Slow Cooker Lasagna is a very versatile dish. This Meat and Veggie Lasagna has lots of added vegetables and makes this version a meal by itself. Unfortunately, Baker’s Man demands garlic bread with all of his “Italian” dishes, so there was one more thing to do when I got home from work, but I’m not complaining.
There’s nothing traditional about this slow cooker meat and veggie lasagna, but because it’s made in the slow cooker, dinner is ready when you get home. A frozen lasagna will take one and one-half to two hours to bake after you get home depending on if you remembered to thaw it. There’s quite a bit of assembly with this recipe, but you can assemble the Lasagna the night before, and put it in your slow cooker in the morning.
I had some surplus vegetables that needed to be used up on the day that I made this lasagna, so it contains things that aren’t usually added to a traditional lasagna. Nevertheless, my family loved this one, and I managed to sneak in some added vegetables. If you don’t want to see all of the steps and read my tips, click here to be taken to the recipe.Jump to Recipe
What do you need to prepare this recipe?
From the Pantry
- Pasta Sauce
- Lasagna Noodles
- Granulated Garlic
- Italian Seasoning
From the Refrigerator
- Cottage Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Italian Sausage
- Cherry Tomatoes
From the Root Cellar
- Brown Onion
How do you make Slow Cooker Meat and Veggie Lasagna?
The first thing you want to do is chop up the onion, garlic, and tomatoes, and start cooking the meat mixture. While the meat is cooking, slice up your zucchini and combine one cup of each of the cheeses, cottage cheese, egg, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Before adding the spaghetti sauce to the pan with the meat, measure out one-half cup of the sauce and pour it into the bottom of the slow cooker. This helps to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the insert.
Arrange some uncooked lasagna noodles over the sauce, breaking them to make them fit. Try to cover as much of the bottom of the slow cooker insert as possible with the noodles.
The next step is to spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles. Pushing the mixture until an even layer tops the noodles.
Now it’s time to add the meat sauce. You want to only add 1/3 of the meat sauce on each layer, so don’t use too much now, our you’ll run out.
Now it’s time to add your sliced zucchini. Arrange them in a single layer on top of the meat mixture. (I sprinkled mine with Italian seasoning because I forgot to add it in the beginning. I forget ingredients more times that I would like to admit. I’m definitely not perfect.)
Then, you do it all over again. Another layer of lasagna noodles goes on top of the zucchini.
Three noodles covered it, but I realized I would have three noodles left in the box, and I didn’t want them taking up space on my shelf, so I added two more to this layer. I was also concerned that the zucchini might release so much liquid in the cooking process that the lasagna wouldn’t hold it’s shape, so the extra noodles were also sort of an insurance policy.
Time for another layer of cheese. Go ahead use all of the remaining cheese and cottage cheese mixture.
Now you want to put half of the remaining meat mixture on top of the cheese stuff. Don’t use it all because you’re going to need some of the sauce to put on top of the last layer of noodles.
It’s time for another layer of sliced zucchini (sorry, no photo), and another layer of noodles. (This time, I used 4 noodles and finished off the box. I really don’t like having open boxes of lasagna noodles in my pantry. Are you like that, too or am I just weird? Leave a comment and let me know.)
Finally, the rest of the meat sauce is spread over the top of the noodles, and the whole thing is topped with the rest of the shredded Mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.
Because I forgot the to add the Italian seasoning earlier, and also because it looked pretty, I sprinkled some on top. This step isn’t necessary, but I thought it looked better. (Not that you can tell from my lousy photos.)
Our work here is done. Put the lid on the slow cooker, turn it to low, and come back 8 hours later. I have allowed this to cook for as long as 10 hours because I commute to work, and it turned out fine.
When you get home, you should have something that looks like this sitting in your slow cooker.
Turn off the slow cooker, and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes while you make some garlic bread or a salad, and serve. This tastes amazing. My only complaint is that because it’s so thick, the lasagna won’t stay upright on a plate. Perhaps if I had that casserole crockpot, it wouldn’t be a problem. Maybe I’ll get lucky and Santa Clause will bring me one this year.
This Slow Cooker Meat and Veggie Lasagna is really delicious, and I love that I come home and dinner is ready. All I have to do is make a salad, or not, and put some garlic bread into the oven. A frozen lasagna takes at least an hour and a half to bake from frozen, and I don’t want to wait that long for dinner after a hard day at work. This slow cooker meat and veggie lasagna is the perfect solution.
Have you ever made a slow cooker lasagna? What’s your favorite thing to make in the slow cooker? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.
Slow Cooker Meat and Veggie Lasagna
- 1 24 ounce jar Spaghetti Sauce divided ($1.28)
- 1 16 oz package Lasagna Noodles ($1.98) You may not use all of these
- 1 16 oz carton cottage cheese ($0.99)
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese divided ($1.69)
- 1 ½ cups grated (or shredded) Parmesan cheese divided ($1.69)
- 2 large eggs ($0.17)
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic ($0.04)
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning ($0.07)
- 2 zucchini sliced ($0.59)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved, cut into quarters, or sliced ($0.99)
- 1 pound ground turkey Italian Sausage ($1.98)
- 1 medium brown onion chopped ($0.20)
- 2 cloves garlic minced ($0.10)
- Brown ground turkey in deep skillet or large pot with chopped onion.
- When turkey is halfway finished, add garlic and cherry tomatoes to the pan with the turkey and continue to cook for 1 – 2 minutes longer.
- Add 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce to the bottom of your slow cooker, and spread it around.
- Add the remaining spaghetti sauce to the meat mixture, and stir well to fully incorporate it.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, the Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, and the eggs until everything is well combined.
- Arrange a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles on the bottom of your slow cooker, breaking them to fit. (A single layer of noodles works best, so try not to stack them on top of each other too much. I needed three for the bottom of my slow cooker.)
- Top with 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture.
- Top this with 1/3 of the meat mixture.
- Arrange a layer of sliced zucchini on top of the meat mixture.
- Place another layer of lasagna noodles on top of the zucchini. It's OK to put a couple extra noodles on this layer to absorb all of the liquid that will be created as the zucchini cooks. (I used 5 noodles on this layer.)
- Top the Lasagna Noodles with the remaining cottage cheese mixture.
- Top the cottage cheese mixture with 1/2 of the remaining meat mixture.
- Arrange another layer of zucchini slices on top of the meat mixture.
- Top the zucchini layer with another layer of lasagna noodles. (I used 4 noodles here.)
- Add the remaining meat mixture on top of the noodles, making certain to spread it out to the the edges of the pan to cover the noodles. .
- Top with 1 cup shredded Mozzarella and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. (At this point, you can put your slow cooker insert, covered, into the refrigerator overnight if you're doing this the night before.)
- Place insert into the slow cooker. (If I have put mine in the refrigeratork I allow it to sit on the counter for 30 -60 minutes before putting it into the slow cooker to decrease the risk fo it cracking.)
- Turn slow cooker to low, and allow to cook for 8 hours. (I have allowed this to go as long as 10 hours.)
- Turn off slow cooker and allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Use a long spatula to reach the bottom of the slow cooker, and cut out serving size pieces.
- Because it's thicker than a regular lasagna, it always falls over on the plate. This is great served by itself, but if you like, you can add a salad and garlic bread to complete the meal.
The nutrition information below is calculated based upon a single serving (one-twelfth) of the Slow Cooker Meat and Veggie Lasagna prepared according to the recipe above.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com. We make every attempt to ensure that the information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful. Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided.