Crockpot Lasagna is layers of meat sauce, three types of cheese, and noodles, all slow simmered to perfection in your slow cooker. A satisfying, flavorful, family-friendly meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd! The ultimate comfort food in just 15 minutes of prep time!
Slow Cooker Lasagna is Dinner Perfection
You can never go wrong with a cheesy pasta meal! Even my picky kiddos are down for this dinner!
Lasagna is a comfort food classic, no one can resist all those layers of tender pasta with plenty of melted cheese. This lasagna made in the slow cooker turns out juicy, cheesy, beefy, and tastes just as good as a classic lasagna, but easier! Crockpot lasagna only takes about 15 minutes to prep, and it’s loaded with flavor. It’s perfect for those busy nights when you know you won’t have time to make dinner. You can prep this the night before and store it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, simply take it out, plug it in and get it cooking before you leave the house for the day. Or sometimes, I just prep it in the morning because it doesn’t take that much time.
Serve this delicious lasagna casserole alongside a simple Italian salad and garlic bread for a cozy dinner that’s perfect this time of the year!
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Lasagna
There’s nothing better than a great big cheesy slice of lasagna! My favorite way to prepare this dish is with this crock pot lasagna recipe. It’s one of the easiest dinners and one that both adults and kids always enjoy. Meat sauce, cheese sauce, melty cheese between the layers – so much to love! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Ground meat. Any ground meat will work great. However, be aware that if you’re using ground beef with a higher fat content, you’ll want to drain off any excess grease after browning it. I like to use lean ground beef for this chili recipe.
- Marinara sauce. You can definitely use homemade marinara, but I find that my favorite store-bought brands are almost just as delicious and save so much time and energy when making lasagna. My favorite brands of tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce are Rao’s or Organico Bello – both are available at Target, Kroger and Amazon.
- Water. We’re adding 1 cup of water to the meat sauce for the perfect consistency. The water also helps to cook the noodles as the lasagna is slow cooking.
- Cheese. This lasagna recipe combines three cheeses – ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan. All three give this lasagna that traditional flavor we know and love!
- Egg. One egg is stirred into the cheese mixture to help everything bind together.
- Parsley. Fresh parsley is stirred into the cheese sauce for that wonderful Italian flavor.
- Lasagna noodles. Use regular uncooked lasagna noodles, NOT “oven ready”. Feel free to use gluten-free noodles, if preferred.
Protip: I highly recommend using freshly grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese for the best flavor and perfect melting. Shredded cheese from a bag contains anti-caking agents, cellulose coating and preservatives, and do not melt as smoothly.
How to Make Crockpot Lasagna
This crockpot lasagna recipe is easy to assemble and even easier to cook! Who knew that you could throw lasagna ingredients into a slow cooker and have it turn out just like a lasagna out of the oven? Not only is this crockpot lasagna recipe super easy, but it also has a wonderful texture and flavor.
Please see the recipe card for the full, printable recipe with all of the details.
- Make the meat sauce. Start this recipe by browning the meat in a large skillet. Drain any excess fat, as needed.
- Make the cheese sauce. While the meat is cooking, mix the cheeses, parsley and egg in a medium bowl.
- Add marinara. Once the meat is cooked and drained, add it back to the skillet with a 24 to 26-ounce jar of marinara.
- Add water. To the empty sauce jar, add 1 cup of water, cover with lid and shake well. Pour the water into the meat and marinara mixture; stir until blended. The water that’s added to the sauce will help to cook the noodles during baking, so you don’t have to cook them beforehand. This will save you 15 to 20 minutes of prep time.
Pro tip: Be sure to spray the crock pot with non stick cooking spray prior to adding the ingredients, or line it with a slow cooker liner. This will make it easier to remove the dish when it comes time for serving and make clean up quicker and easier.
How do you assemble lasagna in a slow cooker?
Now that the meat sauce and cheeses are prepped and ready, it’s time to for the layering.
- Meat sauce. The first layer of the lasagna is the meat sauce. Spread about 1 cup of the meat sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Noodles & cheese. Next, top the meat sauce layer with layers of half each of the noodles (broken to fit) and cheese mixture.
- Remaining meat sauce. Now, top with 2 cups of the remaining meat sauce.
- Remaining noodles & cheese. End the layering with remaining noodles (broken to fit), cheese mixture and all of the remaining meat sauce.
- Cover & cook. Cover with the lid. Slow cook on low for 4-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Once cooked, sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
Pro tip: If you’re not in too big of a hurry, I recommend allowing the lasagna to rest for 30 minutes before serving. It will make cutting and removing servings way easier.
This lasagna is so easy and packed with flavor, but feel free to change it up and make it your own. Here’s some ideas on ways that it can be customized:
- Vegetables. Add in your favorite veggies. Chopped mushrooms or onion would be great in the meat sauce. You could also add a thawed 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach to the cheese mixture. Be sure to squeeze out as much water from the spinach as you can.
- Meat. Try using Italian sausage instead of ground beef or ground turkey in the sauce.
- Sauce. For a white sauce lasagna, replace the marinara with a creamy Alfredo sauce.
- Cheese. You can mix the mozzarella with other cheeses that melt well, such as fontina or provolone.
Since lasagna is a heavier dish, I like to balance out the meal with a fresh green salad. Simply toss mixed greens with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to add toppings to your salad such as red onion, cherry tomatoes, and/or croutons. Better yet, serve this crockpot lasagna with my favorite Italian salad. Such a perfect pairing!
Crockpot Lasagna FAQs
What’s the best slow cooker for cooking lasagna?
This 6-quart crockpot works great for making this lasagna recipe. Note: If you use a 3 quart, you will need to cut the recipe in half.
How long does it take to cook lasagna in the slow cooker?
This crockpot lasagna takes about 4 to 6 hours on LOW. I think the texture is better when you use the low setting to cook the lasagna. However, if you’re in a hurry, cook the lasagna on high for about 2 hours. Be sure to check that every layer of the lasagna is cooked before turning the slow cooker off and serving the lasagna.
Do I have to precook the noodles?
One of the best things about this recipe is there is no need to precook the lasagna noodles before assembling the lasagna in the crockpot. Do make sure all of the noodles are covered in sauce, so they fully cook. Also, no need to use “oven-ready” noodles. The regular lasagna noodles hold up better to slow cooking. These noodles go in dry and will be the perfect al dente texture when you are ready to eat.
STORING & FREEZING RECOMMENDATIONS
Storing lasagna. Place leftover lasagna in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days. Reheat either in the oven or in the microwave until warm.
Freezing lasagna. Crockpot lasagna freezes really well. Cook the lasagna according to the directions in the recipe card. Let the lasagna cool completely and then cut it into individual servings.
Place the lasagna pieces into freezer-safe airtight containers and mark them with the date. The lasagna will keep well in the freezer for up to about 3 months.
To thaw and cook the lasagna after freezing. Let lasagna thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours or at room temperature until thawed. Microwave for 3-5 minutes or warm it in the oven at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes.
If you try this easy crockpot lasagna, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 (24-26 ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 1 (8 ounce) package (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish
- 6 uncooked lasagna noodles, NOT “oven ready”
- Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in marinara with meat. Add 1 cup water to the empty marinara sauce jar; cover with lid and shake well. Pour the water into the meat and marinara mixture; stir until blended.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, egg and parsley together. Spray the bottom and sides of the crockpot with nonstick cooking spray or use a crockpot liner. Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker and spread evenly on the bottom; top with layers of half each of the noodles, broken to fit, and cheese mixture.
- Cover with 2 cups of the remaining meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit, cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.