I love lasagna but I sure don’t love boiling lasagna noodles. It’s tedious, they always stick together, and honestly, I just like to avoid extra steps when I can. So while I generally bake my lasagna in the oven (as one does), it’s usually a no-boil recipe. Even so, lasagna is still more of a weekend project — it takes enough time that I don’t turn to it on weeknights when my free time is pretty scarce. But it turns out you can make lasagna in your slow cooker, and no, there’s no boiling of noodles. It’s a layer things up, close the lid, press a button and walk away kind of a lasagna situation which means that your slow cooker can handle the work while you take your kids to soccer practice.
For starters, you’ll need two jars of marinara sauce. While you could certainly add some meat to this, we’re keeping things fast and easy, so jarred sauce is the way to go. Layer a bit in the bottom of your slow cooker just like you would if you were making this in a baking pan.
Then, make your ricotta mixture. Just stir together some ricotta, some parm, an egg, some mozzarella, some Italian seasoning, some fresh basil, and some salt and pepper.
Your first layer will be your lasagna noodles. Buy a no-boil variety — I like the flat sheets made by Barilla, but any will do. Break them up to come somewhat close to having an even single layer…
… and then top with a layer of the ricotta mixture…
… followed by another layer of noodles and a layer of marinara.
Repeat those layers two more times and then top with mozzarella.
And then put that lid on your slow cooker, press a couple of buttons, and walk away. There’s no oven to preheat, no worry about cheese sticking to foil, no timing to fret over. This can cook while you’re at work, or running errands, or playing chauffeur to your kids.
You sacrifice a little bit in texture for the sake of convenience here — the noodles are a little softer than your baked variety — but sometimes in life we all need a little convenience. And weeknight lasagna that’s as cheesy and easy and comforting as you could want it to be… What more could you want?
No-Boil Slow Cooker Lasagna
5m prep time
3h cook time
- 2 (24 oz each) jars marinara sauce
- 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
- 32 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the pasta sauce in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, breaking them apart to fit as needed.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, parmesan, egg, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Add Italian seasoning, basil, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Spoon 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the noodles and spread out if needed. Top with another layer of noodles and sauce.
- Repeat layers twice more, then top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover slow cooker and cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.