Why you’ll love slow cooker lasagna:
Enjoy all the taste and texture of classic lasagna with half the work thanks to this slow cooker lasagna recipe!
- The prep time is just 15 minutes for a hands-off meal you can set and forget.
- One batch feeds up to 6 people, making it great for family-friendly weeknight dinners.
- It’s filling enough to enjoy on its own yet pairs wonderfully with all your favorite sides.
You can even make extra ahead of time to store for quick meals when you just don’t have time to cook! Plus, it’s simple enough for weeknight dinners yet satisfying enough for holiday gatherings.
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Ground beef – I recommend at least 80 percent lean ground beef. Drain any excess fat as needed. You can also swap the ground beef for ground sausage or a mixture of the two if preferred.
- Aromatics – White onion and minced garlic are cooked with the beef to create a deep, savory flavor with hints of sweetness for the base of the dish.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning are included to add depth and season the meat perfectly.
- Marinara sauce – Use a high-quality, store-bought marinara sauce. Or, make your own!
- Noodles – Use wide lasagna noodles to form the classic layers of lasagna.
- Cheese – Ricotta, Parmesan, and shredded Mozzarella are layered between the noodles and sauce for a savory, slightly salty flavor and a soft, creamy texture that will have your guests practically licking their plates.
How to make the best slow cooker lasagna:
This is the easiest lasagna you’ll ever make!
1. Brown the meat
- Cook the beef, onion, and garlic in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until it’s no longer pink. Drain the excess fat.
2. Assemble the lasagna in slow cooker
- Spread 1 cup of the marinara along the bottom of a greased slow cooker.
- Layer 3-4 of the lasagna noodles on top, breaking them into pieces as needed.
- Spread ⅓ of the ricotta over the noodles followed by ¼ of the Mozzarella, and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan.
- Sprinkle ⅓ of the meat mixture over the cheese, and top it with 1 cup of marinara.
- Repeat the layers 3 more times, starting with the lasagna noodles.
- Top your lasagna with a final layer of noodles, marinara.
3. Slow cook
- Spread the remaining Mozzarella and place the lid on the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours or until the noodles are tender.
Slice, serve with extra Parmesan and fresh herbs, and enjoy!
- Use a slow cooker liner. Save time and prevent a mess by placing a slow cooker liner in the bottom of your slow cooker before you being layering the ingredients. Then, all you have to do is lift it out, and wipe your slow cooker down! It will look good as new with no tough scrubbing required.
- Don’t skip the browning! Pre-cooking the beef ensures it cooks all the way through and helps lock in extra flavor.
- Break the noodles. If your lasagna noodles are too long to fit in the slow cooker, break them into pieces until they can be arranged in an even layer. Don’t worry if they overlap a little bit! They’ll fuse together as they cook.
- If your slow cooker has removable components, you can assemble your lasagna as the recipe card states. Then, instead of leaving it to cook, cover the dish, and transfer it to the refrigerator.
- You can store uncooked lasagna for up to 24 hours.
- Then, place the pot back in the slow cooker, and cook as usual, adding a few minutes as needed until the noodles are tender.
- Store leftover slow cooker lasagna in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze in a freezer-safe airtight container, and keep it stored for up to 3 months.
- Reheat thawed leftovers in the microwave. Or, transfer them back to the slow cooker, and set it to warm until the lasagna is heated through.
Yes, feel free to leave out the meat completely, replace it with meatless crumbles, or add a layer of thinly sliced veggies like zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and squash.
Absolutely. Simply replace the regular lasagna noodles with a gluten-free variety, and adjust the cooking time as needed.
Yes, feel free to substitute equal parts cottage cheese for ricotta, if preferred.
Most lasagna recipes, this slow cooker lasagna included, call for at least 3 layers of noodles, sauce, and cheese. Anything less is not considered to be true lasagna.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
- 1 non-stick skillet
- 1 slow cooker
- 1 lb ground beef 80/20 Note 1
- ½ cup chopped white onion
- 1 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 (48oz) jar marinara sauce
- 1 (16oz) box lasagna noodles uncooked
- 1 (15oz) tub ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, add the ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook, breaking up the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain the excess fat and set aside.
- Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and evenly spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce along the bottom.
- Layer 3-4 lasagna noodles along the bottom of the slow cooker, breaking them into pieces to fit if necessary.
- Spread ⅓ of the ricotta cheese over the lasagna noodles using a spoon or rubber spatula.
- Sprinkle a ¼ of the mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon of the grated parmesan cheese over the ricotta.
- Layer on ⅓ of the ground beef mixture and spread evenly.
- Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce over top of the ground beef mixture. Repeat the process starting at step 3 two more times. Finish with one more layer of the lasagna noodles, marinara sauce and the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours or until the lasagna noodles are tender
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Sprinkle the lasagna with remaining parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil or parsley. Enjoy!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat portions in the microwave.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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