I’m not sure why, but I’m still a little amazed my first slow-cooker lasagna venture ended so well. Our taste buds were ecstatic, our bellies were satisfied, and my husband mentioned it was possibly the best lasagna he’s ever tasted. Now that’s a stamp of approval if I’ve ever heard one! I concur.
I used Southern Living’s method and cooked it on low for about 2 1/2 hours. Still, I layered the lasagna as I usually would with my own marinara, a large batch of cheese mixture (nothing wrong with cheesy), WW noodles, beef and onions, and sauteed mushrooms.
The secret to my marinara sauce is this: I don’t actually have a recipe. I always include the same ingredients, usually use the same technique (although sometimes I use a mixture of fresh tomatoes and canned sauces) and taste it at least a dozen times as it simmers. I use this version for lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, etc.
When making spaghetti, I add seasoned, cooked and drained beef and sliced fresh mushrooms toward the end of cooking time. For lasagna, I usually layer the beef and mushrooms with the sauce. This slow-cooker lasagna recipe is very versatile. If you like less tomato flavour, omit the tomato paste or use less.
Use fresh herbs, dried herbs or a combination and don’t be shy with the herbs or sea salt. Remember to save some fresh herbs from stirring in toward the end of cooking.
This Slow-Cooker Lasagna dish is not like any other as it’s filled with overflowing flavours that you will love. I bet you will make this regularly once you try the goodness of this delicious comfort food. I’m honestly thrilled to share this recipe with you all.
Here’s the very simple slow-cooker lasagna recipe that you must try the next time you have several guests over.
Slow-Cooker Lasagna and Flavorful Marinara RecipePrint Recipe
- Marinara Ingredients
- 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
- 1 8-ounce can of tomato puree
- 4 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
- 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- 4 fresh garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Basil, fresh and dried
- Oregano, fresh and dried
- Fennel, fresh and dried
- Thyme, fresh and dried
- 3 or 4 small pinches of sugar
- 1 or 2 pinches of nutmeg
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Lasagna Ingredients
- 1 box of lasagna noodles
- 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 pound of fresh mushrooms
- 1 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese
- 1 to 2 cups of fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 cups of Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large simmering pot. Heat on low and press garlic cloves into the oil with a garlic press or mince and add.
- Stir tomato paste into the garlic and oil mixture and cook until garlic is aromatic. Add the remainder of the tomato products and begin adding herbs and seasoning. Stir and simmer on low heat for about 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more herbs and seasoning as needed; meat and mushrooms, if desired.
- Brown beef and onion in a bit of extra virgin olive oil, seasoning with kosher salt. Drain.
- Meanwhile, place ricotta cheese, 1 to 1/2 cup of fresh Parmesan and 2 cups of Mozzarella in a bowl and stir until blended.
- Saute mushrooms in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
- Prep slow-cooker by pre-heating on ‘low’. Pour about 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in (to avoid sticking) and use a paper towel to coat the sides.
- Add a little sauce first before adding your first layer of noodles. Cover as much surface as you can with the noodles, leaving them in as large pieces as possible. It sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Mine wasn’t!
- Cover noodles with more sauce, then sprinkle beef and mushrooms over the sauce. Add a little more sauce over the beef and mushrooms, then spread 1/3 to 1/2 cheese mixture.
- Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Cover and cook on low for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until noodles are soft and lasagna is heated through.
- Once it has finished cooking, switch the setting to warm for about 30 minutes before serving (to set). The trickiest part of this method is removing it from the slow-cooker. I cut each serving through first and used a short spatula. Serve with extra marinara and grated Parmesan.