hearty.
Look, I don’t want to throw my mama under the bus here or anything, but I have to tell you something…
The only lasagna I ate as a kid was the frozen kind.I mean, I get it.
Lasagna is a bit of a time commitment and the frozen stuff isn’t half bad. Why not take the shortcut?
Ever since I started making my own lasagna, I’ve turned into a bit of a lasagna snob. Homemade or bust, my friends. 🙂
Luckily, this crockpot lasagna totally passes my lasagna standards and is, in fact, just as good as traditional baked lasagna! The noodles are perfect, the meat sauce is perfect, the cheese is perfect.
This is just cozy comfort food and the fact that it’s made in the slow cooker just makes it better.
How to make slow cooker lasagna:
Slow cooker lasagna is really made just like traditional lasagna. The big difference here is that you don’t boil the noodles and you get to start it well in advance of the dinner rush so it’s ready when you’re ready.
The meat sauce is made of ground beef, onion and garlic. You’ll also add in a jar of sauce with a little extra tomato paste (adds so much flavor!), water, and extra spices.
For the cheesy goodness, I use ricotta, but cottage cheese works if that’s more your speed.
You’ll combine the ricotta with mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, and parsley.
Time to get layering…
Crock pot lasagna layers just like traditional lasagna. Meat sauce, noodles, ricotta, repeat. This recipe will make 3 layers and the top layer should be topped off with plenty of mozzarella.
Break up the noodles when layering them to make them fit. There’s no need for perfectly shaped noodles here.
This crockpot lasagna recipe cooks on low in about 5 hours and I love that I can assemble it at lunch time and then have it ready to go at dinner. It makes the dinner rush so much more manageable!
Picky kid tip:
Cut the onions very small or even buzz them in a blender or food processor. You’ll still get the flavor without the chunks that kids seem to hate!
Can lasagna be made ahead of time?
Yes! This slow cooker lasagna recipe can be made in advance. Layer it all in the crock pot and then pop it in the fridge. I like to let it set out for an hour to come to room temp before I start cooking it.
This lasagna will last in the fridge, tightly covered, for 3-5 days.
You could also freeze the leftovers for 2-3 months.
Which noodles to use:
We use plain old regular lasagna noodles here!
There’s no need to buy the no-boil variety and there’s no need to boil the regular variety for this crockpot recipe.
The lasagna noodles will cook in the crock pot and turn out just perfect.
The crockpot isn’t shaped quite the same as a traditional lasagna pan, which means that you’ll end up with a taller, thicker lasagna.
Cut your serving pieces a bit smaller than you traditionally would to account for the thickness.
More Italian inspired recipes:
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce: Sure you can buy a jar, but this is better!!
Baked Spaghetti: Similar to a lasagna, but with spaghetti.
Homemade Alfredo Sauce: So creamy and so easy!
Pork Tenderloin: Topped off with a garlic butter sauce.
Turkey Meatballs: Serve these with some spaghetti and marinara for a healthier take on spaghetti and meatballs.
Baked Ziti with Meat: The white sauce makes this recipe extra special.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 sweet onion, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 24 ounces marinara
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 12 ounces lasagna noodles
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Add the ground beef, onion, and 3 cloves of garlic to a skillet over medium heat, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain the grease from the skillet and add the marinara, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and 1 cup of water to the beef. Stir well to combine.
- Spray a slow cooker with non-stick spray.
- Place ¼ of the meat sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Layer 1/3 of the noodles over the sauce, breaking them up to cover the entire area. The noodles will overlap a bit.
- Add the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley, salt, and reserved 2 cloves of minced garlic to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Spoon ? of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Repeat layers twice, ending with meat sauce.
- Sprinkle with the reserved cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until noodles are tender.