Easy Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna Recipe

This simple lasagna cooks in your slow cooker and can be put together in less than 20 minutes! Using ingredients that you probably have available right now, you just need to layer them in the crock pot (even the uncooked noodles) and let it slowly cook all day.

If you have been following our blog, you know how much we love our slow cookers (we have over 300 slow cooker recipes just waiting for you!)!

This recipe is perfect if you are still learning how to use your slow cooker and it’s the easiest way to make a lasagna!

The best part about this recipe is that you don’t have to cook the noodles before adding them to the crock pot – the noodles cook as the lasagna cooks!

How to make slow cooker lasagna:

  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet; drain and rinse well.
  2. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water.
  3. In another bowl mix ricotta, 1 1/2 cups Italian cheese, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, egg and fresh parsley.
  4. Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with 3 lasagna noodles, broken to fit; and half of cheese mixture.
  5. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit; cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.
  6. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand, covered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

How long does it take to cook Slow Cooker Lasagna?

While the prep time on this lasagna is only 20 minutes, this dish cooks on a low temperature for 4-6 hours.

I have not tried cooking it on high in the slow cooker (I am afraid it might not be adequate time for the noodles to cook). If you try it, leave us a comment below and let us know!

Because every crock pot is different, check the lasagna after 4 hours and see how it’s doing. If it’s not quite done, cook it for another hour or two.

You could also assemble this dish in the slow cooker the night before, then keep it covered in the fridge overnight and cook it the next day.

How to make canned sauce taste even better!

Since this is such a simple lasagna recipe, using a quality spaghetti sauce is key.

Most spaghetti sauces are lacking on flavor, so this is what I add to my spaghetti sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients into the sauce and let it simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together.

You can also add diced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, and diced green peppers to add extra vegetables and flavor to your spaghetti sauce.

Does the ground beef need to be cooked first?

Yes! Browning the ground beef beforehand will make all the difference.

You should always brown ground beef or any ground meat in a skillet before adding it to your slow cooker to prevent the meat from clumping up or from adding excess grease to your cooked dish.

What if you don’t like ricotta cheese?

A great substitute for ricotta cheese is cottage cheese.

Cottage cheese is also lower in fat and calories, so it’s a great option if you are looking for some healthier substitutions. Small curd cottage cheese will work best in this lasagna dish.

Another option would be to substitute cream cheese, but I have never tried it for this recipe and don’t know if it would work as well.

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Serve this lasagna with:

 

Serves: 8

Slow Cooker Lasagna Recipe

We've been on an Italian kick at our house! I am a huge lasagna fan, and love that I can make it in my slow cooker!

15 minPrep Time

4 hrCook Time

4 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (or Italian sausage)
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Italian Cheese (divided)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley
  • 6 regular lasagna noodles (uncooked)

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet; drain and rinse well.
  2. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water.
  3. In another bowl mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups Italian cheese, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, egg and parsley.
  4. Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with 3 lasagna noodles, broken to fit; and half of cheese mixture.
  5. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit; cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.
  6. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  8. Let stand, covered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Tags

Cuisines
Italian
Courses
Dinner
Cooking
Slow Cooking
Allergy
egg free
soy free
seafood free
treenut free
sesame free
mustard free
7.8.1.2
195
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Comment on this Recipe

58 Responses to “Easy Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna Recipe”

  1. so you place uncooked lasagna noodles in the crock-pot, am i reading this right? a little unsure about that part. sounds yummy though. Just wanted to comment real quick on the ricotta vs cottage cheese my mom has been using cottage cheese for over 40 yrs in her lasagna recipe, you cant tell a difference, i honestly like the cottage cheese, less calories and makes it more moist. :)
  2. If you substitute ricotta for cottage cheese, you are using ricotta as a substitute for (instead of) cottage cheese. This recipe calls for ricotta, so people are substituting cottage cheese for the ricotta, rather than the other way around.(Picky distinction, I realize, but it would help to create less confusion.)
  3. Is this prone to burning if left in the slow cooker too long? I like to use the slow cooker so that dinner is ready when I get home from work in the evening, so I'm definitely out of the house longer than 6 hours and my crock doesn't have a timer.
  4. Marina
    I made this for the first time and would definitely make it again! However, I threw in zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers into the meat sauce and added spinach to the cheese mixture - the veggies added a lot of moisture as it cooked, and it turned out very watery. Next time I would only include half the water if adding vegetables. But it still tasted great and made enough to get two meals out of it for our family of five.
  5. We made this last night and were very disappointed. We followed the recipe exactly and it was really dry. Usually dishes like this are better the next day, not this one. We added a bit more spaghetti sauce and that didn't help at all. We ended up tossing the rest and going out for dinner. I have to say... I have personally made and recommended MANY of the Six Sisters recipes and i think this is the first one that we were disappointed in. As a general rule, their recipes are spot on!!!
  6. Samantha Martin
    I made this a few weeks ago and am making it again tonight. I added onion to the hamburger meat and a little seasoning to the sauce (the sauce i bought was a little bland). I also left out the water because I put it in the oven rather than the crockpot... but it was delicious! My husband loved it and it was so yummy the next day =) thanks!
  7. Ashley Neblett
    Do you think frozen spinach (thawed and drained) and canned mushrooms(drained) could be added to this? I was thinking of adding the spinach to the cheese mixture and the mushrooms to the meat mixture but I don't want it to end up too watery. Maybe add less water to the sauce or cook for more time? Thoughts? Thanks!! I'm thinking of cooking this for Christmas Eve dinner since I will be using my kitchen to cook and prep everything else for Christmas Day dinner.
  8. I made this yesterday and we loved it. We used Barilla mushroom sauce and small curd cottage cheese. I did add plenty of the usual spices to the sauce! I think adding mushrooms would be great but it was truly simple to make and very tasty. Thanks ladies, this one will be in my regular rotation. The only challenge for me is that it is 4-6 hours in the slow cooker so I can't make it on a work day. But hey, weekends are great for crocks too!
    • Hi Jennifer, we have always made it that morning and started our slow cooker. But it should be fine to make ahead. Just put the crock pot in the fridge until morning. The lasagna noodles could soften a little over night, so watch it carefully. May not take quite as long to cook. Let us know how it all turns out! Have a great weekend! Cyd (mom of the Six Sisters)

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