Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna [No Pre Cooking Noodles]

Slow cooker lasagna is easy to make and there is no pre cooking the noodles. The noodles cook in the sauce giving them an amazing flavor while making the lasagna easier to prepare.

Piece of lasagna on a serving plate with a slice of garlic bread.

I have to admit that the first time I made this years ago, I was unsure of how the noodle texture would be. Of course I had to test it out because if I can make lasagna without pre cooking the noodles, that is a game changer!

Turns out they taste delicious when cooked in the sauce. I haven’t tested this in the oven yet, but it does work perfect in the slow cooker. This is made with regular lasagna noodles, we do not recommend the no boil noodles you buy in the store. I don’t like their texture and never use them.

We use a homemade lasagna sauce which is very easy to make, but you can use a jar of store bought sauce as well. It is our favorite sauce to make and only takes about 35 minutes to put together.

We use a casserole Crock-Pot which is amazing for many dishes, but you can do this in a regular slow cooker as well. It does take longer in the regular slow cooker, but it is still delicious!

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Ingredients for the slow cooker lasagna.
  • Lasagna noodles – Regular lasagna noodles are best.
  • Sauce – We use the homemade sauce, but you can use store bought.
  • Sausage – This is optional. We use either ground or links cut into small pieces. You can leave it out or even use a different meat like ground beef.
  • Mozzarella cheese – We prefer to use freshly shredded because it just melts so nicely, but you can use already shredded cheese. I have made it with both and tastes great.
  • Parmesan cheese – Either fresh grated parmesan or store bought grated is good.
  • Ricotta – We use whole milk ricotta, but you can use part skim if you prefer.
  • Egg – No substitutions recommended.
  • Italian seasoning – Can use half a teaspoon of basil and half a teaspoon of oregano in it’s place.
  • Garlic – This is getting mixed into the cheese mix, it is recommended you use garlic powder to mix evenly.

Making the slow cooker lasagna in casserole Crock-Pot

Lasagna in the casserole Crock-Pot resting before cutting.

This is an easy slow cooker lasagna with no pre cooking the noodles, so it is pretty easy to get ready.

Making the sauce

I use my homemade lasagna sauce and I highly recommend you do too or your own homemade sauce, it is an easy sauce to make with just a few ingredients. If not, no worries you can use 2 jars of store bought sauce which will equal approximately 48 ounces (depending on the sauce.)

If adding sausage or another meat, cook the meat first. Drain and set aside. For homemade sauce, prepare the sauce and add the cooked meat to the sauce when adding the tomatoes. Cook as directed for the sauce (our recipe is about 25 minutes.)

For jarred sauce, add the cooked meat to the sauce and heat until the sauce is heated through.

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, but the brick will give you a better texture.

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 garlic powder, stir well. Your cheese mix is ready.

Assemble the layers

Steps for assembling the layers of the lasagna - adding the sauce, adding the noodles, topping with cheese filling and the sauce on top.

Assembling the slow cooker lasagna is so easy, remember no pre cooking the noodles – yay! The amounts of sauce used vary based on 2 factors – using homemade versus store bought and if you add meat or not.

You can measure the amount of sauce you have minus one cup (one cup goes on the bottom.) Then divide the amount left by 3 so you know the exact amount on each layer.

  1. Spread about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish for the casserole crock. It doesn’t have to be exact, just be sure the whole bottom of the dish is covered.
  2. Layer 4 noodles across the bottom of the dish. They can and likely will overlap slightly.
  3. Spread half of the cheese mixture evenly all over the top of the noodles and pour about one third of the remaining sauce over top. It will be between 1 and a half to 2 cups depending on the sauce you use and if you added meat.
  4. Repeat the layers once.
  5. Add 4 more noodles across the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over the top and it is ready to cook!

Cooking the lasagna

Turn the casserole Crock-Pot to high and cook for about 2 and a half to 3 hours with the lid on. Your slow cooker lasagna will look like this with fully cooked and softened noodles:

Lasagna in the crock pot after being cooked but before adding the top layer of cheese.

It’s time to add the top layer of cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella on top of the lasagna.

Put the lid back on and turn to low. Allow it to cook another 20-30 minutes, just until the cheese is nicely melted. It might take less time, it’s done when the cheese is nicely melted on top.

Turn the slow cooker off and remove the dish from the base. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

It goes well with garlic bread and sweet coleslaw! Sometimes we make cheesy garlic biscuits to go along with this too, they are also quick and easy.

How to make the lasagna in regular slow cooker

A regular slow cooker has a different shape to it so the layers will be different but the concept the same. You will also find that you will need to break the noodles up to get them to fit together in the bottom of the dish.

The differences

Some minor differences to adapt to the different shape and size.

  • You will be making 4 layers of noodles instead of 3.
  • The cheese mixture will get divided by 3 instead of 2
  • The sauce can be evenly divided by 4.


You will assemble the slow cooker lasagna similar to the casserole dish with no pre cooking of the noodles, but the layers will be a little different. The amounts of the ingredients remain the same.

  1. Spread about a quarter of the sauce on the bottom of the dish – this amount depends on the sauce you used and if you added meat.
  2. Layer 3 noodles across the bottom of the slow cooker. You will likely need to break them up in spots to get them to fit.
  3. Spread one third of the cheese mixture over the top of the noodles.
  4. Pour another fourth of the sauce over the cheese mixture.
  5. Repeat layers twice.
  6. Top with the remaining noodles and sauce.
  7. Add the remaining mozzarella cheese to the top of the layers.

When cooking the lasagna in the regular slow cooker, you can add the cheese to the top as you are cooking it on low. With the casserole Crock-Pot we prefer to add the cheese after since you are cooking it on high.


Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for about 4-5 hours. It is best to cook it on low in the regular slow cooker, it cooks slightly differently then the casserole slow cooker.

Your lasagna is ready when the noodles are soft and the noodles are tender. Remove the dish from the base and allow it to sit about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to let the lasagna sit before serving?

You do not have to, but it will be a bit more messy if you do not. The layers quite often slide apart if it is too hot when cut. Allowing it to sit for at least 20 minutes helps it to hold a better shape.

Can I freeze this slow cooker lasagna?

Yes you can freeze it. It does need to be cooked before freezing since the noodles do not get pre cooked. Allow it to cool all the way and freeze it in portions that you will need. It should last 3-4 months in the freezer if stored properly.

How long will the lasagna last?

If stored in the fridge promptly after dinner, it should last up to 4 days. I prefer the taste of it the next day reheated, the flavors are more intense after being in the fridge for a day.

Important note

The sauce doesn’t have to be exact measurements, they are a rough estimate provided to you for an idea of how much sauce to use. Many things will change the exact amount to use on each layer such as if you added meat or not and if you use homemade or store bought sauce.

The important thing to know is that each layer needs the noodles covered in sauce. The sauce will not completely fill the dish, just make sure it is to the edge of the noodles as shown in the assembly steps picture above.


This is some useful equipment for making this easy slow cooker lasagna. As Amazon affiliates we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. This is at no extra cost to you, thank you for your support!

  • Casserole Crock-Pot – We use the Crock-Pot brand for our slow cookers here, just a personal preference but not required. I am sure they all cook the same!
  • Slow cooker – If you don’t think you would use a casserole slow cooker as much and would prefer to have one that can do all of your slow cooking. We have this model in red (don’t know if they still have it, ours is old.) It is a classic but not digital. The digital is more expensive.
  • Sauce pot – Preferably 3 quart so there is plenty of room for the sauce.
Piece of lasagna on a serving plate with a slice of garlic bread.

Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna {No Pre Cooking Noodles}

This is an easy slow cooker lasagna that can be made in a casserole Crock-Pot or a regular slow cooker. No pre cooking the noodles, they cook in the sauce!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 656 kcal


  • 1 lb sausage optional
  • 12 lasagna noodles regular, uncooked
  • 52 ounces homemade lasagna sauce see notes for jarred sauce
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 16 ounces mozzarella shredded, divided
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  • Cook the sausage in the sauce pot. For links, you can cook them in water for about 15 minutes on medium. Cut into small bite sized pieces after cooking.
    For ground sausage, fry in a pan or pot breaking up until it is cooked or most of the way cooked. It will change colors once cooked. Drain fat.
    Precooking the sausage keeps the excess fat out of your lasagna.
    1 lb sausage
  • Once the sausage is cooked, add it to the sauce. If using jarred sauce, you just need the sauce to be heated through. Homemade needs to be cooked about 25 minutes.
    52 ounces homemade lasagna sauce
  • In a bowl mix together ricotta, egg, 2½ cups shredded mozzarella, parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
    15 ounces ricotta, 1 egg, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Cooking in casserole Crock-Pot

  • Spread about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Doesn't have to be exact amount but the bottom needs to be covered.
  • Place 4 noodles across the bottom, they will likely need to overlap a little.
  • Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles and top with ⅓ of the remaining sauce.
  • Repeat layers once. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2½ to 3 hours, until noodles are tender.
  • Top with remaining 1½ cups mozzarella cheese and cook on low for another 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Allow lasagna to sit about 20 minutes before serving.

For regular slow cooker

  • Spread about ¼ of the sauce in the bottom of the dish.
  • Place 3 noodles over the sauce, probably need to break them up a little to fit.
  • Spoon ⅓ of the cheese mixture over the noodles and top with ¼ of the sauce.
  • Repeat layers twice and add the remaining 1½ cups mozzarella cheese to the top.
  • Cook on low for about 4-5 hours, until the noodles are tender. Allow the lasagna to sit for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.


Serving sizes are estimated and nutritional values are estimated based on 8 servings.  It may change depending on the sauce you use.
You can leave the sausage out or even replace it with ground beef if you prefer.  We use either ground sausage or sausage links cut into small bite sized pieces.
If using the homemade sauce, you will use the whole batch of sauce.  The amount of ounces is estimated.  If using jarred, go with 2 jars that equal about 24 ounces each so you have about 48 ounces of sauce.  
I recommended shredding the mozzarella from a block, but you can use already shredded.  Freshly shredded cheese melts so much nicer.


Calories: 656kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 37gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 1787mgPotassium: 951mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1515IUVitamin C: 13.3mgCalcium: 478mgIron: 3.7mg
Keyword easy, Slow cooker
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