Slow Cooker Lasagna

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Slow Cooker Lasagna made with lasagna noodles, beef, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese is the ultimate comfort food in just 20 minutes of prep time.

Slow Cooker Lasagna made with lasagna noodles, beef, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese is the ultimate comfort food in just 20 minutes of prep time. Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow Cooker Lasagna is one of a bunch of recent slow cooker pasta dishes we’ve been enjoying at home. I used to shy away from dishes that would take a lot of cook time right before dinner because I am always in a rush in the evenings. When I have time to cook on the weekends I always make the Ultimate Meat Lasagna recipe I’ve been making for years!

The miracle of this Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna is that it takes almost no time at all! No boiling of noodles, no long simmer times for the tomato sauce (the flavors build all day long as it cooks low and slow!) and the smell in your kitchen will remind you of a Sunday sauce you’ve been working all day on.

Crock Pot Lasagna with almost none of the effort of normal lasagna.

Some important notes about cooking this Slow Cooker Lasagna:

  • Homemade Quick and Easy Marinara is a super flavorful and easy sub recipe you’ll want to have for this dish. I make batches and freeze them so I can have them ready to go.
  • The lasagna will stay moist and not dried out, but if you find your sauce is not enough to rise to the level of the pasta, add some water around the edges until it does.
  • I use all beef in this Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna, but the sausage flavor in most restaurant lasagnas is one I love duplicating. To do that easily here without using sausage, I add in some fennel seeds with goes a long way in making it taste like a Slow Cooker Beef and Sausage Lasagna.
  • Make sure you know if your slow cooker has hot spots. Some of them can be severe leading to part of your pasta drying out. With a roast this is less important but for pasta dishes this could ruin the dish.
  • Check the doneness at the lower end of the times given, if not quite done cook for the additional hour.
  • In the picture above I sprinkled on a bit extra of dried basil just for the look. You certainly don’t have to there is enough in the recipe as is.

You'll LOVE this slow cooker beef lasagna, it is so easy to make!

How long does it take to make Slow Cooker Lasagna: The prep time is just 20 minutes, but the cook time is 3-4 hours on high as there is a lot of pasta in the slow cooker that has to cook through.

Can you cook pasta in the slow cooker? Yes, absolutely. This is one of my favorite ways to cook pasta, just adjust the cook time to about half of your normal slow cooker recipes so the pasta doesn’t dry out.

Some more Slow Cooker Pasta Dishes:

Recipe

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Slow Cooker Lasagna

5 from 22 votes
  • Yield: 10 Servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Slow Cooker Lasagna made with lasagna noodles, beef, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese is the ultimate comfort food in just 20 minutes of prep time.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups marinara sauce (or two bottles of pasta sauce with two added cups of water)
  • 1 box lasagna noodles don't use the no-boil variety
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. In a large dutch oven or saucepan, brown the beef well on medium high heat, breaking it apart into small crumbles.
  2. Drain the fat from the pan.
  3. Add in the basil, oregano, fennel seeds, Kosher salt and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

  4. Add in the marinara sauce and stir to combine.
  5. Add enough sauce to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
  6. Into your slow cooker evenly layer in the following order (take care to make sure the layers are as flat as possible):

      • Lasagna noodles broken to fit the shape of your slow cooker (a little overlap is totally fine here).

      • Spoon a third of the meat sauce.

      • Add a third of the ricotta in small spoonfuls along with a third of the mozzarella and Parmesan.

  7. You will likely have some noodles left over, using them all in the slow cooker would be difficult.
  8. If your liquids are not fully covering the noodles, add more water to just cover them.
  9. Cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.

  10. If you want the slices to come out clean, as with any lasagna you would have to wait 15-20 minutes for it to cool a bit.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10 Servings, Amount per serving: 375 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 375g, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 1226mg, Potassium: 782mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 925g, Vitamin C: 10.3g, Calcium: 209g, Iron: 3.8g

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Keyword: Slow Cooker Lasagna
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Crock Pot Lasagna with almost none of the effort of normal lasagna. Your slow cooker does all the work!
Crock Pot Lasagna in just 20 minutes of prep time with three cheeses and perfect marinara sauce.

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

Categories:

Beef Recipes Holidays Main Dishes Meat & Seafood Pastas Recipe Slow Cooker

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Comments

  1. Made this recipe loved it. If I cut the recipe in half I cut the cooking time down? Made it no long ago my husband requested again.
    Thanks

    1. I’m so glad you all loved it! You’ll need to use a smaller slow cooker to cut the recipe in half and not have it dry out during cooking.

  2. family loved it!! I love the addition of the fennel seed! so easy AND it was the first lasagna I have ever made

  3. Sabrina your recipe is the best recipe I have ever found for lasagna. It is so easy , I do not think you could go wrong. I have been eating it for three days now and it taste just as good as day one. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. I am kind of confused, so if I use (2) 24 ounce jars of sauce, I still should add 2 cups of water? Do I just pour that over at the end?

  5. Super excited to try this!!! I am not a fan of Ricotta cheese (call me crazy). Is it ok to use another type of cheese (cheddar or more mozzarella) or would it be ok without? Or any other recommendations. Thank you so much in advance!

  6. I followed the recipe exactly as written and it was amazing! I have never made lasagna in the slow cooker so I was a little nervous. It came out in perfect layered pieces! I can’t wait to try it with my family spaghetti sauce recipe in the future when I have more time. Thank you!

  7. We had a power failure that killed my stove and repairs took a couple weeks before the parts ordered were delivered and put in by the technician I hired. I wanted something hot and gooey to eat. Lasagna is always a favorite so I tried this recipe since I have a nice large crock pot. It didn’t disappoint. It tasted every bit as good as a lasagna baked in the oven. I may never go to all the bother again of the boiling noodles, making sauce and so on and so on wasting my day. This was so easy and oh so gooey good.

    1. How awesome!! So glad to have been able to help with your craving. Hopefully everything gets back up to running again soon for you.

  8. Would I be able to cook the ground beef let it cool than set up the lasagna in the Crock-Pot and let it sit in the fridge over night then cook it?

    1. This recipe doesn’t use toasted sesame oil. If you’re just asking for a different recipe, then yes, they do make toasted sesame oil. I have found it at my local grocery store, Target or even Amazon sells it now too. Hope this helps!

  9. Hi, just wanted to say there are sites that post most helpful critical review and most helpful positive review. I did find Page’s review helpful. I’m very inexperienced at cooking lasagna, and some of Page’s comments allowed me to think twice about some of the things I was doing. I think this recipe is awesome and I think critical reviews help people like me not burn my food, or in some cases, help me make it more tasty.
    All the best to Sabrina, thank you for a lovely recipe. 🙂

  10. Hello. Most lasagna recipes call for 16 ounces of ricotta and mozzarella. In your opinion was there enough cheese. Did you do three layers of each? I would think you would run out of ricotta. Please let me know. Thank you

  11. I’m not understanding 4, 5 & 6. In #4 I’ve combined all my stuff. Than #5 says to add sauce to cover the bottom of my cooker, what sauce is this? Than #6 says my first layer is pasta. I just need to know what goes in the cooker first.

    1. Sorry for the confusion.
      You’ll want to put down a layer of sauce first to cover the bottom of the slow cooker and then start layering the rest. You should end up with 3 layers.

  12. Hi..I know you said not to use no boil variety,but if i use the oven ready lasagna..do you think it will come out well in this slow cooker recipe?

  13. BEST LASAGNA EVER!!! For years I’ve used what I considered to be a phenomenal lasagna recipe…then I tried this one, which put the other to shame. Absolutely delicious and the sauce was so good I ended up eating it by itself with a (huge) spoon. This is now my go-to lasagna dish.

  14. Most likely the tastiest (and easiest) lasagna I’ve ever made. The only adjustments I made were: Substituted 1 lb. ground Italian sausage for 1 lb. of the ground beef & only added a litttle Italian seasoning; used (2) 24oz. jars Classico Tomato-Basil sauce & 1 jar water (no time to make homemade marinara) & used lowfat Ricotta. It only took 3.5 hrs on low in my crockpot – def my go-to recipe hereafter!

  15. I have made this once before and it’s actually cooking now for dinner as we speak. It’s an amazing recipe full of flavor and real easy to put together. We follow the directions to a T and add in Italian Sausage with the hamburger for extra flavor. The whole family loves it and it makes enough for 2 meals in my household. One of our new families favorites that will definitely be cooked a few times a month.

  16. My jars of pasta sauce are 24oz each. So I’m putting in 2 jars according to the recipe and then an additional 2 cups of water? That would be 64oz of pasta/water liquid vs. 48oz if I used marinara. Just want to make sure I’m not putting in too much liquid with using the pasta sauce method.

  17. This recipe had some good information, which I augmented by reading several other online recipes for the same slow cooker lasagna idea. It would have been ideal to clarify, in the recipe, which size slow cooker was used. I am assuming a regular size round slow cooker was intended. I have a much larger oval slow cooker. REALLY good thing I increased the ingredients by a lot. Used almost 3 times the amount in the recipe for a large size slow cooker.I have made lasagna in the past, and thus know that you top your layers (which end with the cheese) with a final layer of lasagna noodles and some additional sauce. The recipe does not tell you that, and thus the recipe could be improved.Recipe gave good advice to find out if your slow cooker has hot spots, as many of them do, in which case using the higher setting would quite possibly make some of the lower layer of lasagna burn. Would strongly recommend the longer cook time on low setting.Recipe calls for adding water to the top if more liquid is needed. REALLY??? How about topping with some plain tomato based sauce cooked with no meat? I always have a jar of that on hand, so using some of that might be a bit more flavorful than water.I also found the prep time to be rather more than 20 minutes, so plan for that extra needed time. Can always prep and assemble the whole thing the night before in the ceramic “crock” part, cover with lid and refrigerate over night, then pop the whole thing into the cooker part earlier in the morning for a nice slow cook (8 hours) on low setting.

    1. I found your comment extreeeemly pointless. I followed the original recipe to a t and came out delicious. No need to know the size of the crockpot.

    2. Page: maybe you should have a crock pot masters recipe blog. I would love to critique your recipes like you did Sabrina’s. You’re a total bitch and am sorry for anyone who has to eat or share a meal with you. Get a life!

  18. I’d prefer to make this on Low over a longer period of time (so it can cook while I’m at work.) How long would it take to cook on Low setting?

  19. My husband lives this new method of doung lasagna!! We used onepound of ground beef and 1pound of ground Italian sausage! My tweak on this might eliminate need for red peppe and maybe even other spices! I used parsley flakes, garlic powder and Italian seasoning with oregano is all that is needed!? Better than heating up the house!

  20. My husband lives this new method of doung lasagna!! We used onepound of ground beef and 1pound of ground Italian sausage! My tweak on this might eliminate need for red peppe and maybe even other spices! I used parsley flakes, garlic powder and Italian seasoning with oregano is all that is needed!? Better than heating up the house!

  21. If using 13 x 9 casserole dish should I double recipe? If I do how about cooking time? How many layers did u do I’m going to try this this week for having family over

  22. This came out lovely. I used a torch and browned the top cheese layer. Our oven bit the dust last week and being summer, we cook outside often, and just haven’t decided on the our next stove yet. I forgot that when i bought all the fixens for lasagna. oops. I found this recipe and all turned out well. thank you for sharing.

  23. I made this last night and it was absolutely wonderful. It was even good re-heated in the microwave for lunch, which you can’t say about too many things.

  24. This is the dinner I was looking for. Came out great. I also added Italian sausage cut into slices. Cooked with meat.

  25. Since you didn’t mention what size slow cooker you used, what about an 8 Qt? Would there be enough ingredients to fit or should I double? The 8 Oz. of Ricotta and Mozzarella doesn’t sound like its enough.

      1. Hi. Would the recipe work in a 6 quart crock? Also I purchased Whole Foods organic marinara pasta sauce. Each jar is 25 ounces. Do I need to add the water? It says pasta and marinara? Thank you

        1. Yes, you can make this in a 6 qt slow cooker. You’ll only need to add water to the slow cooker if after pouring in the pasta sauce, it doesn’t rise to the level of the pasta. If it does, you’ll be fine. Enjoy!

    1. I would suggest checking out the Lasagna Soup over at Skinnytaste. That would definitely be a better fit if you’re counting points.

  26. As a single person, I’m wondering if making half a recipe in the crock pot would be possible without affecting the outcome in a negative way? Or would I be better off making the full recipe and freezing the leftovers?

    1. I’m sorry but I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure what the timing process would be. I’m sure you could look online and find another recipe similar and follow those instructions.

  27. Do you think I could use a drop of fennel essential oil I already have on hand instead of the seeds? The oil comes from the seeds.

    1. Oils tend to be much stronger so I’m not sure you need a whole drop. I’ve never tried it but I always err on the side of caution with using less and then adding more to taste. Let me know how it works out.