Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com

Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna & Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna

Traditional Italian Lasagna is a labor-intensive dish to make, but this Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna (shown in the video), and/or this Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna (pictured below) takes only a fraction of the time to make but still has all the robust Italian flavor you love.

Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna and Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com

If you don’t like the heat, get out the slow cooker! Well, that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but it certainly does apply during the summer months, or anytime you want to have a fuss-free dinner option.

This recipe for Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna is a family favorite of ours. I’ve made several different versions of this traditional Italian favorite (as you’ll notice in this post), and they’re all easy, tasty, and completely satisfying! 

I’ve decided to update this post by adding a second Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna option for your consideration. I posted the original version of Whole Grain CrockPot Sausage Lasagna (shown below) back in July of 2015.

Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna and Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com

Fast forward to today. By using frozen meatballs instead of sausage, this version is even faster than before making it perfect for those folks who aren’t entirely comfortable in the kitchen, OR when your time is tight, and the preparation time needs to be speedy. I’m calling it Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna (no surprise there). Here’s a quick video I made to tempt you and, of course, make you hungry!

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Below is the updated recipe for Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna. If you’d prefer the recipe for the Whole Grain and Sausage lasagna you can find it further down in this article.

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Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com
Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 10 mins
 
Traditional Italian Lasagna is a labor-intensive dish to make, but this Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna takes only a fraction of the time to make but still has all the robust Italian flavor you love.
Course: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Italian Cuisine
Renee - Kudos Kitchen: Renée - Kudos Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 6-8 cups cooked and previously frozen meatballs your favorite variety
  • 1 box dried lasagna noodles broken into large pieces, divided in half
  • 1 carton 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 carton 15 ounces cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 large cans 29 ounces tomato sauce (your favorite variety)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella divided
  • 3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese divided
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and cottage cheese.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Add approximately 1 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of a slow cooker.
  4. Add half of the broken lasagna noodles to the cooker in an even layer.
  5. Add half of the frozen meatballs to the cooker and top the meatballs with half of the cottage cheese and ricotta mixture. Spread evenly.
  6. Add 1/3'd of the shredded mozzarella and 1/3'd of the Parmesan cheese evenly on top of the ricotta mixture.
  7. Layer more sauce, the remaining broken pasta, the remaining meatballs, the remaining ricotta mixture and half of the remaining shredded cheese into the cooker ending with the final remaining sauce, the remaining basil, oregano, and the remaining shredded cheese.
  8. Cover the cooker and set on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

tools and equipment:

7 - 8 quart slow cooker
measuring cups
large bowl
measuring spoons
wooden spoon or spatula

 

Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote back in 2015 –
Lasagna is a family favorite in my home. Everyone loves the cheesy, noodly goodness, especially when full of flavorful Italian sausage.

Making traditional layered lasagna takes a great deal of time, effort and a crazy amount of pots and pans to prepare. Because of that, lasagna became something that I would only make on weekends, or when company was coming over.

Move over traditional lasagna, this Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna (or Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna) can be served even on a busy weeknight. It has all the great flavors you love from a traditional lasagna, but with a lot less work…and a lot less mess.

Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna
Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna and Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com

One of the other things I love about lasagna is that it’s excellent when reheated. Somehow the flavors deepen and intensify making it even tastier the next day. If you’re not feeding a big family, don’t shy away from this recipe. This Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna freezes exceptionally well, making it perfect for another two or even three meals, down the road. Talk about a delicious time saver!!

WHOLE GRAIN CROCK POT SAUSAGE LASAGNA   {PRINT THIS RECIPE}
Serves: 8-10         Prep Time:  15 minutes        Cook Time: 6 hours on low – 4 hours on high

2 lbs ground Italian sausage
1½  teaspoons dried basil, divided
1½  teaspoons dried oregano, divided
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 cans (29 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
1 box whole grain lasagna noodles, uncooked (regular lasagna noodles also work)
1 carton (24 ounces) cottage cheese, divided
1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese, divided
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
Fresh basil leaves for garnish (if desired)

– Brown the sausage in a large skillet with ½ teaspoon dried basil and ½ teaspoon dried oregano. Cool slightly.

-Cover the bottom of the crockpot with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Break approximately 4-5 lasagna noodles and place in a layer in the crock pot. Top the noodles with half of the cottage cheese, half of the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 cup of Parmesan, half of the remaining dried basil, oregano and half of the garlic powder. Top the cheese and seasonings with half of the browned sausage and top with a liberal layer of tomato sauce.

-Continue with additional layers (just as before) with the remaining ingredients (layer order really doesn’t matter), but make sure to end with a liberal layer of sauce and the remaining Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, basil, and garlic powder. Cover and cook for the desired amount of time (8 hours on low, or 6 hours on high).

-Cool slightly and serve with fresh basil as a garnish, if desired.

Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna and Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com

The only thing you won’t have with this Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna, or the version with whole grain pasta and sausage, is the nice square, layered slices you’d likely get with a traditional baked lasagna, which looks so pretty on a plate. The thing is, it’s very rare for me that my traditional lasagna ever serves up as pretty as a magazine or cookbook because we’re all usually too impatient (and hungry) to wait for it to set up after it comes out of the oven anyway.  LOL

Feel free to layer in fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) spinach, if desired. And if you feel like making it for a meatless meal, omitting the Italian sausage is certainly a good option. This Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna or Whole Grain Sausage Lasagna is totally customizable to your preferences and families tastes. Don’t be afraid to play with the recipe and make it your own. The method will remain the same and the cook times won’t vary. Just remember always to cook the meat prior to adding it to the cooker.

Julia Child Quote Apron - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com
I hope you liked the recipe I’ve shared with you today, and also the apron. They’re both some of my favorites! I wish I could cook for you, but the best I can do is share my recipes. However, I can paint for you, and love doing it.
If you’re looking for other easy and delicious international slow cooker recipes I’ve shared in the past, please click on the following titles for:
Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna - kudoskitchenbyrenee.com

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe for Slow Cooker Meatball Lasagna as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. Should you have any questions regarding this, or anything else you see on my site, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly, or leave me a comment in the comment section below. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back to you with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

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Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Cooking up artistically delicious family-friendly dishes from my Kudos Kitchen to yours!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

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7 Comments

  1. I love whipping out my crock pot when it's this hot! Thanks for the idea to make lasagna in it!

  2. I love this healthy version!

  3. I love using my crock pot year round. I need to try this recipe – it looks awesome!

  4. Yes, I just love lasagna the next day…it just sort of "comes together" better. I totally have to try your crockpot version, what a fabulous idea!

  5. I'm always amazed at how much you can make in a crock pot.

  6. I've never tried making lasagna in the crock pot! Love this idea – especially when it's too hot to turn on the oven!

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