Let’s face it; traditional lasagna is awesome AND tedious with a lot of extra steps if you’re doing it right. This Lazy Lasagna Soup recipe is anything but laborious! It’s the lazy person’s lasagna, and you won’t believe how much it tastes like the real thing!
Please do not let the number of steps in this recipe intimidate you! This is faster and easier than it looks! My suggestion is to read through the Lazy Lasagna Soup recipe first, and you’ll see what I mean! Most of it really is just dump and go! The meat that I used for this recipe is ground beef, but you can use whatever kind of meat you prefer.
Easy Lazy Lasagna Soup (Slow Cooker)Print Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef, ground buffalo, ground pork, ground Italian sausage (sweet, mild or hot) or a blend of any of these
- 5 good sized toes of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of any tiny pasta you like
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
- 1 small can of tomato paste, and 1 can of red wine or water if you prefer
- 2 large cans (28 ounces each) of diced tomatoes - do not drain!
- 2 boxes (32 ounces each) of chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon crushed bay leaves, or 2 whole bay leaves (if using whole)
- 1 large bunch of fresh, clean basil finely chopped and divided into 2 portions (1/2 will be used for garnish)
- 1 bunch of fresh, clean Italian parsley finely chopped and divided into 2 portions (1/2 will be used for garnish)
- 8-ounce ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- ½ cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese or Italian ⅘ cheese blend
1. Chop parsley and basil in advance.
2. Slightly brown meat and garlic in a large skillet, breaking it apart into small chunks and adding salt and pepper to taste.
FastTrack: If you use very lean ground meat (like buffalo or turkey), you do not have to brown it first; you can just put it in the crockpot raw (I do this a lot)—Just make sure you cook the soup on high for at least 4 hours so that it gets fully cooked! You will also have to break it apart into small chunks with a wooden spoon once it is cooked. If using the FastTrack method, add the garlic, salt and pepper right to the crockpot.
3. If browning, drain meat of grease and put into the crockpot (I use paper towels for this).
4. Add all other “soup ingredients” to the crock pot—If using Gnocchi, add it in the last 30 minutes of cooking, so it doesn’t get mushy!
5. Turn the crockpot on high and cook for at least 4 hours or until all flavors meld (if FastTracking until meat is fully cooked), stirring about once an hour.
6. At about the 3-hour mark, if you’ve used the full 2 cups of pasta, you will find that your liquid factor is much lower due to the pasta soaking up the liquid. I added the full second box of chicken broth at this point and let it cook for another hour.
7. While the soup is cooking, prepare garnish for the top:
8. Mix together ricotta, parmesan & parsley together in a mixing bowl
9. Add salt and pepper to taste (careful with salt as parmesan has a lot already)—Do not add basil!
10. Place ricotta mixture in the fridge until the soup is almost ready.
11. Remove ricotta mixture from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving (so it warms up to room temp).
12. Fill each bowl with soup and top with a generous dollop of ricotta mixture.
13. Sprinkle it with mozzarella or Italian cheese blend & fresh basil.
14. Serve and wait for the compliments!