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, aka 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.
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.
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 crockpot manufacturing industry. So, consider those factors when you’re making any slow cooked dish be it from my website or others. Just know, next time you plan a family-pleasing feast, the layers of Italian love in this lasagna will delight your hungry eaters. Mangia!
You may also like: Slow Cooked Chicken Parmesan Pasta, Slow Cooker Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Pasta, Italian Crockpot Bacon Cheesy Rotini , Crockpot Pizza Casserole and Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches.
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- Olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp dry Italians seasoning, divided
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 (16-ounce) ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 12 dry lasagna noodles
- 1 (67-ounce) 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 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 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.
- Top 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 rest until the cheese melts.
- Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Cut and serve.
If assembling with hot meat sauce and cooked immediately check for doneness at 4 hours.