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Easy Lazy Crockpot Lasagna Casserole

This cheesy Cockpot lasagna casserole with jar sauce is packed with all the flavors of traditional lasagna but so much easier to make! No boiling the noodles required, just dump it all in your slow cooker and when you’re ready it’s the perfect lazy lasagna your whole family will love for sure.

Use ground beef or sausage for the meat or leave out for a vegetarian choice. Topped with lots of cheese even your kids will clean their plates after a bowl of this.

crockpot lasagna casserole

I have made a lot of things over the years but last night I decided to make what we are calling, Crockpot lasagna casserole.  It’s now one of our favorite pasta crockpot recipes.  No boiling required but with the same ingredients, deconstructed and wonderful. (affiliate links present)

Slow Cooker Lasagna Casserole

I love my slow cooker and Instant Pot! They just make my life easier and meals simple in the kitchen. We both work full time in this house, and manage 3 kids on top of that. The goal is to also put a hot meal on the table for us and eat together a few nights each week, this makes it possible.

When I first starting using all of my countertop appliances I made a batch of Instant Pot lasagna casserole. It was such a hit that I wanted to figure out how to cook lazy lasagna like this low and slow prepped in the morning. It too was amazing!!

Let’s talk a little bit about slow cooking shall we?? First off I have a few different varieties and I love them all. Each one has an occasion to be used like….

  1. This is my favorite 6 quart programmable one with a locking lid so it’s great for bringing to a potluck too.
  2. I prefer not to use liners, but rather just spray olive oil inside before adding my food for easier cleanups.

Let me give you a peek of my pretty thang I bought recently. It goes with my kitchen so I can just leave it out on the countertop all the time. 😉

crockpot

Crockpot Lazy Lasagna

So why is it called lazy vs. the traditional method you would normally layer and make in a pan?? Well you will see once you see how this is made but let me break it down for you real quick. 😉 NO boil is required for this so no burnt fingers with floppy noodles, smoothing out the cheese or repeating layers required at all here.

I know, sounds like a dream and not possible right? We have made crock pot lasagna before, but this uses smaller noodles to make it more of a throw together casserole. I like this more than the traditional way because kids can eat it easily and it can fit on the fork with each bite.

The only real prep you need to do beforehand is to brown the meat. There are several choices as far as that goes too. Use ground beef, most common, but our most favorite would be a roll of spicy ground sausage from Jimmy dean. Adds a ton of flavor to the dish and a bit of heat too.

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

Lazy Crock-Pot Lasagna

You can of course do this in a pan on your stovetop over medium heat, or in your Instant Pot. If you forgot to defrost it beforehand, follow these directions on how to defrost ground beef fast. I have made it all the ways my friends. That is right, sometimes I am very forgetful and forget to take out the meat the night before but I found a workaround for that. 😉

  • That is really the only prep you’ll need to do outside of your slow cooker.
  • Since there are no regular lasagna noodles, there’s no need to boil any water for any reason.
  • This cuts down on the cook time and frustration significantly.

All the wonderful flavors of your favorite easy lasagna recipe are in this dish with the exception of one. You could easily add some of that too though if you wanted. The only thing I didn’t include was the ricotta cheese. You could easily add a spoonful when you add in the mozzarella and it would be great that way too!

An alternative to that one would be cottage cheese. I have even found dairy free varieties so my husband can enjoy this dish with us.

Is lasagna a casserole?

I mean yes?? If you make it more like our deconstructed lasagna with medium noodles with no boil required ahead of time it would qualify for that term even more. The definition of a casserole is basically a protein + starch (noodles or rice) + cheese.

crockpot lasagna casserole 2

Slow Cooker Lasagna Real Simple

Crockpot goulash you might want to call it too but not as soupy as that so casserole fits the bill better in my eyes. Any way you call it we all loved it and it literally cost under $10 to make and feed all of us PLUS there was enough for me to eat the next day for lunch, bonus!! One of many easy cheap crockpot recipes on our site.

  • I like my large 8 qt. crockpot for this one so it has lots of room to bubble up
  • You can use any small noodles but we like medium shells or elbow macaroni the best
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (I usually use this meat sauce one)
    • if you only have tomato sauce I would add some Italian seasonings too
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Ricotta or cottage cheese are optional
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (yes, it works great)
  • Ground beef (can omit but adds a great taste)
  • Diced tomatoes (I like the petite version personally)
  • If we have parmesan cheese we will put some on top when serving this

If you like a wetter consistency just add more spaghetti sauce to this lazy slow cooker lasagna. It is very versatile depending on your preference. In a hurry? Make our pressure cooker lasagna casserole recipe you see here. I linked that one at the top of this post if you want to compare the two.

Then try our favorite Instant Pot lasagna soup seen here! Healthy and the kids will love it because it’s super flavorful.

easy instant pot lasagna casserole

Crockpot Lasagna Casserole

If you are looking for other other easy slow cooker pasta recipes we have a few more you should try. Our enchilada lasagna doesn’t have noodles at all, but has a Mexican twist to this Italian meal. Layered with tortillas it is a deconstructed way to make this too.

What is the best way to freeze lasagna?

Even though this isn’t the “traditional way” to make it, since there are the same ingredients you’d treat it as such. Whether you made lasagna casserole in the oven or this you’d follow these steps;

  • If you want to freeze it after some has been eaten, you can put leftovers into airtight plastic containers or freezer bags.
  • Always allow food to completely cool to room temperature before packaging it up and putting it in the fridge or freezer. If you don’t it can grow bacteria easier when cooled and make you sick.
  • You can freeze lasagna before you cook it as well! I haven’t tried this but know others who have done this.

If you’re a fan of batch cooking it’s a great idea to assemble the first 3 instructions below and store in freezer bags. Then defrost what’s in there, throw it in your Crock when you’re ready and continue with the next steps as usual. Here are more easy Crockpot dinner ideas too.

instant pot lasagna soup 2

What is a good side dish for lasagna?

Whether I cook something lighter like our Crockpot Italian Wedding Soup or this I tend to make the same sides that we love.

Our favorite side dish would be this garlic pull apart bread. In each dish, top with remaining cheese and serve together or 1/2 hour before serving melt cheese on top of the whole thing in the pot. You can print recipe below. It is complete with nutritional information too, i.e. saturated fat and calories per serving.

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the typical mom
crockpot lasagna casserole
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4.54 from 13 votes

Crockpot Lasagna Casserole

Lazy crockpot lasagna casserole is cheesy and packed with all the flavors of traditional lasagna but easier to make! Great slow cooker dinner casserole.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword casserole, crockpot, easy, lasagna, no boil, pasta, slow cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 593kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef and diced onion in a pan, then add to your crockpot.
  • Pour can of spaghetti sauce and can of diced tomatoes on top of meat.
  • Sprinkle taco seasoning on top, stir well.
  • Set crockpot to high and cook for 3 hours, or low and cook for 5-6 hours.
  • Lift lid when done cooking and add your uncooked noodles and 1 cup of cheese, (and ricotta if you choose to add it) stir well.
  • Sprinkle other 1/2 c. of cheese on top and put lid back on.
  • Set to high for 30 minutes.
  • Serve!

Video

Nutrition Facts
Crockpot Lasagna Casserole
Amount Per Serving (8 oz)
Calories 593 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 91mg30%
Sodium 1063mg46%
Potassium 977mg28%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 1105IU22%
Vitamin C 17.6mg21%
Calcium 273mg27%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
crockpot lazy lasagna
Recipe Rating




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Nikke

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

CN you use chili ready diced tomatoes and omit the taco seasoning?

Kate

Sunday 10th of May 2020

1. Even if you use lasagna noodles, you don't have to cook them first. I browned a combo of venison, ground beef and italian sausage, sauteed a LOT of onions with it, froze half that meat mixture for my next batch, then threw a half a jar of pasta sauce, plus half a 28 oz diced tomatoes (again, froze the remainder) some red wine and extra water (to soak up into the noodles) along with oregano, basil and garlic in with the meat to get it nice and bubbly. Having the crock pot on first, and adding the sauce while bubbling away really cuts down on the cook time...but if you want all day, go for it with just ground beef and sauce. Then I did layer some - sauce first, noodles, COTTAGE CHEESE on top of the noodles, in my opinion is vital! Shredded mozzarella on it, then some more pasta sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. Mine is an oval, rough ceramic (not smooth ceramic) crock pot and 1.5 hours on high had that puppy bubbly and fully cooked noodles and my husband, who is a Lasagna snob, declared it delicious. It's already hot in Texas - so I could cook it on the back porch and not add heat to the kitchen. Only way to go from now on. PS - that cottage cheese will melt in with the mozzarella to a goey goodness that the kids won't even notice, I promise.

Karen

Monday 8th of May 2023

@Savannah, I don't agree with hitting but I do agree that Megan is a bully. Sad. 😔

Savannah

Saturday 6th of November 2021

@Megan, has someone hit you yet for being an Internet bully/troll? If not they probably should

Megan

Friday 8th of January 2021

Kate Kate kate..... Has your husband ever hit you because you talk to much? If not then he should.

Beth

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

This is perfect! I love how easy this is, but I wouldn't call it 'lazy' as I would call it 'smart'! Bake smarter not harder!

Suzy

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

I had no idea how easy this would be to make in the crockpot! So tasty too!

Abbey

Thursday 7th of November 2019

I have this in my crockpot now. I am a 22 year old learning how to speak “cooking” haha! This is smelling fantastic and I LOVE all the ingredients so I had to try. I added some more seasonings with the Taco and I’ll have lots of Ricotta because my boyfriend is from Europe so he loves his cheese! Can’t wait to taste in about 2 hours!

The Typical Mom

Sunday 10th of November 2019

Yay hope you loved it

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