What is better then lasagna? I would really have to think about that one because I am not sure how to answer that! In our household it is a favorite meal and everybody really loves my crockpot lasagna (slow cooker lasagna.) The flavor is amazing and you don't have to boil the noodles - yes you heard that correctly, no boiling pasta first.
I have to admit that the first time I made this I was unsure of how the noodle texture would be. The first time I made lasagna in the casserole Crock-pot, I used a recipe by Crock-Pot in the book that came with it. I haven't seen it online, just in the little book that came with my casserole crock. The first time I made it, I followed it exactly to be sure it would cook right (yeah imagine that - me follow a recipe exactly!) Over the last couple years I have experimented and made changes along the way. This is our end result!
I use the casserole crock pot by Crock-Pot for this. It is an amazing gadget that you can use to cook casseroles in. With a 13x9 dish, you can make most casseroles that you would ordinarily bake (it will just be a slow cook instead of in the oven.)
Why I only make this recipe now
I never really liked the no boil lasagna noodles. To me they were just weird, sorry to anybody who does like them. They are flat and the texture is just different in the end. I only use regular no boil noodles. But of course that always translated to more work! When I make pizza lasagna, I do usually make that in the oven still tho.
Why do the extra if you don't have to? I haven't boiled my noodles since I started making this a couple years ago. And the flavor of the sauce goes right into the noodles, yummy 🙂
Ready for deliciousness? Here we go!
Making the slow cooker lasagna
Getting the sauce ready
This is so easy to make! I use my homemade lasagna sauce and I highly recommend you do too or your own homemade sauce, but if not you will want to use a 45 ounce jar of store bought sauce. Make sure it is not a very thick one, we have used Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion before I started to make my own sauce. My sauce makes about 52 ounces and the noodles soak it right up nicely.
If making homemade sauce, do so first. If using store bought, cook your sausage and drain well before adding in your sauce. The homemade sauce will take about 2 hours from start to finish, but it is easy and most of this time is just letting it simmer.
Preparing the cheese
I like to use a block of mozzarella for this because it just melts so much nicer and I think it tastes better, but we have used already shredded. Either will work.
Add your ricotta to a bowl and dump the egg in, stir well to combine. Next add in your parmesan cheese and mozzarella. When adding in the mozzarella, add in about 2 and a half cups. Leave a little less then half for the top, but the top cheese gets added after cooking so do not add it before cooking. Add in your Italian seasoning and stir well. Your cheese mix is ready.
Putting it all together
Assembling the slow cooker lasagna is so easy. I added pictures for these steps. I don't always post that many pictures in my recipes, but this time I think they help you assemble the lasagna.
First you want to spread a layer of sauce on the bottom. You want the bottom to be covered like this:
Next you will add your first layer of noodles. You will be doing your noodles 4 across and you might have to overlap them slightly on the first round.
Spread half of the cheese/egg mix over the noodles, trying to keep it even. Then generously add sauce over the cheese. You will need to make sure the noodles are covered completely with a layer of sauce.
Repeat layers once. Top with 4 more noodles and the remaining sauce. There should be a nice amount of sauce left here and it all goes on top.
See how much sauce there is? You cannot even see the noodles! No worries, your noodles need it all to cook.
Turn your casserole crock on high and cook for about 2 and a half hour to 3 hours. It should look like this:
Add the remaining mozzarella cheese and place cover on again. Cook for 20-30 minutes longer - until all the cheese is perfectly melted on top.
Your slow cooker lasagna is ready! You don't have to let it sit for too long either in order for it to cut nicely. I serve it within 5-10 minutes usually. It goes well with garlic bread and sweet coleslaw!
Slow Cooker Lasagna
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 12 lasagna noodles regular, uncooked
- 52 ounces homemade lasagna sauce or you can use 45 ounce jar store bought sauce
- 15 ounces ricotta
- 16 ounces mozzarella shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 egg
- If using homemade sauce (highly recommended), prepare your sauce now and it will take about 2 hours to make. My sauce recipe has sausage added, do not add an extra pound of sausage.If using store bought - cook your sausage and drain well. Add in the sauce and heat through.
- In a bowl, add your ricotta and egg. Mix to combine. Add in the parmesan cheese, about 2½ cups mozzarella and Italian seasoning. Stir well.
- Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of your casserole crock. Layer:4 noodles - might have to overlap slightly, half of the cheese/egg mix and a generous layer of sauce (to cover the noodles completely.) Repeat layers once.
- Add the remaining 4 noodles and top with the rest of the sauce. Make sure that your noodles are completely covered.
- Cook on high for about 2½ - 3 hours. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and cook for another 20-30 minutes. You do not have to let it sit for long before serving like traditional lasagna. I serve within 5-10 minutes.