Easy lasagna in the crockpot? Say what?! No, that's not a typo. We're about to share your new favorite recipe for this Italian classic. Best of all, the prep work only takes 15-minutes!
What if we told you that you could whip up the tastiest, cheesiest batch of lasagna in under 15 minutes, then leave it to cook in the crockpot for less than three hours? Sounds too good to be true, but after one bite of this recipe, you'll be a believer!
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This lasagna comes together in no time and tastes just like you bought it from your favorite Italian restaurant. It's perfect for a busy night or a neighborhood potluck. Are you ready to learn how to make ah-mazing lasagna in your slow cooker? Yeah, that's what we thought. Let's do this!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH LASAGNA
You know what we love about crockpot dinners? You have so much time to do other things while your meal cooks! Once you set it and forget, you'll have time to pull together a side dish or two for your Italian feast. You can't go wrong with any of these options:
- Salad – Toss in that fresh produce and make a quick batch of homemade vinaigrette!
- Garlic Bread – Butter some of this rustic bread and top with fresh garlic before toasting.
- Steamed Veggies – We suggest broccoli or green beans for a colorful meal.
- Vegetable Soup – Pop open a can or make your own. It's so easy to build your own soup using ingredients you have on hand!
- Applesauce – This option is easy as can be and a nice way to sneak in a few vitamins.
Now you're ready for the main event! But first, let's get you up to speed on some recipe swaps to try if you need to substitute an ingredient or two.
CROCKPOT LASAGNA MODIFICATIONS
We've all been there. Dinnertime is in three hours, you're ready to throw together a quick recipe, and then you realize you're running short on some ingredients. Darn it! If that happens to you, one of these lasagna swaps will work:
- Italian Sausage Substitute – While we love making our lasagna with sausage, any ground meat will do! Try turkey or beef instead.
- Pasta Sauce – If you don't have a jar of pasta sauce ready to use, it's easy peasy to make some tomato paste.
- Ricotta Cheese Substitute – No ricotta? Try using cottage cheese in its place.
- Egg Substitute – All out of eggs? Try one of these egg substitutes.
If you want to make a vegetarian version of this recipe, just omit the meat and try using a mushroom tomato sauce instead. You can also add some well-drained sautéed spinach to your ricotta mixture for an extra dose of veggies! Feel free to toss in some diced carrots or celery as well.
THE WORLD'S EASIEST CROCKPOT LASAGNA
Okay, are you ready for the tastiest, yummiest, EASIEST lasagna you'll ever make? Drumroll, please! Let's do this.
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- ½ small onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp basil
- ¼ tsp parsley
- 24 oz jar pasta sauce
- 15 oz whole milk ricotta
- 2⅓ cup mozzarella, divided
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- fresh parsley for serving optional
- In a large saucepan, begin by browning sausage. Once cooked, add onion and saute until tender, then cook garlic for 30 seconds. Drain off fat. Add pasta sauce, herbs, and ½ cup water (use your pasta sauce jar for extra flavor and no waste!) to the pan. Stir back in the strained sausage mix. Let simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened over medium to low heat–season to taste.
- While sauce is simmering, mix ricotta, 1 ⅓ cup mozzarella, parmesan, and egg–season with salt.
- Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray and ladle in about a cup of sauce. Our slow cooker held 3.5 noodles in each layer; yours may be different. Fit them in as close together as possible without overlapping, breaking noodles where necessary. Then do a layer of cheese, more sauce, noodles, and end with pasta. Use remaining sauce (½-1 cup) to top the pasta and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
- Take 1 ¼ cup water and gently pour around the outside of the lasagna, cover, and cook on low for 2.5 – 4 hours. Let rest a few minutes before slicing.
How amazing does that sound?! We could seriously eat this every single week and never get sick of it! If you end up with leftovers, then consider us impressed. The good news is, this heats up beautifully. Just pop it in the microwave for a few minutes, and enjoy! And if you want to make a batch to freeze for later, you can do that, too. Keep on reading for tips and tricks!
HOW TO FREEZE CROCKPOT LASAGNA
Lasagna is one of the world's best meals to freeze for later! Why buy the expensive frozen lasagnas at the store when you can make your own to freeze?! This recipe tastes SO much better! So, if you decide to make ahead a batch to save for later, here's how to do it:
- Turn off your crockpot, allowing the lasagna to cool for around 30-minutes.
- Place the lasagna in a large freezer bag and let the air out—label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When you're ready to reheat and serve, defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then place in the crockpot per the recipe instructions.
- Serve, and enjoy!
This also makes a great freezer meal to gift to a new neighbor or a friend with a new baby. You'll be a hero!
Now you've got all the makings of an at-home Italian feast! Skip the pricey night out and toss this recipe in the slow cooker. Your family will thank you!
Tell us, what's your favorite slow cooker meal? Drop a comment below or head over to the Shelf Cooking Facebook community and join the conversation.
Looking for more crockpot recipes to try?
- Try this crockpot chili! It's perfect for chilly nights.
- Dessert in the slow cooker?! Yep! Try this apple crisp.
- You will kick yourself if you don't try this crockpot salsa chicken!
Chow down, you guys!