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The Best Crock Pot Lasagna (+Video)

Enjoy a delicious and easy meal with this Crock Pot Lasagna recipe! Tender pasta, flavorful meat sauce, and creamy cheese come together for a satisfying and hearty dish!

A DELICIOUS LASAGNA RECIPE

Lasagna is a classic Italian dish that is loved by many for its hearty and comforting flavors. However, making lasagna from scratch can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. That’s where Crock Pot Lasagna comes in! This simple recipe allows you to enjoy all the deliciousness of lasagna with a fraction of the effort. With the help of a slow cooker, you can create a tender and flavorful lasagna with minimal prep time. Today I’m sharing my tried-and-true recipe for Crock Pot Lasagna so grab your slow cooker and get ready to enjoy a satisfying and delicious meal that will please the whole family!

slice of crock pot lasagna on a white plate with slices of garlic bread in the background.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can I use ricotta instead of cottage cheese in lasagna?

Yes, of course. However, there is a reason I use cottage cheese in this recipe. It’s to keep it all from drying out. Ricotta is a drier, crumbly cheese. It can dry out pretty quickly in this recipe if it’s cooked too long. So, I use cottage cheese to keep it all nice and luscious!

Why does some food burn in my slow cooker?

When I first came out with this recipe in 2012, slow cookers were all pretty standard and they cooked on low temperatures pretty evenly. Since then, slow cookers have evolved into many different types. I have found that newer slow cookers can run extremely hot, even on the low setting. If you have a slow cooker with a metal insert or a newer model of slow cooker, please note that they can get very hot and can burn certain foods like this. So be aware of the type of slow cooker you have and how it cooks. If you have a metal insert or a new model of slow cooker, I would recommend that you check the lasagna after about 2-3 hours to see how it is doing. This is why you see the larger variation of cooking time between 3-5 hours.
Also to note: If you have a slow cooker that has a locking lid, do not lock it while cooking. It is only meant to be locked while traveling. Locking the latches during cooking might build up pressure and might cause the lid to shatter or even cause the ceramic to break. Source: Southern Living

Can I just use no-boil noodles in Crock Pot Lasagna?

Yes you can but it is not necessary in this recipe. No Boil noodles are a bit more expensive than regular lasagna noodles as well. I add water to this recipe to compensate for using regular lasagna noodles.

What do you serve with Crock Pot Lasagna?

We prefer to have it with a fresh salad and garlic bread, garlic breadsticks or cheesy garlic bread.

Could I make this an Alfredo Lasagna?

Absolutely! Check out my recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo Lasagna for a creamy white version!

What if I don’t have a crock pot?

This particular recipe doesn’t work quite the same way in the oven. I created this recipe specifically for the slow cooker. However, if you want to make lasagna in the oven, try my Baked Lasagna recipe.

Why do you add water?

That extra bit of water is to help with the noodles. Since the noodles aren’t cooked. we want to add a bit more moisture to the pot to help those cook without drying out the lasagna.

Can leftovers be frozen?

Yes, Crock Pot Lasagna can be frozen for up to three months. Be sure to allow the lasagna to cool completely before placing it in a freezer safe container then wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

The Best Crock Pot Lasagna recipe from The Country Cook, pictured is a slice of lasagna on a white plate and sprinkled with fresh parsley.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • ground beef – you can use Italian sausage if you prefer.
  • onion – I like to chop up my onion pretty small. If you don’t like onion just leave it out or add about a teaspoon of onion powder.
  • garlic – I prefer fresh garlic, I think it packs more of a punch than the jarred stuff. But if that is all you have then go for it.
  • spaghetti sauce – make sure it’s a spaghetti sauce you like. I really like Rao’s roasted garlic but it can be pretty pricey. I also like Prego chunky garden as it is more affordable.
  • small curd cottage cheese – see my FAQ above about substitutions.
  • mozzarella cheese – I really like the mozzarella that has the cream cheese in it since I think it melts nicer but use your favorite.
  • parmesan cheese – you can use store-bought pre-shredded or shred it yourself.
  • egg – the egg acts a binder and helps keep that layer a bit more firm.
  • lasagna noodles – just the regular lasagna noodles. They do not need to be cooked first as they will cook in the slow cooker.
ground beef, onion, garlic, spaghetti sauce, water, small curd cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg parsley, lasagna noodles.

HOW TO MAKE CROCK POT LASAGNA:

Brown and crumble ground beef in a large skillet. You need a larger skillet for this because you’ll be adding the spaghetti sauce and water to it later. Then add in onion and garlic and cook for additional 1-2 minutes. I like to season my beef mixture with a little salt & pepper at this point too.

browning the ground beef in a large skillet.

Drain excess grease from beef. And put back into skillet.

draining ground beef in a strainer.

Pour in spaghetti sauce and water.

spaghetti sauce and water added to cooked ground beef in a large pan.

Give it all a good stir (you can turn the heat off at this point.) Give it a taste test, add additional salt if necessary. In a separate bowl, mix together cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, egg, pepper and chopped parsley. Put your remaining cheeses back in the fridge, you’ll be using those as a topping later.

cottage cheese, Parmesan Cheese, egg, mozzarella cheese and parsley stirred together in a bowl.

 Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop approximately 1 cup of meat sauce into bottom of slow cooker.

spaghetti sauce layered in bottom of 6-quart oval slow cooker.

Top with one layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. Just do your best to break them up to fit into your crock pot.

lasagna noodles layered in a slow cooker.

Next top with a layer of cheese mixture.

mozzarella cheese mixture layered on top of lasagna noodles.

Keep adding layers, ending with meat sauce. I was able to get 3 layers in my 5-quart slow cooker.

final meat sauce layer in crock pot.

Put the lid on and cook on low for 3-5 hours. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed and noodles should be soft. Please see my notes in the recipe card below about cooking times.

fully cooked lasagna in 5-quart oval slow cooker.

When it is finished cooking, add remaining cheeses and sprinkle with a bit of parsley.

final topping of shredded mozzarella cheese and parsley added on top of lasagna.

Put the lid back on for about 10-15 more minutes until cheese is melted.

Crock Pot Lasagna pictured in the slow cooker fully baked with melted cheese on top.

Slice and serve it up with a salad and some garlic bread.

slice of slow cooker lasagna on a plate with a fork and slices of garlic bread.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Originally published: February 2012
Updated & republished: August 2020

The Best Crock Pot Lasagna recipe from The Country Cook

Crock Pot Lasagna (+Video)

Crock Pot Lasagna means no need for an oven! Lasagna noodles, meat sauce and cheese made all in one pot. Easy and delicious!
4.98 from 186 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce (a 32 ounce jar can be used if necessary)
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 ounce container small curd cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided use
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 8-10 uncooked lasagna noodles

Instructions

  • Brown and crumble 1 pound ground beef along with 1 small onion, finely diced in a large skillet (or if your crock pot has a saute setting, use that.)
  • Then add in 1 tablespoon minced garlic and cook for additional 1-2 minutes (until fragrant).
  • Drain excess grease from beef and put back into skillet. Pour in 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce and 1 cup water. Give it all a good stir.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together 15 ounce container small curd cottage cheese, 1/ 1/2 cups of the 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons of the 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 large egg and 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped. (Put the remaining cheeses back in the fridge, you'll be using those as a topping later)
  • Spray a 5-quart or larger oval crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop approximately 1 cup of meat sauce into bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Top with one layer of the 8-10 uncooked lasagna noodles. Just do your best to break them up to fit into your crock pot.
  • Next top with a layer of cottage cheese mixture.
  • Keep adding layers (meat sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture). Keep enough of the meat sauce reserved so you can top off all the layers with some meat sauce. I was able to get about 3 layers in my 5-quart slow cooker.
  • Put the lid on and cook on low for 3-5 hours. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed and noodles should be soft (please see my notes below for cooking time).
  • When it is finished cooking, add remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and sprinkle with a bit more parsley (optional)
  • Put the lid back on for about 10-15 more minutes until cheese is melted.

Video

Notes

  • PLEASE READ: When I first came out with this recipe in 2012, slow cookers were all pretty standard and they cooked on low temperatures pretty evenly. Since then, slow cookers have evolved into many different types. I have found that newer slow cookers can run extremely hot. If you have a slow cooker with a metal insert or a newer model of slow cooker, please note that they can get very hot and can burn certain foods like this. So be aware of the type of slow cooker you have and how it cooks. If you have a metal insert or a new model of slow cooker, I would recommend that you check the lasagna after about 2-3 hours to see how it is doing. This is why you see the larger variation of cooking time between 3-5 hours. 
  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • If you have a slow cooker that has a locking lid, do not lock it while cooking. It is only meant to be locked while traveling. Locking the latches during cooking might build up pressure and might cause the lid to shatter or even cause the ceramic to break.
  • Only a 5-6 quart oval slow cooker will work properly with this recipe. A round slow cooker will not create the desired result. 
  • Slice and serve it up with a salad and some garlic bread.
  • Ricotta can be substituted for the small curd cottage cheese but that layer might be a bit drier and more crumbly.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 27g | Sodium: 430mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Edited to add: The original post had a giveaway. That giveaway has ended.

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Recipe Rating




168 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made the slow cooker lasagna on Sunday. It was so delicious and cooked perfectly. My Husband and my Son both loved it. I was so proud of myself. I will make it again and again. It tasted better than storebought.

  2. 5 stars
    This is great! I took it to the nursing home for Christmas dinner. My Italian family couldn’t believe I made it in the crockpot.

  3. 5 stars
    This was great! Turned out better than a “regular pan” lasagna. The layers really held up (super tall!) and it was easy to add some chopped veggies into the cottage cheese layer. Makes enough for a potluck dish. YUM.

    1. 5 stars
      second time making this for my birthday tomorrow it is so much easier and less work than putting it in the oven and it is so good!!! Make this you won’t be disappointed

  4. 5 stars
    I was a very skeptical about the cottage cheese as I have never made or had lasangna without ricotta. I thought about mixing half of each however then I read some of the reviews and they convinced me to stick with the recipe. I’m glad I did, this is one of the best crockpot dishes I have ever made, my family went after it like it was their job, my wife told me to add it to the rotation lol.
    thank you for sharing this great recipe..

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I almost never make lasagna, because let’s be honest, it can be a lot of work. Do not balk at the cottage cheese. Like she says, it adds moisture. I think if I had used ricotta, this would’ve come out very dry and crumbly. I made it for a huge get together and it was the first thing to go. Everyone asked for the recipe – so thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Had great success with this recipe. Way better than all the other ones I’ve tried. This is now our go-to! I do agree about the crock pot heating. The newer ones these days do get so hot so fast. Mine is about 10 years old and I love it. It cooks perfectly. I don’t like the ones with the metal inserts, they just do not cook the same for recipes like this.

  7. 5 stars
    Ooooh mercy this was so good. I can’t believe I made it in a crock pot. Pretty sure my Italian grandmother would roll over in her grave but I don’t even care this was so good! LOL

  8. 5 stars
    Love, love, love!! I took a chance on this because of the great reviews. I see you posted this years ago though but I’ll still comment LOL – it really is so surprisingly good! My whole family ate ALL of it! Thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    I have two big ole boys. This has been their favorite dish for about 40 years, and it so very like my recipe,(that I don’t even go by). Never made it in a Crock Pot before. I bet this is delish., that I have to try it. I am glad it ran across it.

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely love the recipe, turned out perfect. Was definitely better than I expected. Will do it again thank you.

  11. 5 stars
    So easy and absolutely delicious! make the night before, place in refrigerator, to let flavors meld even better.

  12. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe at home and am now making at our vacation house as we have a crockpot in the cupboard. The basic ingredients are readily available (lasagna noodles, cottage cheese, mozz, pasta sauce, and an egg) at about any grocery store. You don’t even have to include meat it you don’t want to. Put it all together after lunch and when dinner time rolls around the house smells fabulous and you’re DONE! Maybe steam up some fresh or frozen broccoli and/or make a quick green salad. PLUS, there’s leftovers.

  13. 5 stars
    Very good recipe – don’t skip the cottage cheese like she says in the recipe. Ricotta does make it dry.

  14. 5 stars
    This is the only way I make lasagna now Brandie! I like to prepare it by Noon and turn it on for several hours. This recipe is so good! You can use Italian sausage/ ground beef combo for a change, but the recipe as it is, delicious!
    Making it this weekend! ❤

  15. 5 stars
    I have never made lasagna in the crockpot so my expectations weren’t high,BUT this recipe was sooo great! Everyone in the house loved it and it is perfect on a hot summer day when you cant use the oven. So definitely will be using it often!!

  16. 5 stars
    Our oven is not working and won’t be fixed for another three days. Stumbled on this while looking for non-oven meals. Awesome is the only way to describe how delicious this is. It gave me and hubby the lasagna fix we were craving without having to do take out. I did substitute low sodium beef broth for the water and layered shorter sized noodles vertically in the crockpot, as the size was almost a perfect match. Mine only had to cook for four hours, not including the 15 minutes after adding some grated pecorino romano and shredded mozzarella on top. Hubby is a huge fan of my oven version of lasagna, so the kudos from him should tell you this recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing!