Slow cooker lasagna is the ultimate comfort food that offers a low prep, easy meal option that is perfect for any night of the week.
This easy Crockpot Lasagna recipe is a crave worthy dish. With layers of noodles, meat sauce, and melted cheese cooked to perfection, it is a recipe that will sure please everyone at the dinner table.
Much like fried chicken, or Mac and Cheese, this lasagna is pure comfort food. And boy is it delicious. I might even go so far as to say it is the best ever slow cooker lasagna. Not only is this juicy, cheesy, beefy dish delicious, there is no long simmer times for the sauce, boiling of noodles, or hands on time required to make this perfect, family friendly meal.
Crockpot Lasagna is a home run dish at our house. I can prep it in just 20 minutes and then just enjoy the aromas permeating through my house, as the crockpot does the rest of the work. This recipe has been such a hearty and helpful meal option to have on hand.
How To Make Slow Cooker Lasagna?
Okay my friends, it is time to erase from your mind the idea that lasagna is time consuming, difficult to make, or not a meal for when you have a busy week. Lasagna does not have to be your Everest. It really can be a walk in the park with a recipe like this.
It really only requires a couple easy steps of preparing the various components, then layering. Here is a quick overview.
Simple, Easy Steps:
- Meat Sauce Mixture: Cook meat, onion, and garlic, then add tomato sauce and paste, beef stock, other seasonings.
- Cheese Mixture: In a separate bowl, mix egg, ricotta, Parmesan, and half the mozzarella.
- Prep Slow Cooker: Spray cooker with nonstick cooking spray
- Assemble: Add layer of meat sauce mixture, then lasagna noodles, then cheese, and repeat! .
- Cook: Cover and cook on LOW setting for 4 hours.
- Finish: After 4 hours, add remaining mozzarella to top and cook until cheese is melted and noodles are soft.
- Enjoy: Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy.
Note: For more specifics, see recipe at the end.
Now that I have shown you how easy it is to make slow cooker lasagna, let’s talk about why it is so good.
Why This Recipe Is Fantastic:
- No boiling noodles
- Not hands on
- No long simmer times for the tomato sauce
The meat sauce is easy to make and oh so tasty, and doesn’t require hours of simmering to get that depth of flavor you want from a homemade spaghetti sauce. The slow cooker does the work for you to let those flavors combine and give you the complexity you want. But you don’t have to keep a close eye on it. Which is awesome.
No fuss required for this Crockpot Lasagna recipe, just beefy, juicy, cheesy deliciousness for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
It really is super easy.
The Cheese Mixture
The cheese mixture is magical! It is a 3 cheese mix that brings out the salty, earthy, delicious flavors of this lasagna.
- Ricotta: The ricotta is creamy and a staple in lasagna recipes.
- Parmesan: The Parmesan adds some saltiness and richness to the dish.
- Mozzarella: This is melty, and gives you that cheesy, gooey, melty mixture.
How Long Does It Take To Make Crockpot Lasagna?
The short answer is about 5 hours. But the long answer is only 20 minutes of your time!
I am glad you asked, as this is a quick dish to prepare, that takes a while to cook.
It does take a few minutes to brown the meat and add in the sauce, as well as make up the cheese mixture, so this recipe isn’t hands free. But because the noodles are no cook, and the slow cooker does all the work of simmering, etc. it is pretty quick. You can set it and forget it.
This is a low prep meal idea.
It takes just 20 minutes of your time!
A quick prep and then just let the crockpot work its magic, while you relax or go on to do something else with your time.
Note: As with most crockpot dishes, allow for enough time to have the meal cook in the crockpot. Cook time in the crockpot is 4 hours and 20 minutes.
Tips For Making Lasagna:
This recipe is pretty straight forward, but what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t share some tips and tricks that I have discovered along the way that will help ensure that your dish comes out perfectly?
So, take a moment and read through these tips. Trust me, you will be so glad that you did.
Tip 1: Use The Right Amount Of Water.
You want the lasagna to be moist and not dried out, right? So, if the sauce does not cover all of the lasagna, add some water along the edges until it does. The recipe does not call for water, but it is important to cover those noodles.
This tip takes very little effort on your part, but can be the key difference between delicious, perfectly tender and juicy lasagna instead of dried out not so good lasagna.
The reason I can’t just give you an exact amount of water to use is every slow cooker is a different size or shape, so depending on the crock pot you use, you may need more or less water, on none at all. You could also sub in beef stock if you want a little more flavor.
Tip 2: Use Both Ground Beef And Sausage.
Using both beef and sausage will be your secret weapon that will give this slow cooker beef lasagna more flavor. Trust me, it makes a difference. If you do not have sausage, consider adding some fennel seeds to get the flavor.
Using both will give the lasagna depth of flavor you aren’t going to get using just ground beef. But as always, feel free to make substitutions to your preference.
Tip 3: Use A Good Crock Pot.
A mediocre crockpot may result in an inconsistent final product. Make sure that you are aware of if your slow cooker has hot spots. If it does, you may get crunchy, dry noodles in some parts of the lasagna.
The reason is, when slow cookers have these hot spots, sometimes it is severe and will cause parts of the pasta to over-cook, or even burn. This leads to dried out and crispy, instead of soft and tasty. This isn’t as big of an issue when cooking a roast, but with the no boil noodles, it will lead to an unhappy result.
This is the crock pot I used to make this recipe.
Tip 4: Check For Doneness.
Okay so I realize this tip seems like an obvious one. However, when it comes to crockpots, although they are great, sometimes we assume they are fool proof.
If you really want a perfect lasagna keeps an eye on it at the end. If it isn’t done, then add more time.
This is especially important because unfortunately crock pots aren’t consistent across brands and sizing, which means that while this took just under 5 hours to prep and cook at my house, it could be done faster or slower in your slow cooker.
Tip 5: Garnish Before Serving.
A little garnish can elevate a dish, not only visually, but in flavor as well. So, just right before serving, it’s garnish time. The basil will lighten up the dish, and give it just the right flavor!
This recipe is super straight forward and easy to follow and if you incorporate these tips, then you should be really pleased with the finished product.
Do I Need To Cook Lasagna Noodles First?
I love the answer to this question.
Okay I told you this was a no fuss dish and I meant it. No need to cook noodles ahead of time.
That’s right you heard me. You can eliminate that extra, annoying step. And you’re welcome.
Just make sure to buy the oven-ready/no boil lasagna noodles and you will be ready to go.
You will layer those uncooked noodles in your crockpot and skip the extra boiling step. Yay!
Note: The only thing you have to remember is that if those noodles do not have enough moisture, they will not get soft and delicious like you want, so take a look at the edges of the slow cooker. Are the noodles fully immersed in the sauce? If not, add some liquid (water or beef stock) until they are covered.
Can You Cook Pasta In The Slow Cooker?
Yes you can. That is what you are doing with the no boil lasagna noodles in this recipe, in fact.
Aside from this recipe, a general rule of thumb is when just cooking basic pasta, allow for about 20 minutes of cook time.
Make sure not to over cook or you will be greeted with unappetizing, mushy, pasta. Yuck.
What To Serve With Crockpot Lasagna?
Great news this dish is a hearty meal all on its own. However, who doesn’t like a little company with a good dish?
Then finish the meal off with decadent, rich, easy to make S’mores Brownies. You are going to love these!
Make This Easy Crockpot Lasagna!
Want to have it look like you have been slaving away in the kitchen even though you haven’t? Make this juicy, cheesy, beefy, Crockpot Lasagna.
Low prep and easy, this dish is the ultimate comfort food that takes almost no time to make. This slow cooker lasagna will be a dish your friends and family will be begging you to make again and again.
Now that I have got you in the mood for some pasta, here are some other pasta favorites to try.
More Great Pasta Dishes:
- Old Fashioned Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- 30 Minute Cheesy Garlic Shrimp Alfredo
Video of How to Make Crock Pot Lasagna
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound hot italian ground sausage
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 29 ounces tomato sauce
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- ½ cup beef stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil chopped fine
- 12 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 egg
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded, divided
- 12 ounce oven-ready/no boil lasagna noodles
- 5 qt slow cooker
- Fresh Basil garnish
- In a large skillet over medium heat cook the ground beef, ground sausage, onion, and garlic until browned and cooked through.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef stock, italian seasoning, and basil and stir until well incorporated. Cook until heated through.
- In a large bowl mix together the egg, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and half the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray, then add a layer of the meat sauce mixture.
- Layer on the uncooked lasagna noodles, breaking to fit the shape/size of your slow cooker if needed.
- Then top noodles with cheese mixture, then more sauce, and repeat until you have used everything. (Note) Insure your noodles are completely covered by sauce. In a 5 qt slow cooker this should be about 3 layers.
- Cover, and cook on LOW setting for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, add remaining mozzarella cheese to the top and cook until cheese is melted and noodles are soft.
- Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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