No Boil Crock-Pot Lasagna

The first main dish I ever made was a lasagna.  My friend Shuree came over when we were in high school one night to make a special dinner.  That was about 20 years ago; I can’t believe I can say that it has been that long! Crock-pot Lasagna with Dripping Cheese

Slow Cooker Saturdays

Crock-pot Lasagna Slice

A few years ago we were having one of our big monthly ministry meetings where we needed to feed a lot of people, and my friend Jolie brought a crock-pot lasagna.  It was an instant hit!  I don’t think I had ever thought about making a lasagna in the crock-pot until then.  She used cottage cheese, but my normal oven recipe uses ricotta cheese, so I used ricotta cheese the first time I tried it, and I’ve been making it with ricotta ever since.

Crock-pot Lasagna with Fresh Basil

Also, as a time and money saver, I make 2 lasagnas…ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS!  Let’s face it.  The whole lasagna process can be a bit time consuming, precooking the meat and noodles, layering, etc…so I crock-pot one lasagna and fill a 9×13 pan with another lasagna to bake.  This helps save on the dining out bill since we are more likely to eat at home, and we have one big mess to clean up instead of two!!  We eat the one out of the slow cooker first for ease of clean up.  It is also easier to store the second lasagna in the baking pan.  For me the hardest part was boiling and working with the hot lasagna noodles, but no more.  I don’t even buy the no-cook noodles.  I just use uncooked noodles.  They will soften.  And if you are really concerned they won’t soften, just completely soak the raw lasagna noodles for five minutes before piecing the lasagnas together.

Crock-pot Lasagna Picture Tutorial

Look at those beautiful veggies!

Making a lasagna is a great way to hide lots of different veggies.  We have use different bell peppers, spinach, carrots, onions, or whatever is in season.

The Recipe: Crock-Pot Lasagna & Oven Lasagna Recipe (cut the recipe in half for one lasagna):

Crock-Pot Lasagna

Yield: 2 lasagnas

Crock-Pot Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2-26 oz. cans of tomato sauce (if you use a cheaper sauce, add 2 T oregano and 3 T minced garlic for more flavor, or make your own here!)
  • 1-2 lbs. choice pre-cooked meat (ground beef, sausage, or turkey, I usually use chicken)
  • 1 bell pepper color of choice, chopped
  • handful of spinach, diced
  • broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or any other veggies you want to sneak in, chopped
  • 30 oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • approx. 15 whole wheat lasagna noodles (can use gluten-free if needed but I don't know how they will hold up in the crock-pot so let me know if you try it, please)

Instructions

  1. Put a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the crock pot and the bottom of the baking pan.
  2. Mix the remaining tomato sauce with oregano, garlic, meat, and all chopped veggies.
  3. Place a layer of noodles in the crock and pan. Break the noodles if needed for even distribution in the crock-pot.
  4. Place 1/6 of the ricotta in the crock-pot.
  5. Place 1/6 of the ricotta in the pan.
  6. Sprinkle 1/6 of the mozzarella in the crock-pot, and another 1/6 of the mozzarella in the pan.
  7. Layer 1/6 of the tomato sauce in the crock-pot, and another 1/6 of the tomato sauce in the pan.
  8. Repeat the layering at least 2 more times, or until you run out of ingredients. Just save some cheese for the topping.
  9. Cook on high in the crock-pot for 4 hours or low 5-6 hours; bake the lasagna for 35-45 minutes at 350 (sometimes I'll bake it a few days later and/or freeze it).
  10. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!
http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/02/11/crock-pot-lasagna/

Serve with a salad and crock-pot bread!

Crock-pot Sourdough Bread

Crock-pot or Not Lasagna

What are your favorite ingredients in a lasagna?  We would love to know.  Have you taken the vegetable challenge?

Have you tried…?

Crock-pot Lasagna Soup @ practical-stewardship.com

Or have you made your own marinara sauce??  It’s so easy!

Homemade Crock-pot Marinara Sauce

Go here for the complete list of recipes.

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Comments

  1. Nadene says

    Sonja, We LOVE crock pot lasagna too. I make it with gluten free noodles and I don’t cook the noodles first. You do need to make sure to make it extra saucy though. Then 3 1/2 hours on low! So easy and an easy way to “hide” the gluten free noodles!

  2. says

    Oh, good to know about the gluten free noodles! Sometime I will try making the lasagna with eggplant instead of noodles, another gluten free option. I saw it on Dr. Oz.

  3. says

    I just found a recipe for a pinenut “ricotta” so I am going to try that this week! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  4. Sheena says

    I’m trying this recipe today and am pretty excited about it. One comment, one question. Comment: you don’t list where in the layering process I add the seasoned sauce. I could probably figure it out, but I noticed it was missing. Question: what size crockpot do you use? I have a double-pot crockpot unit. My pots are smaller, so I’m always trying to figure out how to reduce something to make sure it’ll fit into the smaller pots.

    • says

      Hi Sheena, I just updated the recipe. Thank you for pointing that out! I used a 5.5 quart crock-pot here. I have also used a 7 quart for this recipe. My friend makes it in a 4.5 quart crock-pot, I believe. I hope that helps. Thanks for visiting!

    • Sheena says

      Okay. I halved the recipe, and put half of it into my 2.5qt pot and the other half into an 8×8 dish to freeze and the proportions turned out fine. It was good, but I had a hard time layering the ricotta. I had to hand-smush it out into a layer. Have you ever mixed egg or anything with it to loosen it up? Thanks for posting! I love lasagne, and my slow cooker! Was very excited to see a marriage of the two.

      • says

        Hi Sheena, I have used egg with the ricotta only in baking it. I am sure it would work in the crock-pot, too. Glad your proportions worked well! Thanks for the feedback.

  5. says

    What a great way to make a lasagna. We make our own spaghetti sauce here at the house,but lasagna is such a long process I rarely make it. I can try this anytime, as I have all the ingredients!

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m keen to try it but can you tell me if you cook the meat first? I read through the recipe a few times but I can’t find anything to say if you do or not – but I might just be missing it. :o)

    • says

      Hi Anne. Thanks for pointing that out. Pre-cook your meat. I’ll adjust the recipe. Thanks, and thanks for visiting!

  7. Joi says

    Hi, do you freeze the leftover lasagna after you cook it…if it’s not eaten later? If so, how do you prepare it out of the freezer when you are ready to eat it again? Thanks!

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