Slow Cooker Lasagna

Pallet and Pantry
by Pallet and Pantry
8 servings
4 hr 20 min

I’ve been making the same lasagna recipe for longer than I’d like to admit.

Like I always say, don’t fix what doesn’t need fixing. And if I went by what my family and friends say, nothing about my delicious lasagna recipe needed fixing.

But several years ago, I did make ONE big change to my original lasagna recipe.

I decided to try making a slow cooker version.

My hope was that I could still get all the amazing flavor that my low and slow simmered meat sauce had, but do it without hovering over the stove for an hour or more.

So, after a few tweaks, I came up with a yummy new version of my homemade lasagna!

Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 4 Hours Total time: 4 hr 20 min
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh basil can use dried if need be
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Cheese Mixture
  • 1 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10-12 lasagna noodles uncooked
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella

Add the butter and oil to a large fry pan. When hot add in the onion. Saute until translucent. (About 3-4 minutes). Add in the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Remove from the stove and set the onion and garlic aside. Add the beef and Italian sausage to the pan. Saute both until browned. Add the onion and garlic back into the pan. Add in the tomato paste, diced and crushed tomatoes, herbs, and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Simmer on low heat while you make up the cheese sauce.
Combine the ricotta, parmesan, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add in the parsley.
Grease a 6-quart slow cooker with butter or non-stick spray. TIP: You can also use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup!
Begin assembling the lasagna. First, add in 1/3 of the meat sauce. Then top the meat sauce with uncooked noodles. (About 3-4) (You may have to break to fit in the slow cooker.) Top noodles with 1/3 of the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers two more times, ending with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with more parsley and fresh basil.
Turn the slow cooker to low and cook lasagna for 4 hours. ***For crispier top remove the slow cooker's cover 30 minutes before done. Place a piece of paper towel over the top and continue cooking. Allow the lasagna to sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Pallet and Pantry
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  • Faye Edwards Faye Edwards on Oct 19, 2021

    Looks Delicious. Awesome recipe. I was wondering for people like me that has less time can you used already prepared spaghetti sauce? I think there has to be water added to it. Can anyone help with this? Thank you.

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    • MaryAnn MaryAnn on Oct 20, 2022

      I have to make my own sauces due to the salt, sugar, HF Corn Syrup, and preservatives in commercial sauces. I start with 2 (28oz) cans of Low Sodium, Tomato purée (from San Marzano tomatoes if possible), my favorite Italian Seasonings (2-3 Tb)including some ground fennel (1 tsp), Smoky or Sweet Paprika (2tsp) lot’s of minced garlic(3 Tb), minced ingredients onion(2 big) and minced carrots sweetened the sauce perfectly (2 cups worth) Let it simmer, add 2 (6oz) cans salt free tomato paste, thickens and deepens flavor. Sometimes I add 1-2 (6oz) cans of low sodium Hot and Spicy V8 Juice for a perky sauce with a background vegetable flavor. Plain V8 will do, and you can add any heat you have on hand or none at all. Italian generally use red pepper flakes or spicy peppers in sauce (also minced). Seasonings and vegetable amounts to personal taste. I add 2 Tb of Olive Oil to a Dutch oven to quick sauté the vegetables first. Then add the remaining ingredients to the pot. It can simmer on the stove for ½ hour, or as long a time as you have. I mince the vegetables in the food processor until fine, so it’s very quick and painless. When I have time, I simmer it in my 2nd slow cooker ( with a liner) after browning the vegetables. 4-6hours on Low. Either way I add Olive Oil to taste, and fresh cracked black pepper. You can swirl fresh chopped parsley, oregano, basil or other desired seasoning. I’m retired and cannot stand up to cook for long periods. Then line my 8 qt slow cooker and assemble the lasagna. This recipe can be prepped by getting the vegetables ready one day. Starting the sauce in the Slow cooker overnight, and assembling the lasagna early in the day, to cook all day long on Low for dinner or for the next day. It actually tastes better and firms up over night. Then warm on low until hot to serve. This is my version of either quick or long cooking Marinara Sauce. It tastes great. I sometimes add browned Turkey Italian Sausage.(Sweet or Hot, your preference) To the Lasagna or cook completely to serve with Spaghetti.

      I always add 2-3+ cups chopped or sliced vegetables, as well, bell peppers red or green, mushrooms, extra chopped onions, celery, sun dried or fresh tomatoes, etc. What ever we have on hand I have on hand and any fresh herbs, minced between the layers. This is quick and easy. I use a step wise approach for personal health reasons, but you could do it quite easily, all at one time. I also discover this method from a Vegetarian, and we love it. Forget the old way, and those slimy cooked noodles. I make big batches because my husband takes it to work as well. I love this method. It’s simple and quick.

  • Carolyn Mullaney Carolyn Mullaney on Oct 19, 2021

    is whole sausage used or how is it used? Out of casing?

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    • MaryAnn MaryAnn on Oct 20, 2022

      I slice the sausages into coins (½ inch thick or ¼ inch thick brown them drain off the grease (I use chicken or Turkey Italian Sausages, they don’t come uncased) Just slice and cook if I’m rushed, or unease them to cook before adding them if I have more time. Use as much sauce as you need leftovers can be heated and poured over leftovers or used as a dipping sauce.