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
  • Yield: 10 Servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian
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: 249 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 249g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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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.

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Categories:

Beef Holidays Main Dishes Meat & Seafood Pastas Recipe Slow Cooker

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Comments

  1. 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.

    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.

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

  3. 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.

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

    Rating: 5
  5. 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.

    Rating: 5
  6. 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.

    Rating: 5
  7. 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

  8. 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!

    Rating: 5
  9. 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!

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    Rating: 5
  13. 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.

    Rating: 5
  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. 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.

    Rating: 5
  16. 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?