For busy oven days or busy days in general, this Slow Cooker Three Meat Lasagna will take the stress out of meal preparation. After preparing the rich meat sauce and assembling the rest is up to my personal chef, a.k.a my slow cooker. The slow cooker simmers the rich and meaty marinara sauce with uncooked lasagna noodles to tender perfection. Layers of seasoned ricotta cheese, slices of spicy pepperoni and lots of gooey cheese complete the ensemble. It will make you think you're dining at an Italian restaurant instead of at your own kitchen table.
Slow Cooker Three Meat Lasagna
Italian inspired food is an all-time family favorite. It always makes me laugh a little when people comment that all we Southerners consume is comfort food. While we do know our way around the best of the best comfort foods, dishes like classic spaghetti, oven baked Italian sausage manicotti, cheesy chicken spaghetti and even spaghetti salad are beloved make no bones about it. Just like any other part of the country and world, it depends solely on the occasion and who will be eating with us that typically dictates what direction I go with the entree at any meal that I serve.
Tips for Making Slow Cooker Lasagna
- Slow cookers, much like ovens, can vary wildly in temperature depending on their shape and age. FDA guidelines have changed throughout the years and so has the crock pot manufacturing industry.
- Always consider those factors when you're making any slow cooked dish, be it from my website or others.
- The sauce for this lasagna freezes beautifully making it ideal for making in advance to save time.
- This entire lasagna can be assembled in advance, if you have a removable crock. For my unit, I bring it to room temperature before heating it in the slow cooker to prevent a sudden temperature change. Reference the manufacturers recommendation regarding safety precautions for your particular slow cooker.
Other Slow Cooker Pasta Dishes You May Like to Try
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Slow Cooker Three Meat Lasagna
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- Olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
- 1 Tbsp Italians seasoning (Plus, 1 tsp) divided
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 16 oz container ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg beaten
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 12 oz box dry lasagna noodles
- 1 67 oz jar marinara sauce (I.e. Prego)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 30 pepperoni slices
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- Fresh basil for garnishing
- Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil. Cook the onion over medium-high heat until translucent about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and sausage to the pan. Add 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, garlic salt and red pepper flakes.
- Cook over medium-high until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
- Add the marinara sauce and tomato paste. Cook stirring just until the tomato paste has dissolved. Remove from the heat. (This can be done in advance and chilled until assembling)
- In a small mixing bowl mix together the ricotta, beaten egg, grated Parmesan and remaining 1 tsp Italian seasoning.
- To assemble: Spray the crock of a 6-quart oval slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup meat sauce sauce on the bottom from edge to edge. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles in a single layer over the sauce. Break to fit as needed.
- Spread noodles with ⅓ of the ricotta, ⅓ of the meat sauce, 1 cup shredded cheese.
- Arrange 10 pepperoni slices over the cheese. Repeat 2 more times.
- End with the 4th layer of noodles and cover liberally with sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. (See Cook's note)
- Uncover and top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover and let rest just until cheese melts. Let stand uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Cut and serve.
- The entire lasagna may be assembled in the removable crock in advance then covered and chilled until cooking. Check the manufacturers recommendation for your particular unit for safety.
- If assembling with hot meat sauce and cooked immediately check for doneness at 4 hours.