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Easy Crockpot Lasagna

A cooked crockpot lasagna with dollops of fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. A spoonful has been removed from the pan.

5 from 5 reviews

No-fail lasagna that is super simple and you don’t have to pre-cook the noodles. It is loaded with flavor through and through. This is a tried and true recipe that I have cooked many times over the years.

Ingredients

Scale

Meat Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 large Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 6 large Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs Hot Italian Sausage, bulk
  • 228 oz cans Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds

Lasagna

  • Meat Sauce (see above)
  • Approximately 1620 Lasagna Noodles, dry
  • 20 oz fresh Mozzarella Cheese, divided (12 oz grated) (8 oz cubed)
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 3 cups Ricotta Cheese

Instructions

For Sauce:

  • Saute 1 1/2 large onions (chopped) in large dutch oven over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until tender and translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 6 cloves garlic (chopped) and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  • Add 2 pounds Hot Italian Sausage and cook until browned. Drain.
  • Add 2 -28 ounce cans Crushed Tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Onion Powder, 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1/2 cup Fresh Basil (chopped) 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar and 1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

For Lasagna:

  • Combine 12 oz of grated Mozzarella, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan Cheese (grated), and3 cups Ricotta Cheese.
  • In a 6-quart, removable crockpot, add 2 cups meat sauce and 4-5 dry noodles (broken to fit).
  • Layer – 1/2 the cheese mixture, 2 cups sauce and 4-5 noodles for 2 times. End with the meat sauce. You should have 4 layers of sauce, 3 layers of noodles and 2 layers of cheese mixture.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  • When noodles are tender, remove the ceramic pot from the slow cooker and add the remaining  8 oz cubed mozzarella to the top of the lasagna. Place in a 400°F preheated oven or under a broiler until the mozzarella cheese melts. Remove from oven and add small basil leaves for garnishment (optional).

Notes

  • Sautéeing intensifies the onions’ natural sugars and releases a heavenly sweetness as the onions become softened. It takes anywhere from 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, to achieve this stage.
  • Throw the chopped garlic in after the onion has become tender. If you let them cook from the beginning, they will cook too long and burn which will leave a bitter taste in the recipe.
  • There’s a lot of greasy juice that is collected at the bottom of the pan while cooking the sausage. Once the meat is browned, use a large metal sieve to drain it into a bowl. Use paper towels to dab up any additional grease on the meat.
  • Never buy pre-grated parmesan cheese. It’s always fresher and best when grated right before needing it.
  • Using fresh mozzarella instead of shredded mozzarella adds a deeper, richer dairy flavor. It not only gives a nice texture to the dish but brings with it more taste.
  • When buying lasagna noodles for this recipe, don’t grab the pre-cooked ones.
  • The noodles need to be broken a bit to fit into the crockpot.

Nutrition

Keywords: Easy Lasagna in the Crockpot, Crockpot Lasagna, Crockpot Lasagna with No-Boil Noodles

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