Slow Cooker Lasagna is made with simple ingredients but is just as tasty as your favorite lasagna baked in a pan.
Lasagna in the slow cooker makes an easy dinner! Make it, and then let it cook and go about your business. It is the perfect meal for busy nights when you aren’t home to cook but need dinner on the table.Jump to Recipe
Simple Lasagna Ingredients
This lasagna could not be more simple. Usually if I am making a slow cooker meal I do not want to have to make a million homemade ingredients to put in the slow cooker- I want it simple! This lasagna is juste that…SIMPLE!
This recipe for lasagna in the slow cooker uses bottle marinara sauce/spaghetti sauce)!! Yes, bottled, store bought sauce! And I’m not mad about it! The lasagna is delicious. You can make your own sauce, but why?
I love Kroger bottled pasta sauces (not getting paid to say that). My favorite is their Parmesan+Romano Pasta Sauce. It is every bit as good as homemade.
You will also need some cooked ground beef (if you prefer sausage, that works too), some ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, lasagna noodles and seasonings.
Let’s Talk about the Lasagna Noodles
I love shortcuts in recipes. If you have tried Oven-Ready Lasagna noodles they are amazing! They are oven ready, meaning you do not have to cook them ahead of time! DO NOT USE THEM FOR THIS RECIPE…they are awesome just not a slow cooker.
For this recipe you MUST use regular, uncooked lasagna noodles. I always make sure I have 10 to 12 on hand. You will have to break some of them into pieces to get them to fit in the slow cooker (at least I have to because my slow cooker is not rectangular in shape)! So make sure you have a few extra in case you break them and they just don’t fit right!
Do not cook the noodles. They will cook in the slow cooker as the lasagna cooks! It is so simple!
The Slow Cooker
I have several slow cookers but the one I use the most is my 7 quart slow cooker. It has plenty of room to cook any amount of food in it. For some recipes it is a bit big but for most recipes it is just right.
That being said, you could probably (I have never tried it myself, so I am saying ”probably”) use a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker and the recipe should be the same. The layers of the lasagna just will be more “full” since its a smaller surface to spread the sauce (does that make sense?)!
This is my slow cooker. It is simple, cheap and does the job. (“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”)
Prep for your Easy Lasagna
To make this easy lasagna there are a few things you can do to make assembly a bit easier.
Brown your ground beef (Italian sausage is a great alternative ), drain it and then add your bottles off marinara/spaghetti sauce to your cooked ground beef and mix it up. RESERVE a little bit of your sauce (do not add it to the ground beef) to pour in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Mix up your ricotta cheese, grated parmesan cheese and seasonings in a separate bowl.
Assembling the Lasagna in the Slow Cooker
You will layer the ingredients in this order: plain marinara sauce, uncooked noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, half the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of your shredded mozzarella cheese, uncooked noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, the other half of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of your shredded mozzarella cheese, noodles, the last of the meat sauce and the last of your mozzarella cheese.
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Then spread the reserved marinara/spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker. (If you are reading this blog post then you know that you reserved some of the sauce before adding it all to the ground beef for this purpose).
Next, add your uncooked lasagna noodles. Cover the marinara sauce completely. You will have to break the noodles to get them to fit.
Then add some of your marinara sauce with the ground beef (the meat sauce) on top. You will need to use only 1/3 of this. Just estimate 1/3 of it the best you can. I think mine measured around 1 1/2 to 2 cups of meat sauce give or take a bit on each layer.
Top the meat sauce with the ricotta mixture and then shredded mozzarella cheese.
Repeat the layer again, and then end with just the meat sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Here is a reminder on the order! You will layer the ingredients in this order: plain marinara sauce, uncooked noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, half the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of your shredded mozzarella cheese, uncooked noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, the other half of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of your shredded mozzarella cheese, noodles, the last of the meat sauce and the last of your mozzarella cheese.
Here are pics of the last layers!
Cooking Times for your Lasagna
Lasagna in the Slow Cooker does not need to cook all day! If you let it cook all day it will burn on th edges. Slow Cooker Lasagna will cook on low in 4 hours! If I leave mine to cook for longer than 4 hours (even an extra 30 minutes) mine tends to get crispy on the edges. It is still delicious but a bit crispy. If your slow cooker cooks hot and you end up with a crispy outside edge just cut around it!
Cook your lasagna on low for 4 hours. It will cut a bit better and hold together it in its layers if you let it sit for a little bit, but we are always too hungry to wait! Dig right in and enjoy!
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Slow Cooker Lasagna
- 6 to 7 qt. Slow Cooker
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef *1 pound ground beef works too, ground Italian sausage would be great in place of ground beef
- 2 (24 oz.) jars Marinara/Spaghetti Sauce *any brand, any flavor
- 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked *NOT OVEN READY NOODLES, you may have extra noodles, see notes
- 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, split into thirds
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning *or more to taste
- 1 tsp garlic salt *or more to taste
- Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Brown/cook your ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain and set aside.
- While your ground beef is cooking, in a medium sized bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, Italian Seasoning and garlic salt together. Adjust the seasoning to your liking. This is your creamy ricotta cheese layer.
- Take about 1/2 cup of marinara/spaghetti sauce from one of your jars of sauce and spread it on the bottom of your greased slow cooker. All you need is enough to cover the bottom.
- Mix the rest of the jars of sauce with your ground beef. This makes your meat sauce.
- In your slow cooker (with the the bit of sauce in the bottom) place enough lasagna noodles to cover the bottom in a single layer. You will have to break them up. I usually can lay one full noodle down the middle, then break up noodles to fit for the rest of it. Just try and get a full layer of noodles down.
- Next, spread 1/3 of your meat sauce on top of the lasagna noodles. (Just estimate what 1/3 is…it does not need to be super accuarate). Then top with 1/2 of the creamy ricotta cheese mixture. And last, sprinkle 1/3 of your shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
- Repeat another layer just like before: noddles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, the rest of the creamy ricotta and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.
- Then end with a layer of noodles, the last of your meat sauce and the last of your mozzarella cheese.*Here is a quick recap of the order: plain marinara sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker, uncooked noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, half the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of your shredded mozzarella cheese, uncooked noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, the other half of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of your shredded mozzarella cheese, noodles, the last of the meat sauce and the last of your mozzarella cheese.
- Let your lasagna cook on low for 4 hours. After cooking you can let it sit for a little bit for easier serving but we just dig right in!