Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This crockpot lasagna is possibly the easiest lasagna you will ever make. You don’t need to boil the lasagna noodles before layering the lasagna in your crock pot. You are going to love this easy and delicious slow cooker lasagna!
What’s more comforting on a cold winter day than knowing your dinner is already cooking in your slow cooker, making your house smell amazing? Not much, except maybe the fact that when it’s time for dinner, the cooking (and most of the dishes) are already done! Like my easy slow cooker beef stew and pot roast, this easy crockpot lasagna is sure to become a family favorite.
Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food. It’s pretty hard to resist a plate of cheesy, saucy pasta.
I absolutely love making lasagna in my slow cooker. It is quick and easy to get dinner started, and then I don’t have to think about cooking for the rest of the day. In the summer, crockpot lasagna allows you to cook lasagna without turning on your oven.
This easy slow cooker lasagna is made with layers of lasagna noodles, ground beef, marinara sauce and cheese. You don’t need to cook the lasagna noodles ahead of time. They cook perfectly in the crock pot, absorbing lots of flavor along the way.
More slow cooker pasta recipes
If you want a lasagna with an extra sneaky serving of healthy vegetables, my family loves my Slow Cooker Turkey Lasagna recipe. Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is another favorite slow cooker pasta recipe. Or try my slow cooker spinach ricotta lasagna if you want a slow cooker vegetarian lasagna recipe.
If you have an Instant Pot, try my Instant Pot Lasagna, Instant Pot Pasta with Sausage and Instant Pot Spaghetti recipes. You might also like my easy oven baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe.
Keep reading to learn how to make this best slow cooker lasagna!
How to Make Slow Cooker Lasagna
To prep this easy slow cooker lasagna, you’ll start by softening some onion in a skillet on your stove. Then you’ll add your ground beef to the skillet and cook it until the meat is browned. Finally, you’ll add some minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to cook off the raw garlic flavor.
Once the meat is browned, it takes just a few minutes to layer the ingredients in your slow cooker. Here is how you layer the lasagna ingredients:
- Spread a little bit of marinara sauce in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Make a layer of noodles, breaking them up as needed to make them fit.
- Add 1/3 of the meat, 1 cup of marinara sauce and some shredded mozzarella.
- Repeat the noodles, meat, tomato sauce and cheese layers two more times.
- For the top layer, you’ll use noodles, sauce and cheese.
Cook the lasagna in your slow cooker for about 4 hours, until the noodles are soft. Let the lasagna rest for 20-30 minutes before serving it to make it easier to slice.
Cooking Tips for Crockpot Lasagna
- Be sure to use your favorite marinara sauce in this crockpot lasagna since the flavor of the sauce intensifies as the lasagna slowly cooks.
- Use regular (NOT no boil) lasagna noodles, and layer the noodles uncooked in your slow cooker. I have made this slow cooker lasagna with both whole wheat and white lasagna noodles and both work well.
- You can use ground turkey in place of the ground beef. If you like sausage in your lasagna, you can add 1/2 pound of sausage and cook it with the ground beef in the skillet.
- You can add ricotta cheese to this lasagna recipe. When you layer the lasagna, spoon the ricotta on top of the noodles and spread it out a bit.
- After the cook time ends, turn off the heat and let the lasagna rest for 20-30 minutes. The rest time will make it easier to slice and serve your lasagna.
Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef, or ground turkey
- salt and pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 24 ounce jars marinara sauce, about 5 1/2 cups total*
- 10 lasagna noodles, uncooked, whole wheat or white (NOT no boil noodles)
- 10 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded, 2 1/2 cups
- grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- fresh chopped parsley or basil, for serving, if desired
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until it begins to soften.
- Add the ground beef (or turkey) to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and cooked through, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Remove pan from the heat.
- Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Make a single layer of noodles, breaking them up as needed. Top with 1/3 of the meat, 1 cup of marinara sauce, and 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella.
- Make a second layer with noodles, half of the remaining meat, another 1 cup of sauce, and 2/3 cup mozzarella.
- Make a third layer with noodles, the remaining meat, 1 cup sauce and 2/3 cup mozzarella.
- Top with one more layer of noodles, 1 ½ cups of sauce, and the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella
- Cook in your slow cooker on low heat for about 4 hours, until noodles are soft. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 20-30 minutes before serving. Open lid carefully to keep any condensation on the lid from dripping on the lasagna. Serve with grated Parmesan and fresh parsley or basil, if desired.
- Use a marinara sauce that you really enjoy as the flavor of the sauce intensifies as the lasagna cooks.
- All slow cookers cook differently. This takes about 4 hours on low in my slow cooker, but yours may cook a little faster or slower.
I like using my slow cooker any time of the year, but I especially love it during the winter. It’s such a nice way to prepare a comfort food meal! This lasagna looks delicious, Kristine! I can almost taste it through my screen. And your pictures are absolutely gorgeous, too. Pinned!
Thank you, Gayle! I actually wasn’t so happy with these photos, so your compliment means a lot!
Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara, garlic powder for garlic cloves & penne or rotini for lasagna noodles?
You can use spaghetti sauce and garlic powder. If you add penne or rotini at the beginning of the cook time, it will likely overcook. You can either add it during the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking (with the slow cooker on the high setting while the pasta cooks), or try my slow cooker baked ziti recipe instead (you can use penne or rotini instead of ziti pasta).
I LOVE the slow cooker! We use it so often here! This lasagna looks delicious, and I am surprised by how nice and neat it is! When I’ve made lasagna in the slow cooker it was pretty messy
I think it’s the 30 minutes of rest time that makes the difference in the neatness of the lasagna. Messy or not, though, it’s still delicious!
This looks amazing! I’ve never made lasagna in my slow cooker! Such a good idea. I can’t wait to try it! It is on my goals list for 2014 to master the slow cooker, because mine hates me!
I can’t believe it hates you! Maybe it’s the slow cooker’s problem, not yours, and you just need a new one. 🙂
It actually got so bad that I did buy a new one because I couldn’t believe that I was that terrible at something that was supposedly so easy! And I can officially say that it is me and not the slow cooker!!
Oh no! I’d say your cupcake skills more than make up for any slow cooker troubles. Your cupcakes are SO amazing! 🙂
It is so cold today, I am tempted to bring out the slow cooker! I have always wanted to try making a lasagna in the slow cooker, and you have restored my confidence!
You really should try it, Kacey! I’ve made this twice, and I’m amazed at how good it turns out.
I just love knowing my slow cooker is at home working away on my dinner while I’m out and about. And the smell when you come home is the best! I love the idea of doing a slow cooker lasagna! Perfect for these extra cold January nights.
Reading about the temperatures in other parts of the country right now, I feel like we are very spoiled with our California weather! Still, I love using my slow cooker on our “chilly” days. 🙂
Ooo what a PERFECT looking lasagna! And I love that it’s a slow cooker version, how cool! Pinned 🙂
Thank you, Christina! I appreciate your sweet words!
Can we switch places please?! It was -17 here today! And girl, you photographed one mean crock pot lasagna, red sauce and noodles is hard enough and add in the crock pot and trying to get the perfect shot, well you did it! Pinning!
-17!?! That is literally almost 90 degrees colder than our high yesterday. I cannot even imagine! We enjoyed an unseasonably-warm day here – it’s not always that warm in January. But I cannot complain, I am so lucky with the weather where I live!
Kristine, I’ve always wanted to try a recipe like this – it looks great!
Thank you, Deb!
This is such a perfect recipe for me to make on days when I crave something comforting and delicious but don’t want to cook at all!
So true! It’s always nice to get the dinner prep done early in the day so you can be lazy later on. 🙂
I’ve never made lasagna in the slow-cooker before and I really don’t even know why! This looks sooo much simpler and easier than having to babysit a pan of lasagna in the oven! So trying this!
I hope you love it! I was surprised at how well lasagna turns out in the slow cooker!
I love lasagna! I love that you can make this right in the crockpot, I’m all about easy meals during the week. Pinning this!
Thank you, Danielle! Discovering that I can make lasagna in my crockpot has been amazing!
I love how easy this lasagna is to make! I can’t wait to try your recipe soon! 🙂
Thanks, Jenn! If you try it, I hope you like it!
This would be perfect for these freezing days we are having! I love how easy it is yet so comforting!
I love using my slow cooker on cold days! You can set it and then get cozy and enjoy the wonderful smell of dinner cooking!
I have been wanting to try lasagna in the slow cooker and will be doing so next week. Love this!
Thank you! I think you’ll find that you love making slow cooker lasagna!
Yes please!!! I adore any recipe that requires me to use my slow cooker! This is on my must make list!
If you try it, I hope you like it, Annie!
Oh yummmm this looks like the perfect comfort food… it’s been freezing lately and this is basically exactly what I want in my tummy 🙂
I hope you try this one, Medha! It’s delicious and so easy!
I’m all about comforting meals in the winter and anything that I can make in a crock pot is a win!
I’m totally with you on both the comforting meals and the crock pot this time of year!
I’m loving this warm and cozy dinner… especially coming from the crock pot! You are so lucky not living where it isn’t snowy and cold! 🙂
Thanks, Gloria! I know, I am very lucky! Although it might be nice to have just a tiny bit of snow sometimes. (And really, I mean just a tiny bit!) 🙂
This crock pot lasagna looks amazing! Lasagna is the perfect winter meal.
This is such a simple and easy lasagna recipe, Kristine! perfect for a easy lazy winter dinner!
Thank you, Savita! This will become your new favorite way to make lasagna!
Oh I LOVE the looks of this one, Kristine! Looks delicious, and I bet your house smells amazing!
Thanks, Denise! Yep, totally yummy smells in the kitchen from this one!
Love this! Seriously, I cannot wait to give this a try. My boyfriend is the cook in our house, but I’m trying to learn slowly and right now the crock pot is my jam! He will love this! Thank you!
Thank you, Michelle! This is really easy to make, and I think you’ll love it!
This was delicious and super easy. It stayed together really well when I served it even though it was very soft and cheesy. I even had a second slice when my wife wasn’t looking.
Looking forward to leftovers today.
Ha! Don’t worry, your secret is safe. 🙂 I’m so glad you like this lasagna! Thanks for letting me know.
Why didn’t you add Ricotta?
Sometimes I make lasagna without ricotta cheese, and that’s what I decided to do in this recipe. I haven’t tested cooking with ricotta in the slow cooker, but it would likely work just fine if you want to add some.
excellent recipe made it twice the second time added a container of ricotta cheese, mixed with jar of sauce, 2 cups Italian shredded cheese and 1 pound Italian sausage and spread it between layers came out great
I’m glad you enjoyed this! Thank you for letting me know. 🙂
This sounds awesome!! I’ve never tried making lasagna in the crock pot, but you make it sound so easy. I’ll have to try it because this could be SO versatile will different types of lasagna fillings!
I know, my mind is already spinning with slow cooker lasagna possibilities!
Love this! Can you use any lasagna recipe? I was wondering because my recipe calls for ricotta. I would definitely be interested in making it my slow cooker! I also have a slow cooker feature on my stove so I’m not restricted in the size of my pan or recipe.
I haven’t tested a recipe with ricotta in the slow cooker, but I think it would likely work just fine if you want to add some. If you give it a try, let me know how it works out!
Would love to try this recipe, have you ever used whole wheat pasta and if so how was it? I try to stay away from regular pasta and eat whole wheat all the time now. Thx!
Yes! I always use whole wheat pasta and that’s what I used in this recipe. It works perfectly. 🙂
What size crock pot did you use for this?
I used this 5 quart slow cooker.
I can’t wait to try this recipe! I just made some home made marinara sauce last night (doubled the recipe) and this would be a great way to finish it! I read in comments that you used whole wheat pasta (yay!). Did you use the no boil kind? Thank you!!!
I used regular whole wheat noodles, not the no boil kind. This would be delicious with homemade marinara sauce! If you try it I hope you like it!
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This was very good! I cooked it on low for about 4 hours and my noodles were a little too soft; I’ll probably try 3 1/2 next time. But extremely good!! Thanks for sharing Kristine!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this lasagna! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
this recipe came out great.
You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
I’m making this tomorrow and letting it cook while we are at church. Its August now and I love using my Crock pot in summertime as to keep the heat from rising in my kitchen. I know its gonna be great!!! Thank you for sharing!!!
That is too funny – I am making this tomorrow too! I agree, the crockpot is so convenient in summer when it’s hot outside. I hope you enjoy your lasagna!
I am trying this today, its such a treat to get lasagna on a 90° day in Dallas TX and not having the oven on for over 2 hrs, thank you for the confidence to try this, I can’t wait for the whole time so I’m cooking on high for the 1st hr then will finish out 3 or so more hrs on low ?
I hope you enjoy this lasagna, Julie! It’s a favorite of ours. Thank you for your kind comment. 🙂
Do you think this recipe can be cut in half successfully? While I love leftovers, there are only 2 of us. Any suggestions? Thanks much!
This recipe isn’t one that is finicky about the ingredient amounts. If you like more or less noodles or meat, for example, you should be able to adapt the recipe to your liking. If your slow cooker is smaller, I think halving the recipe would work well! Let me know how it goes! 🙂
I am definitely going to try this particular recipe. I’ve researched several, with many evidently turning out too dry and in some cases, burned. I really do love cooking in my slow cooker! The relative ease, but really? The heavenly smell the house is cloaked in! Then one gets to dine on the comfort! Bliss! Thanks for sharing the recipe! 😀
Thank you, Joy! I hope you like this recipe! I’d check your lasagna after about 3 1/2 hours to make sure it doesn’t overcook. 🙂
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I want to try this so bad, however I am having a hard time making it without ricotta cheese!!! , but wow would it be an easy way to make lasagna!! printing this out!
Hi Gretchen! You can add ricotta if you like! I also have this slow cooker spinach ricotta lasagna recipe, which you might like. Enjoy!
I just wanted to share how much we enjoyed our own version of your recipe. Our family has had a ‘loose’ lasagna recipe for ages. Until we discovered your slow cooker variation, we have traditionally made it the same way. ‘Loose’ lasagna has always been our acceptable lesser, ‘middle-of-the-week’ version for times when dressed-up, stacked ‘Sunday’ lasagna isn’t doable due to an ingredient or two missing or the time-consuming task isn’t in the daily clock budget.
That said, here’s what we really thought was the standout to your version was how the noodles arrived at a texture we’ve never quite duplicated before. The swell of the noodles were unlike anything ‘boil and bake’ have every produced and the sauce saturation was beautiful. All the while, the noodles had this perfect creaminess – not to be misled that this was gummy by any stretch of the imagination. The noodles had perfect contour, heft and stability. Your ‘low for four hours’ was our magic number for our 8 qt. slow cooker.
We have so many different variations to try with your method. We’re really looking forward to the easy-peasy, low effort lasagna experiments as we have so many different variations to try with your method.
I only cook for 2 myself and daughter been making lasagne in small 3.5 litre slow cooker for 15 years now and when you get home throw a bit of chesse and white sauce and put under grill to brown lovely no cooking for 2 days more time to help kids with homework
I love to maximize my effort with cooking, too! Leftovers are so handy. 🙂
Ugh I was hoping this was a “lasagna” that you didnt have to “build.” Because THAT is the HARD part for me, after you do that you just put it in the oven, not difficult at all. I guess if youre not going to be home but our slow cooker runs hot so I couldnt leave it all day long anyway.
When I make lasagna (which is rarely) it takes me forever to lay down on the ingredients, and I always worry that each layer is equal so I have enough for each layer. It’s such a pita. One of the pros of having a slow cooker, is that you can “THROW in the ingredients then set it and forget it”, this recipe is not that at all.
So Im really disapointed
I wonder if anyone has tried this recipe with rice noodles and if it was successful?
I’m interested in making this recipe. Couple of questions though. Why not use No Boil (Oven Ready) Noodles? Can it be cooked on High and for how many hours?
I have not tested no boil noodles in this recipe so can’t say how they would work. Generally, I prefer the texture of regular noodles. I don’t recommend cooking on high, since the noodles won’t cook through properly.
This was delicious and even better on the second day. Thank you!
I rarely ever leave a comment on a blog, but I feel like I must this time. I have made this several times—and the results have always been outstanding! It takes about a half hour for me to assemble it—but it’s completely worth the effort. My only “complaint” is that I have to plan ahead—because of the 4-hour cook time. Many thanks to you, Kristine, for developing this recipe—and sharing it with the rest of us!
Hi Lisa, I’m so glad that you enjoy this recipe! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. If you ever forget to plan ahead, my oven baked lasagna recipe is a delicious option. 🙂