Slow Cooker Lasagna

Aug 15, 2012

America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution

I like to make large casseroles and soups and then keep portion out and store individually frozen meals for quick dinners or easy lunches for my husband to take to work. In the winter, this is no problem.

When it's 103 degrees out, turning on the oven and browning meat and simmering a sauce on the stove kind of lose their appeal. Most slow cooker recipes for casseroles or soups start with browning meat or sautéing vegetables on the stove, so I was excited to find this recipe, from "America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution" that didn't require any prior cooking of ingredients other than the noodles.

This lasagna turned out great. I didn't expect the cheese to brown like it would in the oven, but it did and the lasagna held its shape after being removed and was easily cut and served. My husband loved it, "The Princess" wouldn't touch it, and "The Little Lady" ate more than a 9 month old really should. So, pretty much the usual.

Sausage Lasagna

Vegetable Oil spray
8 curly edged lasagna noodles (7 oz) broken in half
Salt and pepper
1 3/4 cup ricotta (15 oz)
1 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2.5 oz) (I used the canister kind)
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
1 large egg
1 jar tomato sauce (recipe recommends 24 oz Bertolli tomato and basil sauce)
1 lb Italian sausage removed from its casing (I used Italian turkey sausage)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Make a sling and collar for crock-pot*. Spray with cooking spray.
Add 1 tbsp salt to 4 quarts water. Boil noodles to al dente according to pasta box instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Lay out in single layer to dry on a clean kitchen towel. (pasta will stick to paper towels).

In a bowl mix ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, basil.

Spread 1/2 cup of jarred tomato sauce on bottom of foil lined slow cooker. Arrange 4 noodles on top of sauce, they may overlap. Place 9 rounded tablespoons of ricotta mixture on noodles (the recipe didn't say to, but I smoothed out the ricotta mixture bc I like things to be uniform). Drop 1/3 of the sausage onto the ricotta layer. Next, sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella and then spoon 1/2 cup tomato sauce over the cheese. Repeat layers of noodles, ricotta, sausage, cheese, and sauce twice more.

For the last layer arrange 4 noodles, then top with remaining sauce and sprinkle the last of the mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover and cook until lasagna is cooked through, 4 hours on low. (I cooked the first hour on high because I was just too nervous that the turkey meat wouldn't be cooked all the way through on low).

Let cool for 20 minutes then transfer using sling to serving dish.

Recipe slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution

*For directions to make a collar and sling, scroll to bottom of cake recipe.



  1. How much did this make? I have a family of six with some big it deeper to compensate for the smaller size? We can polish off 3/4 of a 13 x 9. I'm doomed since the kids are only 6, 4, 2, & 2 (can't even imagine how much we will eat when they get bigger!)

    1. Oh my! Not many leftovers at your house I'm guessing. It is deeper than a 13x9. I would think it would be close to 3/4 of a 13x9. My husband is a really big eater. He had two meals and 3 lunches out of it. I think I usually use 3 layers of noodles in the casserole dish and this had 4. You may add some garlic bread just in case :)


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