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 your personal chef, a.k.a the 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.
Easy Slow Cooker Three Meat Lasagna Recipe
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 entrée at any meal that I serve.
How to Make the Best Slow Cooker Three Meat Lasagna Recipe
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 another.
- Ingredients you'll need to make this recipe for homemade Slow Cooker Lasagna: Ground beef, Italian sausage, onion, olive oil, dried Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, ricotta cheese, one egg, Parmesan cheese, marinara sauce, tomato paste, shredded mozzarella cheese, dry lasagna noodles, classic not no-boil. You'll also need chopped fresh parsley or basil.
- The sauce for this lasagna freezes beautifully making it ideal for making in advance to save time. You can make it and freeze for up to 2 months.
- 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.
- Store leftover slow cooker lasagna in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave in single serving portions.
- Side dishes to serve with slow cooker lasagna: Oven Roasted Panko Parmesan Cauliflower, or if you prefer a variety of vegetables this recipe for Garlic Parmesan Roasted Vegetables is a winner.
- Classic sides of a Seven Layer Salad and Homestyle Garlic Bread always works.
More Southern Style Slow Cooker Recipes to Make
Even though Instant Pots have surged to the top of favorite kitchen appliances, I still occasionally fall back to my trusted slow cooker or crockpot for meals. Instant Pots certainly have their place and pressure cooking is a fantastic cooking technique, but the low and slow cooking technique of crockpots suits my scheduled. More slow cooker recipes you may like to try:
- Slow Cooked Triple Cheddar Mac and Cheese is made with parboiled elbow macaroni and baked in a slow cooker.
- Slow Cooked Spaghetti Sauce simmers all day and it's waiting for you when you're ready to eat.
- Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff is tender and full flavored.
- You may also like this recipe for Italian Crockpot Bacon Cheesy Rotini from Recipes That Crock.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Slow Cooker Three Meat Lasagna
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (Plus, 1 tsp) divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon 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 tablespoon 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 teaspoon 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.
Why did no one catch that it says use a third of the meat sauce, repeat two more times, then asked for a fourth?
You only use 1 cup of sauce as stated in the recipe, on the bottom of the slow cooker. Divide the remaining into thirds for the layers. Nothing was missed on our end.
Why is it called three meat lasagna and there are only 2 meats listed in the recipe?
Ground beef, Italian sausage and pepperoni would be three meats.
Most of the crockpot recipes ive found water is added why didnt you add water to yours
Because there's ample sauce in this recipe water isn't necessary.
Renee M Olson
I don't like sausage in my pasta. I know to add extra beef, but are there any other changes I should make?
None at all, you can adapt it without any other changes.
That's what I used. If you go by directions it turns out amazing!! I wouldn't change a thing.
I will be taking this to church tomorrow for our potluck...can't wait.
The sausage adds that little zip to the sauce and blends nicely. It doesn't stand out. Worth adding it.
Can you cook this on high, and if so, for how long?
You can. Typically cooking on high takes half the amount of time but, test it as slow cookers are just like ovens, and can vary wildly.
Is that a typo or is does the recipe really call for 67 oz marinara sauce?
That's not a typo. The equivalent of 3 (20-oz) jars.
I believe step #4 had a typo, where it says "...cook string..." Instead of 'stiring'. 😊
Got it Michelle. (No strings allowed lol)
What is the 3rd meat?? All I see is ground beef and Italian sausage!
Do you use regular lasagna noodles or no boil? Would either work? Thank you! I can’t wait to try this!
Either will work. I used regular.
This looks fantastic. I've been wanting to try the "slow cook" function on my Instant Pot and this will be just the recipe I'll try it with.
Thanks for the great post!
Let me know how it goes in the Instant Pot Ron, thanks!