New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
  • Follow me
  • Subscribe to newsletter
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Become a fan on Facebook
  • Follow me on Google Plus

A Year of Slow Cooking

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Super Easy CrockPot Lasagna


Day 27.

Lasagna is a family-favorite meal around here. I probably make it about once a month, but have never attempted to make it in the crockpot before the other day.

This works. It really, really works. You can use regular noodles and they will soften nicely.


There is still work to do if you want to add meat---you'll need to brown hamburger or turkey meat, and if you want some veggies or hardboiled eggs snuck in, you'll need to chop them up.


But!


You can do it all in the morning while you are still awake and have coffee in your system, click on the dishwasher and then be done in the kitchen for the whole. entire. day.

I love that part.

If you are not a morning person, assemble it the night before (minus the 1/4 cup of water--add that before cooking) while you are watching Leno. Or Letterman. Or Colbert.

and hey, do you spell it lasagna or lasagne? I like it with an 'A' better, but the box of Tinkyada noodles (very lovely gluten free noodles) spells it with an 'E.'


The Ingredients:
serves 6

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1(26-ounce) jar pasta sauce (keep jar! don't rinse and throw out!)
1 (10-ounce) box of regular lasagna noodles (I use brown rice noodles)
1 (16-ounce) container ricotta cheese
8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
4 cups shredded Italian-blend cheese
OPTIONAL: spinach leaves, sliced hardboiled eggs, sliced mushrooms, chopped veggies
1/4 cup water


The Directions:

--brown meat with chosen spices in large skillet
--pour in entire jar of pasta sauce (save jar, don't rinse or throw away!)
--simmer on low for a few minutes

--put a ladle-full of sauce mixture into the bottom of your crockpot.
--top with a layer of dried lasagna noodles. You'll have to break them to fit, and little pieces will fly all over the place, much to the delight of small children and pets.


--smear ricotta cheese on top of lasagna noodles

--layer veggies, mushrooms, eggs and spinach on top of the ricotta cheese
--add sliced mozzarella cheese
--add a handful of the shredded cheese
--ladle on some more of the meat sauce
--top with more dry noodles and repeat layers until crock is to desired capacity.

--put the 1/4 cup of water into your empty pasta jar and shake. Pour tomatoey juice over the whole pile of food.

--cover and cook on low for 8 hours, high for 4.
--Check noodles an hour before serving, and push the top ones down into the liquid if they are getting too hard or are curling up.

The Verdict.
 
ENJOY! This is the most simplest lasagna ever, but it comes out perfect EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

I've made this lasagna hundreds of times, and have served it to company lots and lots. If you'd like more heat, add crumbled sausage to the sauce, red chile flakes, etc. This is your lasagna -- you can certainly customize it to your family's taste.

I think you'll be happy!



74 comments:

jilly said...

This is a favorite in my house too and someone always gets mad at me because I try to freeze some for later. Inevitably the frozen package somehow disappears, this looks so easy can't wait to try!

Canadian Saver said...

Another winner!! I love how you make yours super healthy!! I'd never heard of hardboiled eggs though in lasagna, that is a first :-)

Crockpot Lady said...

I usually try and freeze some, too, jilly.
actually, this might be a drawback for using the crockpot for me--I like to make a few lasagnas at at a time and freeze in those foil throwaway trays.
But I definitely like it this way better for expectant company.

CS--my husband grew up with hardboiled eggs in lasagna. I had never heard of it before, either. It adds a nice texture and an extra burst of protein.

Elaine said...

I am so ON this.

Sarah said...

Oh yes, I will be trying this. YUM.

Alison in OH said...

Excellent idea! I'm going to fill my crockpot up to the top with this. Just as soon as my dairy goats kid and I have milk again with which to make mozzarella.

I miss milk and cheese.

Congratulations on making almost a month of yumminess in your slow cooker! ;-)

Crockpot Lady said...

thank you Alison!
I wish I could adequately express the warm fuzzies I had when realizing you have been reading me.
You've been such an excellent influence on me.
xo
steph

Stephanie C. said...

This I've got to try!!!

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

are those the no cook noodles? You could have said that, but I'm on the phone with my mother. :)

Crockpot Lady said...

No. They are normal lasagna noodles.
The no-cook ones would dissolve too quickly, I think.

hi, kim's mom!

Lee Ann said...

Surprised to see your comment on my blog! Thanks for stopping by.

I'm so glad Jennifer P. found your blog. I'm a "gluten free-er" as well. I'm going to try the lemon chicken tomorrow for dinner.... Followed by the rice krispie treats.

Thanks for putting all the effort in to do this this year!

Amy said...

Lasagna is always a good thing...and I am so going to try the rice krispy treats...you are killing me here!

Ginny said...

Do you have a scooba? Do you like it? This looks both yummy and easy--thanks for posting it!

Crockpot Lady said...

ginny, I *do* have a scooba, and I *do* love her!
-steph

~M said...

This is a great idea and it's gf. HA! I wonder if I could substitute the ricotta with something dairy-free like a vegan tofu mixture and have it still work (mozzarella is fine, but ricotta leaves me feeling very heavy). How small do you have to chop the veges? I've always roasted my vegetables and then added them to a lasagna and baked the lasagna. I will definitely have to try this as I have a few boxes of Tinkayada lasagne/lasagna!

Nan said...

Oh, crockpot lady, YOU are my new Mentor and Goddess of the Kitchen! I am going to print out your blog header, and make a shrine in my kitchen surrounded by incense and flowers! I will bow to it seven times each morning!

Tofu is easily hidden in a lasagne, just crumble and hide amongst the cheeze and veggies. No-one will ever know.

deidra said...

Lasagna/lasagne is the singular and plural variation, respectively.

sandy winz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My family loves lasagna, but I cannot abide ricotta. Instead, I use my food processor (my lovely, lovely food processor) and grind up an onion, about 4 oz of feta (roughly-- a chunk that fits the palm of my hand),a can of artichoke hearts in water (drained), handfuls of spinach and basil, and enough garlic to make things interesting.

This filling works really well with uncooked noodles because onions and spinach have a great deal of moisture in them.

Anonymous said...

I could only find the no boil lasagna noodles at trader joe's so hopefully this will still work!

Anonymous said...

My daughter told me last night she was in the mood for lasagna, but who wants to make that when it is 90 degrees outside?? But I found your recipe and gave it a try. Since my kids don't like veggies, I didn't add any extras, just used 2 jars of sauce. And unfortunately I left home for a couple hours toward the end of the cooking time and couldn't check it. So it got a little bit too done. But I just scooped some out and put some more sauce on it. Tasted fine! We've got left overs for a couple nights...mmmm!

Monique said...

i made this for my roommate but broke up the noodles for what I called lasagna junk. He loved it! I used homemade sauce to control the sodium but it rocked! not as neat as your picture but it still rocked!

Sonja Threadgill Nelson said...

I have some homemade sauce already made, so this is perfect! I'm wondering if anyone uses the crock-pot liners? I do, & it makes clean-up a breeze!

Margie said...

Was referred to your site by St Louis Alerts! Definitely don't want to turn on the oven with our heat and humidity! I can't wait to get started on bread, lasagna, cheesecake etc.
Thanks so much for all you do!
Margie

hotel_goddess said...

I'm making this on my lunch break from work tomorrow; I had the idea and searched on the internet and found your blog. How lucky am I!

AMY said...

Wow I am def gonna have to tab your site as a fave. Leann put this on her blog and so I decided to take a peek. Crock pot is so easy. I LOVE it just hardly use it. And with 2 kids a husband therapy for my one kid and school for both me and my older daughter things like this would so save time.

Leann I Am said...

Mmmmmm....I made this one yesterday. I cannot thank you enough! I posted all about it on my blog.

http://ishouldhavebrediguanas.blogspot.com/2008/08/my-crockpot-lasagna.html

Thanks again! I now check your blog everyday before I even check my own!

Stephanie said...

I just made this and it was GREAT! I have a question though. I cooked it on high for 4 hours and ended up with burnt cheese around the edges. I actually liked it but it looks ugly. Does this happen when its cooked on low?

LizC said...

Just found your blog and love it! I tried the Lasagna this week and I am so excited that it works! I gotta do something different next time: cook for less times cuz the noodles were a bit too soft, and put doulbe the sauce cuz it was a bit dry. My hubby also said taht his only advice would be for me to spice up the meat more (it had that "healthy" taste, which I guess is unacceptalbe!) Thanks for you research! I'm gonna try the salmon next!

Vids said...

This looks so yummy! One of my friends tried it and loved it, its cooking in my crockpot right now. However, I have a 4qt pot and I eye-balled the ingredients but still ended up filling the crock to the brim. I am not sure what happens if the crock pot is too full. Will the food not cook well or will ingredients overflow as stuff cooks? I guess I will know in a few hours but if someone checks this and has any thoughts on "fixing" it before it cooks any further, please let me know!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Vids,

I think you'll be okay. It might take a bit longer to cook, but should turn out fine, and I doubt that you'll have any boil-over or slopping out.
good luck! this is one of our family-favorites.
xoxox
steph

Vids said...

Mmm, turned out so yummy! Thanks again, Steph! I cooked for 4 hrs on high and then left it on warm. Am eating it now and thoroughly enjoying it. Not a huge fan of boiled eggs in the Lasagna, however. Everything else is super yummy!

Abi said...

Hi Stephanie,
I just found your blog and this is the first item that I'm attemping. Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions on cooking with the crock-pot. I can't wait to eat it tonight!
Abi

Shannon said...

I am so excited to make lasagna in the crockpot tommorrow! I thought you might like to know that this is not linked in Pasta yet.

violina said...

I never though I too would get obsessed with my crock-pot... but there it is, the lasagna clinches it. I made a vegetarian one today...it's righteous. How *bleeping* easy can it get?? So far I've done a bean stew, rice pudding, indian veggie curry... there's no stopping us now. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Kimberleyrh said...

I am planning on making this lasagna tomorrow, but do not have time in the morning to put it together.

Has anyone pre-made (not cooked, just set it up) this in the crock put and then put it in the fridge over night?

I was just wondering if this would work.

Crockpot Lady said...

Kimberly, it's actually not safe to store food in the refrigerator in the crockpot and then cook. The crock needs to be room temperature to ensure the food cooks evenly and to prevent the growth of bacteria. You can also shatter the crock if it changes temps too quickly.

I'd make the sauce on the stove the night before, and chop any desired veggies, then store in separate containers in the fridge. Assemble in the morning and turn on. It shouldn't take more than 15 min, tops, if everything is pre-chopped the night before.

xox
steph

Sarah Jane said...

HI Steph...
Again, planning my menu for the next two weeks! This will be a hit with the hubbs for sure!!!

Sally Comes Unraveled said...

OK, I screwed this up. It had to do with some choices I made.

Has anyone else had trouble with "Oven Ready" noodles.

Also, I didn't know about the fridge thing. This may not happen again. I can't do that much work before work.

(F)redddy said...

Made this today, it was delish. I can't see how anyone could have the problem of "dried noodles" if you follow the layering instructions you've provided. I found the final layer being spinach and cheese provided a nice "insulating layer" to keep the moisture in. DELICIOUS.

Lori Stoia said...

I tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago and I love it! Please bring more recipes!

Christine said...

Not sure you even check the posts anymore--but is that brand of noodles gluten-free? Just found out my daughter needs to be gluten-free, and it's a whole new world! It's been a fun challenge to find yummy recipes!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Christine,
yes. That's the tinkyada brand of brown rice noodles. They are completely gluten free. I get them at Whole Foods, but Amazon carries them as well.
xoxo steph

JM_Josephine said...

trying to decide what i was hungry for for lunch so i randomly google, "how to make lasagna in a crock pot"....

this was the first result that i clicked on and i'm so glad i did!!!!!!!



I recently got a crock pot for christmas and i have used it less than a handful of times...but now i am sure i will be using it more!!!!!!

thanks for making this blog!

JT's Mama said...

I was recently put on a gluten-free diet and I am quite new to the art of crockpotting, so please bear with me!
I was wondering if I could use cottage cheese instead of ricotta in the lasagna, since that's what I have in my fridge right now. If so, is there anything special I need to do to adjust for that? Also, should I add less water if I am not using spinach? (I'm also allergic to spinach.)

I'm so glad to find a GF crockpot recipe site! I'm a SAHM, but definitely don't have the time to slave over the stove all day and really can't afford to buy frozen GF meals so this is wonderful!

Heather said...

I noticed you put mushrooms in your ingredient list twice and chuckled. My kind of cook! I am going to the kitchen now to give this a try. Unfortunatley we have no mushrooms, so the ones in the sauce will have to do:-( Can't wait to eat this tonight!

Heather said...

Just had to post this. When I showed my dd the picture of tonight's supper at the top of your blog, she said, "That takes a year?!" I guess she misunderstood your heading. LOL

liz said...

i usually read through the comments before i try making anything just in case, so i thought i'd add to the comments on this one:

i used low fat cottage cheese in mine. 16oz. i think. (not the smallest one and not the largest) and stirred in 1 egg. it turned out great!

good luck w/ your book!

Ontario Gluten Free momma said...

I just bought your book because I love your recipes..I tried this one but was a little worried about making Lasagna in a slow cooker, OH MY!! This was super easy, hubby loved it and we have left-overs now.

StrawberryParfait said...

Tried this recipe yesterday...great taste...will definitly try again. However I made one mistake: I layered it in the slowcooker (thought I was being smart and saving time) the night before and placed it in the fridge and then put it in to cook in the morning. The noodles practically turned to slime. Totally my fault...just wanted to pass along the tip. Definitely layer and immediately stick in to cook. In fact I think I might cook it overnight and then put it in the fridge for later.

Anonymous said...

I made this today and it was terrible. The noodles were way too soft and the sides burned. We had to toss the whole thing it was THAT bad. Anyone else have this problem? I cooked it on low for 8 hours like instructed...

Chris said...

Just loaded the crock pot up with the lasagna recipe. It's cooking now. Hopefully it turns out good! Thanks for the recipe!

Kethryvis said...

Anon, i have another recipe for this and it says to cook no more than 4-5 hours on low. It sounds to me like yours cooked too long. i'm planning on making this in a few days when i'll be home and can monitor it all day. Once it gets to what looks "right" i'm plopping the thing onto "warm" and leaving it there until dinnertime!

Anonymous said...

I realize this post is almost 3 years old now but I thought I'd elaborate on the difference between lasagna and lasagne.
In Italian, the word lasagna refers to the actual noodles in the dish not the dish itself. One noodle is lasagna. A box of noodles or a dish made with layers of them is lasagne (plural). So in Italian, the dish we call lasagna is actually lasagne (like how we say peas and not pea when talking about a dish of them).

Christina Malone said...

When you say you can put it together the night before...do you mean like assemble it in the crock pot and then put the crock pot (just the bowl part) in the fridge?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Christina---
yes, that's what I meant. It's advised to not put an ice-cold stoneware into the heating element (because of possible cracking), so I'd advise to let it sit out on the countertop while you're getting dressed/your morning underway, then put it into the slow cooker base and turn it on.

hope that helps a bit!

Kim said...

I am making this tonite...it smells delicious....as i look at it, I am wondering about an easy way to slice a piece and get it out of the pot ....is it tricky? guess I will find out soon enough. I set mine on low for 8 hours, but after 5 it is looking pretty done...hot and bubbly!

Megan said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I just bought everything for lasagna, because it's easy...but then the weather turned to 90 degrees every day. I also need easy, as I just delivered my little boy two months early and have no time to do much cooking. I really need to stay healthy though too, instead of grabbing something while out of the house. Thank you!!!!!!

Sandra said...

I have made lasagna several times in my life, and after the amount of work it takes, I've been horribly disappointed in the results. No more! I made this yesterday, and the lasagna is excellent! I'm eating leftovers right now (with a little extra cheese and marinara), and it's even better as leftovers! I was very suspicious that the broccoli would not work in lasagna, but it is excellent! Thank you Stephanie! I fear lasagna-making no more!

allie. said...

you can substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta as a healthier alternative!

love your recipe!!

Ditas P. said...

I just found your site today. I've been thinking of making mac & cheese in the crockpot, then I found your baked ziti in the crockpot, then this. I'll be trying them all! Will probably try it plain, then experiment with the add-ons...

And it's lasagnE because that's the Italian plural for lasagnA (a becomes e).

NHGirl said...

Seriously the best lasagna I have ever made. Thank you!

Jacqueline said...

If I'm not using meat, do I still need to cook the sauce?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Jacqueline,
nope! just layer in and enjoy! :-0

Kirsten said...

I can't tell you how glad I am to have found your blog!!!! I made this for dinner last night and it was GREAT! My crockpot must cook really hot though because I cooked it on low for 4 and the noodles (regular lasagna noodles) were super soft, almost the consistency of the ricotta so next time i'll have to check it after 2 or 3 hours on low.

Ruby, accepted in the Beloved... said...

I also set mine to cook on low for 8 hours and it's done at 4 hours. I switched it to warm...I hope the noodles don't disintegrate before dinner! I also used whole grain noodles & subbed cottage cheese for the ricotta. It looks delicious, I just wish it was timed right for dinner. I am using a large oval CrockPot.

Danielle L. Branch said...

Don't use oven ready noodles, it makes it too soggy

Mindy said...

I've not done a lot of crockpot cooking in my life, so I was so excited to find your year of recipes! This is the first one I've tried, but I'm excited to try more!

I had it on high and could probably have stopped and eaten at 2 1/2 or 3 hours, the noodles are pretty soft (regular noodles), but was still really good. I'm so excited! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Mindy said...

Additionally....I gave some to my mom to take to work the next day. While eating it someone stopped by her desk and commented how good it smelled. My mom told her I made it in the crockpot so she asked for the recipe. I sent your website to my mom to send to her, and she, in turn, sent it to the whole office....lol

Jamie said...

I just prepared all of this and put it in the crockpot. Super excited! I hope it turns out as good as you all say it will! :)

Unknown said...

I used whole wheat noodles and they worked great! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

Megans Mom said...

Love your recipes. I have lasagne in the CP noe 30 minutes til dinner. this is the 1st one I've tried.

JenT said...

I am so disturbed. I LOVE lasagna. I generally like my slow cooker too, but it burned it pretty badly after only 8 hours on low. I filled it to the rim too. Sad face. Does anyone have a 6 quart, oblong cooker recommendation? Seems I am in the market for one that actually cooks on "low". My 25 year old, old-school cooker works perfectly, but isn't as big. Suggestions for an immediate purchase?

Dana said...

I tried this recipe on the weekend. Maybe it's because I was coming down with a cold, but I found the lasagna to be bland. And I even added in onion, garlic, basil and oregano to the pasta sauce. Will try again at some point, but will up the spices considerably.

For JenT - I have a 6qt oblong, and I cooked it for 6 hours on low (her recipe book actually says 6-8 hours on low, whereas the recipe here on the website says 8 hrs).

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! I will try my hardest to answer questions as they come up, but if your question gets buried, you may try me on twitter or facebook.

Due to a CRAZY amount of spam, anonymous comments are no longer allowed. Please use one of the free account services listed.

Happy Slow Cooking!

 
You are using Internet Explorer 6 which is unable to render this web site properly or display the drop-down elements in the main menu. Please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or try installing Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox instead.