Lasagne is one one of those dishes that I save for Sundays – when I have plenty of time to fuss over it and then spend an hour baking it. The sheer notion of making pasta in the slow cooker fascinated me. Lasagna is supposed to be a labor of love. A dish that is painstakingly assembled, prepared and baked to bubbly perfection on a lazy weekend. Not one of my easy crock pot recipes that I set and forget!
The past few weeks I have really been putting my slow cooker to the test. Why not? It’s such a time saving option for busy weeknights. When I stumbled on this Slow Cooker Lasagna recipe on Rants from my Crazy Kitchen, I knew I had to give it a try!
I would have guessed that the noodles would get all mushy and the whole thing would fall apart. Boy, was I wrong! This recipe was amazing! The noodles turned out perfect. The layers didn’t dry out. The cheese was melty. Pure lasagna perfection! And, on a weekday nonetheless!
The next time I make this recipe, I’m going to assemble everything the night before and then stash the slow cooker crock in the fridge. Then, when I’m ready to make it, I just need to put the crock in the cooker and turn it on. No muss. No fuss. Just layers and layers of lasagna goodness.
When it comes to slow cookers, there are many options available – from the basic to the ultra fancy. My favorite is the Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. I have had a number of slow cookers over the years and this is by far my favorite. It’s easy to use and program. It’s just the right size and it has handy clips that hold the lid on securely while you’re traveling.
Also, when making this recipe, it is essential that use a disposable slow cooker linerso that clean up is easy. As you know, I hate, hate, hate to do dishes and scrubbing baked on lasagna from my slow cooker crock is right there at the bottom of my list.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
Adapted from Rants from my Crazy Kitchen
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 pounds lean ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
2 (23.5 oz) jars pasta sauce
4 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley
16 lasagna noodles, uncooked and broken in half length-wise
36 slices of pepperoni
Nonstick cooking spay
Heat olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Brown the ground beef until no longer pink. Add pasta sauce to pan and simmer for five minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of mozzarella cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper (to taste) and mix well.
Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of the sauce mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker and top with one layer of lasagna noodles. You should be able to get 4 noodles broken in half across.
Spread a layer of the cheese mixture across using a spatula or the back of a large spoon. Add a layer of the sauce mixture and 9 pieces of pepperoni. Top with four more noodles. Repeat until you have four layers, ending with pepperoni on top.
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours. After 4 hours, sprinkle remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top. Leave uncovered and allow the cheese to melt. Once cheese has melted, turn off the slow cooker and allow the lasagna to set for about 10 minutes before serving.
Want more easy recipes? be sure to check out these pages on It’s a Keeper: