When I hear the word “lasagna” I tend to cringe. Lasagna is synonymous with either hours of labor-intensive work in a hot kitchen or soggy flavorless stuff from the freezer. But did you know that lasagna doesn’t have to be labor-intensive or soggy and flavorless? Because it doesn’t! All you need is one amazing tool: a slow cooker. You can grab a fabulous version with a timer plus all the bells and whistles here. Once you have a slow cooker ready to go, your next purchase should be a set of disposable liners like these. They make clean-up a sinch! Once you have those two things, you can make your crockpot lasagna.
Why should you use a crockpot rather than the traditional method? First of all, they reduce the amount of work you have to do to make great lasagna. Second of all, with the way that your slow cooker heats, you retain moisture while cooking at temperature. This means you can get those yummy crispy edges without spending hours laboring in the kitchen and the risk of drying out those noodles. So buckle up and get ready to make some of the best lasagna ever!
Insanely Easy Crockpot Lasagna
- slow cooker
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 3 ½ c. marinara sauce divided
- 16 oz. while-milk ricotta
- ¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan plus extra for garnish
- 1-16 oz. box of lasagna noodles unboiled
- 4 ½ c. shredded mozzarella
- Start by cooking the chopped onion in a skillet over medium heat. Place the oil in the skillet first and get it to temperature before adding the onion and cooking until the onion becomes translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two to release the fragrance and flavor. Next, add in the beef and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Crumble and cook the beef until it is golden brown. Then stir in 3 cups of the marinara sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes so that the flavors begin to combine.
- In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, and parsley together until combined. Then season with salt and pepper and give another good stir to mix. Now you're ready to begin layering your lasagna. You can use a crockpot liner as mentioned above, or you can grease your crockpot with cooking spray. Once you have that figured out, start by spreading the remaining marinara on the bottom of the crockpot. Then layer noodles, meat, and mozzarella followed by a layer of the ricotta mixture. Continue this pattern until you've used up all of your ingredients. End with a layer of mozzarella cheese over the top.
- Then cover and cook the lasagna for 4-5 hours on LOW until the noodles are softened and the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with more Parmesan and parsley before serving.
This recipe not only has fabulous flavor and is insanely easy to make, but it is also great when you’re serving a large group! So don’t despair the next time you hear your kids clamoring for lasagna. Just whip up this recipe, sit back, and enjoy the time it takes to cook. Happy Cooking!