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:
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet; drain and rinse well.
- Stir in spaghetti sauce and water.
- In another bowl mix ricotta, 1 1/2 cups Italian cheese, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, egg and fresh parsley.
- Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with 3 lasagna noodles, broken to fit; and half of cheese mixture.
- Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit; cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.
- Cook on low 4-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed.
- 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:
- Homemade French Bread
- Homemade Garlic Butter
- Fresh Italian Green Salad
- Triple Chocolate Cake (for dessert, of course!)
Have you checked out our YouTube channel?
If you have an Instant Pot, you might want to try making our Instant Pot Lasagna!