Crockpot Lasagna is juicy, cheesy, beefy, and tastes just as good as a Classic Lasagna, but easier! There is no need to pre-cook noodles, you just add them raw and they cook up perfectly tender in the slow cooker. This is also a make-ahead lasagna that can be assembled a day ahead for convenient meals (hello Sunday lunch).

Slow cookers have been a little neglected with the popularity of Instant Pots and air fryers, but let’s not forget why we love them in the first place – you can set it and forget it until dinner time (like Crockpot Chili), so it’s ready when you are. 

Crockpot lasagna served our of slow cooker

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You’ll Love this Crockpot Lasagna

Lasagna in the slow cooker is one of my favorite Sunday lunch ideas. You can assemble it a day ahead and refrigerate, then turn it on before heading off to church and have it ready when you get home. It works perfectly because we love our leisurely Sunday morning pace and it’s great to know I already have lunch figured out.

I took a crockpot of this yummy lasagna casserole over to my parent’s house one Sunday afternoon for our weekly family lunch and everyone in my family (young and old-ish) was completely smitten with it. This is a KEEPER!!

Slice of crockpot lasagna garnished  with parsley

Ingredients for Crockpot Lasagna

  • Ground Beef – The best beef for lasagna should have about 20% fat content
  • Onion & Garlic – aromatics that give deep flavor and aroma
  • Salt, Pepper & Oregano – simple pantry staples are all you need
  • Red wine adds incredible flavor to the meat sauce
  • Marinara – use a high quality store-bought marinara, or homemade marinara
  • Parsley – added to the meat sauce and cheese sauce
  • Lasagna Noodles – Use regular uncooked lasagna noodles (NOT “oven ready).
  • Cheese – This lasagna combines 3 cheeses. The cottage cheese might surprise you but takes the cheese sauce to the next level.
  • A little water is added to help with hot spots and to cook more evenly. If your crockpot is prone to hot spots, consider using a slow cooker liner or a different slow cooker.
Ingredients for crockpot lasagna with beef, marinara, 3 cheeses and lasagna noodles

How to Make Crockpot Lasagna

1. In a large deep pan over medium heat, saute the ground beef and onion for 5 min or until no longer pink, breaking it up with your spatula. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute then add 1/4 cup red wine and simmer until nearly evaporated (5 min).

How to make meat sauce for crockpot lasagna

2. Add 3 cups marinara, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp sugar and 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. Mix well, cover and simmer 5 min while you stir together your cheese sauce.

meat sauce in pan

3. For the cheese sauce: In a medium bowl, combine 15 oz ricotta, 16 oz cottage cheese (un-drained), 1 large egg, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 2 Tbsp parsley. Mix well.

How to make cheese sauce for lasagna

4. Lightly oil your slow cooker. Spread 1 cup marinara on the bottom then add 3 noodles, breaking to fit. Top with 1/3 of the Meat Sauce, sprinkle on 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, then spread with 1/2 of your cheese sauce and repeat until you have 3 layers of noodles. Top with remaining meat sauce, 3/4 cup mozzarella and pour 1/2 cup water around the edges, allowing some of it to go down the side of the dish into the lasagna.

How to make assemble crockpot lasagna layering sauce, pasta, meat sauce, cheese sauce and shredded mozzarella

5. Cover and cook on LOW 3 1/2 to 4 hours**. If desired, soak up any excess oil with a paper towel then sprinkle on the remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella, cover and cook for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

Let the lasagna rest 15 minutes before serving, otherwise, it will be blazing hot and too loose to serve.

cooking lasagna in a slow cooker

What’s the best slow cooker? We used a 6 Quart programmable slow cooker when I took these photos. We have since upgraded to an 8 Quart crockpot. Note: If you use a 3 quart, you will need to cut the recipe in half and break the noodles in half so they fit easier into the crockpot.

Crock Pot Lasagna Layers

Here is a visual reference on how to assemble a slow cooker lasagna in order of adding to the crockpot. I follow this list every time.

  • 1 cup marinara – spread on the bottom
  •  3 noodles (broken to fit)
  • 1/3 of the meat sauce
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 ricotta cheese sauce
  • 3 noodles
  • 1/3 meat sauce
  • 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 ricotta cheese sauce
  • 3 noodles
  • 1/3 meat sauce
  • 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella (refrigerate remaining cheese)
  • 1/2 cup water around the edges
  • After 4 hours, top with 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella
slice of lasagna from crockpot

Common Questions

Can I substitute red wine?

Yes, you can substitute with beef broth if you prefer. If alcohol is a concern, keep in mind, it’s mostly cooked out on the stove.

Can I add spinach?

Spinach is delicious in lasagna. We used it in our Chicken Lasagna recipe. One of our readers reported great results using chopped fresh spinach here. You could stir it into the cheese sauce.

Can I use no-boil lasagna noodles?

You can use oven-ready noodles, but they will cook faster than regular lasagna noodles which can get too soft, which is why I prefer uncooked lasagna noodles.

Can I make this gluten-free?

We have tested this with Gluten-Free lasagna noodles but they did become mushier than traditional noodles.

Can I freeze crockpot lasagna?

Fully assemble and cook, then cool to room temperature, transfer to a freezer container, and freeze. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat portions in the microwave or oven until roll-ups are heated through and cheese is melted.

Can I substitute cottage cheese?

You can substitute it with some more ricotta.

A great big cheesy slice for me, please! I hope your whole family falls in love with this Crockpot Lasagna recipe. It’s one of the easiest dinners and one that the kids always enjoy. Meat sauce, cheese sauce, melty cheese between the layers – what’s not to love?

More Crockpot Recipes

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Crockpot Lasagna Recipe

4.99 from 181 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Crockpot Lasagna is cheesy, saucy, beefy and so juicy! An easy slow cooker lasagna that can be made ahead, and always gets rave reviews. Can be fully assembled and refrigerated overnight and slow cooked the next day per step #5.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 10 slices of lasagna

For the Meat Sauce

  • 1 lb ground beef, (80/20 fat content)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 cup red wine, or beef broth
  • 32 oz marinara sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and divided

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 15 oz reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese, (4 cups shredded), divided

For Assembling Lasagna:

Instructions

  • In a large deep pan over medium heat, combine ground beef and onion. Cook, breaking up meat with a spatula until no longer pink (5 min). Add garlic and sauté 1 to 2 mins. Add 1/4 cup red wine and simmer until nearly evaporated (5 min).
  • Add 3 cups marinara, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp sugar and 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. Mix well, cover and simmer 5 min.:
  • Make the cheese sauce: In a medium bowl, combine: 15 oz ricotta, 16 oz cottage cheese, 1 large egg, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 2 Tbsp parsley. Mix well.
  • Lightly oil a 6 qt slow cooker. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom then top with 3 noodles, breaking them to fit. Top with 1/3 of the Meat Sauce, sprinkle with 3/4 cup of your mozzarella cheese, then spread the top with 1/2 of your ricotta cheese mixture and repeat until you have 3 layers of noodles. Top the third layer of noodles with remaining meat sauce, 3/4 cup mozzarella and pour 1/2 cup water around the edges, allowing some of it to go down the side of the dish into lasagna.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 3 1/2 to 4 hours** then top with reserved mozzarella, cover and cook 10 mins or until cheese melts. Let the lasagna rest 15 mins for easier serving.

Notes

*Important: Do not cook on high!
**Cook 3 1/2 hours on low if slow cooking right away and 4 hours on low if slow cooking after having the lasagna assembled and refrigerated overnight.

Nutrition Per Serving

437kcal Calories30g Carbs35g Protein18g Fat9g Saturated Fat91mg Cholesterol1149mg Sodium658mg Potassium2g Fiber7g Sugar945IU Vitamin A9.4mg Vitamin C530mg Calcium2.8mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Crockpot Lasagna Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
437
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
18
g
28
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Cholesterol
 
91
mg
30
%
Sodium
 
1149
mg
50
%
Potassium
 
658
mg
19
%
Carbohydrates
 
30
g
10
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
35
g
70
%
Vitamin A
 
945
IU
19
%
Vitamin C
 
9.4
mg
11
%
Calcium
 
530
mg
53
%
Iron
 
2.8
mg
16
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: crockpot lasagna, slow cooker lasagna
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 437

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Scott
    March 31, 2024

    It say to not use oven ready noodles. What about home made lasagna noodles?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 1, 2024

      That’s great too!

      Reply

  • Leslie
    March 20, 2024

    I am just in the process of making 4 batches for my daughter’s hockey team. I was curious if I am reading it wrong. The recipe calls for 32 ounces of marinara sauce but in the notes below it mentions add 3 cups? Do I add the 4th cup somewhere? Also between the ricotta and cottage cheese this would be 31 ounces also just under 4 cups? Thank you for clarifying. I don’t want to mess up this many batches of lasagna.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 20, 2024

      Hi Leslie. See step 4 in the recipe card for where the 4th cup of marinara sauce is used.
      The cottage cheese/ricotta cheese measurement is based on weight not volume, so that would be the weight in ounces.
      I hope that clarifies and I hope this recipe is a hit!

      Reply

  • Michele
    March 12, 2024

    Made this tonite. Great flavor but mine too came out very “soupy”. Disappointing. Not sure what I did wrong.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 13, 2024

      Hi Michele, I’m not sure what happened there. Did you by any chance use any substitutions?

      Reply

  • Diane
    March 3, 2024

    Thank you for this one! It was even better as leftovers since the flavors melded together so well.

    Even with my big blunder of using no boil (oven ready) noodles, I was able to rescue the dish by removing the excess liquid a number of times as it cooked.

    With all my lifting of the lid, I was surprised how it still cooked up nicely before the minimum time recommended.

    Once the noodles were tender and everything was heated through, I turned off the heat and we ate.

    I think if I hadn’t added the liquid in the last step, and if I had cooked off more of the moisture in the sauce/meat mixture on the stove, I could have used the oven ready noodles just as well, as long as I didn’t overcook them.

    Thx again!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 4, 2024

      Thanks for sharing your experience trying this recipe! Good to know that you liked it!

      Reply

  • joan
    January 7, 2024

    I absolutely love this lasagna recipe. I use 2 16 oz containers of ricotta instead of the cottage cheese and I add a sprinkling of grated Romano at each layer. It tastes almost like my Italian Mother’s lasagna (except she made the noodles & tomato sauce from scratch.) I can whip this up in less than 20 min, clean up before the meal & feed a crowd.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 7, 2024

      Hello Joan, good to know that the substitutions that you used worked well in this recipe Thank you for sharing and for the review!

      Reply

  • Nona
    January 4, 2024

    I already cooked my noodles can I still do lasagna in the crock pot…and how would you cook it?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 4, 2024

      Hi Nona, it’s best to use uncooked in this recipe. It will probably still taste good but the noodles might be mushy and falling apart.

      Reply

  • Margaret Schlegel
    October 25, 2023

    This recipe yielded the most delicious lasagna! I was pleasantly surprised that the top layer of cheese turned out perfectly (a little browned). I didn’t have any ricotta cheese on hand; just, used cottage cheese, and it still turned out, beautifully. I also added mushrooms, while browning the meat. Appreciated the tip to add water on the sides of the crockpot.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 25, 2023

      It really is delicious! I’m happy you enjoyed it Margaret! Thank you for sharing your review with me.

      Reply

  • Sue
    February 19, 2023

    Delicious!! Did add some spinach to the cheese mixture! My go to lasagna recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 19, 2023

      Awesome, so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • JENNIFER GOLDSBERRY
    February 17, 2023

    I love this recipe. I have made it several times and it might be the best lasagna I’ve ever made. HOWEVER, don’t believe it can be prepped in 30 minutes. For me it takes a minimum of 1 hour. Allow 1 1/2 hours the first time.
    It’s worth the time.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 17, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Jennifer!

      Reply

    • Stacey K.
      November 13, 2023

      That’s been my experience, too! Takes close to an hour to prepare and layering instruction La could be a little clearer. But it’s a family favorite and so delicious!

      Reply

      • Natasha
        November 13, 2023

        HI Stacey, I updated the recipe to reflect a longer prep time (I had accounted for some of the prep time in the cooking time but I can see where that could be confusing if you are only considering cooking time to be slow cooker time)

        Reply

  • Stella in California
    February 16, 2023

    Excellent – absolutely delicious! I tried it based on the reviews and I am so glad I did. Yes, I made small tweaks just to use something on hand (a little grated parmesan in the cheese sauce, 1 drained can of diced tomatoes in the meat sauce plus favorite spices such as garlic salt and a garlic chicken herb one we love) but I am sure it would have been just as perfect without my additions. It cooked so beautifully and in the time suggested (4 hours + 15 minutes with more mozzarella + 15 minutes to rest). We love leftovers so this is providing 3 meals for hubby and me. I’m thrilled to finally find THE best CrockPot lasagna recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 16, 2023

      Hi Stella! Thank you for the feedback. So glad you loved it, even with the “small tweaks.” 😉

      Reply

  • Steve W.
    January 30, 2023

    Hi Natasha,

    I found the recipe to be a little confusing but the Lasagna still tasted great.

    Your directions say to “repeat until you have three layers” but then it also says to “Top the third layer of noodles with remaining meat sauce, 3/4 cup mozzarella and pour 1/2 cup water around the edges”. You have another section on this page that shows that the second layer has no Marinara sauce, and the third layer has none of the cheese mixture.

    Thanks for the great tasting recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 1, 2023

      Hi Steve, I’m so glad you enjoyed the slow cooker lasagna recipe. Regarding the photo collage – if I had included all the steps it would have been about 20 photos long so I included the layers in order: noodles, meat sauce, shredded cheese, cheese sauce then you repeat until you get to the last layer where you pour water around the edges. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Lisa
    November 16, 2022

    If I make a half recipe, should I reduce the egg? Or just use the one egg called for in the original recipe? Thanks! Looks like a good recipe. Looking forward to making it for two.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 16, 2022

      Hi Lisa, I would halve the entire recipe and all the ingredients. To get half an egg, I like to put the egg into a small bowl, mix it slightly and then pour half of it into the mixture.

      Reply

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