When you are craving lasagna and need a quick and easy version make this Crock Pot Lasagna recipe! Layers of noodles, meat sauce and cheese that’s made in your slow cooker for a quick and easy family-friendly dinner. Pair it with a tossed salad and breadsticks for an easy meal.
I love homemade lasagna but making it the traditional way is not possible for us on a weeknight, so I make lasagna in the crock pot instead!
It has tender noodles, savory meat sauce, and all the cheese just like oven-baked lasagna, but it’s a little more hands-off and easier to make. The hardest part is waiting for it to be done – it smells amazing at it cooks in the slow cooker!
We love this meaty lasagna with garlic bread or bread sticks and a salad on the side – it’s just as good as our favorite Italian restaurant! And if you find the Crockpot frees up some time, you can make a fancy dessert like Creme Brulee to round out your meal!
Why this Recipe Works
- You can cut down on the pots and pans because you don’t have to boil the pasta separately. It cooks right in the crock pot with the sauce and cheese.
- Pasta and cheese are layered with a meat sauce made with beef, tomato sauce, and Italian seasonings. It’s so hearty!
- No need to turn on the oven – once you get everything in the crock pot you can leave it until it’s time for dinner.
The meat sauce is made with hamburger, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, and seasonings.
For the cheese, I love to use cottage cheese because it’s a little lighter than regular ricotta cheese. There’s also plenty of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese!
There aren’t any tricks with the pasta – you can buy regular lasagna noodles for this recipe and cook them in the crock pot with everything else. They come out perfectly cooked!
- Cook the ground beef with the garlic and onions in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, salt, and oregano.
- In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Spread 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of the crock pot. Add 1/3 of the noodles in an even layer. You can break them into small pieces to make them fit, if needed.
- Top the noodles with 1/3 of the cheese mixture and then repeat the layers one more time finishing with the cheese on top.
- Cover the crock pot and cook it for four to five hours or until the pasta is tender.
Some recipes call for eggs in the cheese mixture because it acts like a binder. For my recipe you don’t need it!
Yep! That’s why I love this recipe – you don’t need to boil the pasta separately. Just layer the uncooked noodles with the sauce and cheese!
You need at least two layers and some recipes have three or four layers! I like two layers for a crock pot lasagna – everything cooks evenly and it’s fully cooked within four to five hours.
Traditional lasagna is made with a white sauce called bechamel but there are many recipes that call for ricotta cheese or, like mine, cottage cheese. What you prefer will depend on your tastes! I like cottage cheese because it’s lighter.
More Great Lasagna Recipes to Try!
- Mexican Lasagna – Give the classic a twist with this Mexican version loaded with taco meat and cheese!
- Easy Cheese Ravioli Lasagna – Or try this sausage lasagna made with cheesy ravioli. It’s hearty, comforting and your family will love it!
- Easy Lasagna Soup – This is a fun way to get all the flavors without all the layering! It’s perfect for weeknight dinners.
Try it and love it? Rate it, please! Seriously though a five-star rating below will make my day!
If you snap a photo, please be sure tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy treat!!
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 29 oz tomato sauce
- 1 c. water
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 8 oz package lasagna noodles
- 4 c. (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 c. (12 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain.
- Add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano; mix well.
- Spread a fourth of the meat sauce in an ungreased 5 qt. slow cooker. Arrange a third of the noodles over sauce (break the noodles if necessary). Combine the cheeses; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice.
- Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender.