Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
When the temperatures dip into the mid-to-low 60’s, my appetite gears up for cozy homemade soups. One of our family’s favorites is this lasagna soup in the slow cooker that has all the delicious flavors of lasagna without quite all the heaviness of the traditional dish.
I’ll be upfront here and tell you this isn’t quite a set-it-and-forget-it recipe because you *will* need to get a big skillet out for a stovetop step before you get slow cookin’. But just know that step is basically as involved as making meat for tacos, so you’ve got this! If you did want to make this more of a dump meal, you could brown your meats in advance.
Because you know I love to stock my freezer with meals that heat up beautifully (read: not tasting like leftovers!), I have a way to freeze this soup for easy weeknight comfort food in a snap. Read on for my tips and tricks.
Easy Slowcooker Lasagna Soup
Adapted from Tastes Better from Scratch
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (measure this with your heart)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (honestly, I just use half a small can)
- 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce or red gravy (I love Rao’s, it’s 22 ounces)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons parsley (plus 1 teaspoon for the ricotta mixture later)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil (I use the dried kind, but feel free to substitute 1 tablespoon or more of fresh basil)
- 10 cups chicken broth (or beef broth or vegetable broth)
- 1 box lasagna noodles (you’ll be breaking these into pieces, but I’d measure as you go to reach your desired sauce to noodle ratio)
- 10 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper, to taste
In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and sausage until beginning to brown. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Add in your diced onion and garlic, stir to combine, cover and stir occasionally until onions are beginning to soften.
Stir in tomato paste, red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano, and basil and stir well.
Transfer meat mixture to slow cooker.
Add marina sauce to the meat mixture (I also like to pour some chicken broth into the jar and swish it around to get all the sauce out).
Add your broth of choice to the meat mixture. Stir well.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
*If you are planning to freeze the soup, remove that portion now.*
Break the lasagna noodles into bite size pieces over the slowcooker and stir until they’re submerged.
Cover and cook on high for 30-45 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.
While the noodles are cooking, combine 1 teaspoon dried parsley, mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta cheeses in a small bowl. Season with salt & pepper to taste and set aside.
Once the noodles are cooked through, ladle the hot soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of the ricotta mixture and enjoy!
To Freeze & Serve Later: When I get to the adding the noodles step, I remove any soup I plan to freeze from the crockpot and only leave in what we will eat that night. (I usually am making a double batch of soup.) This is because I don’t love the texture of the noodles once they’ve been frozen and reheated, but this may not bother you. I like to freeze the soup by itself (no noodles and no ricotta mixture) in portions big enough to serve our family. Thaw the soup in the refrigerator the night before (or defrost in the microwave in a pinch) and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. While you’re heating your soup, boil some broken lasagna noodles (or really any pasta) and make your ricotta mixture. I do not recommend freezing the ricotta mixture because it gets watery once thawed (which usually isn’t much of an issue in frozen lasagna because it cooks off in the oven). But since this mixture isn’t cooked, it’s just dolloped onto the bowl of soup, it’s best to make it fresh. Add your hot cooked and drained noodles to the heated soup, top with your ricotta mixture, and enjoy!