A shortcut recipe for slow cooker lasagna that will keep your kitchen cool and your family happy!
Although I adore lasagna – those creamy layers of noodles, meat and soft cheeses are irresistible – I don’t make it often. It’s one of those recipes where I will spend a few hours in the kitchen with a glass of wine (or two!), music cranked on my stereo (really Alexa paired with my iPhone, but stereo sounds appropriately more retro) and nothing to do but chop and simmer. These days usually happen in the fall; the cooling weather is perfect for a lingering late afternoon in the kitchen.
Right now, however, it’s still summer and we’re in the midst of a major heat wave (it’s humid and hitting the 100’s this weekend). And, since I just picked up a new slow cooker so I could create some crock pot recipes for you, it seemed like the perfect time for a dish that won’t heat up my kitchen. My youngest adores lasagna so this simple slow cooker lasagna recipe is for her (in fact, it’s so simple that she made it)!
This slow cooker lasagna recipe is in stark contrast to the more traditional recipe that takes me hours in the kitchen. This one takes about 15-20 minutes to throw together which means it’s a great choice for a weeknight meal. It also makes a lot so you’ll either feed a large family until you’re all stuffed to the gills or you’ll have a nice amount of leftovers (and we all know lasagna only gets better the longer it sits)!
I cheat with this slow cooker lasagna by using jarred sauce – store-bought or homemade is just fine – and I pick up a carton of high-quality, whole milk ricotta instead of making my own. The only downside to this lasagna is that you won’t get those crispy edges like you do when you make it in the oven, but it’s a small sacrifice when you scoop out that first plate filled with gooey, cheesy lasagna that was such a cinch to make!
A few of my blogger friends and I are celebrating our own “Slow Cooker Week” by giving away a slow cooker to a lucky reader! Please check out these other delicious slow cooker recipes below and I encourage you to also enter the giveaway – someone has to win, why not you?
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 32 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 48 ounces of your favorite spaghetti sauce, homemade or store-bought
- 10-12 ribbon-edged lasagna noodles, not the no-boil kind; I buy a package and use as many as can fit in my slow cooker which is usually about 12
- 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground sausage and beef; cook until browned and no pink remains. Drain fat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, stir together ricotta, parmesan and 1/2 t salt & freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
- Layer the lasagna ingredients in your slow cooker in the following order: sauce, lasagna noodles (break to cover as necessary), ricotta cheese mixture, meat, mozzarella. Do three layers of each, reserving enough sauce, noodles and mozzarella for one more layer at the very top.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Turn off slow cooker and allow to "rest" for an hour (this will firm up the lasagna so it's easier to slice, however you can eat it sooner if you're too hungry to wait)! Sprinkle the top with chopped parsley and serve with crusty garlic bread.