This delicious recipe for slow cooker lasagne is a delicious dish which will suit the whole family, and is much more convenient than traditional oven cooking, saving you time and energy as no oven is needed!
Slow cooker lasagne is a real family favourite in my household.
My recipe is a slightly healthier or lighter lasagne with an easy replacement for the traditional heavy cheese sauce, and with plenty of veggies in the rich meat sauce.
This is great for family meals. It still tastes really luxurious!
Once I found out how easy it is to make lasagne in the slow cooker, I don’t make it in the oven anymore, as this is so much simpler! Tastier too!
Why make this recipe
✔️ hassle free – no need to fully cook the meat sauce before layering up.
✔️ you don’t need to transfer the lasagne to an oven dish to brown it off in the oven.
✔️ tastes delicious.
✔️ uses much less energy than cooking the meat sauce in a pan then baking the assembled lasagne in the oven.
✔️ slow cooking lasagne allows the flavours of the meat sauce to develop through the long cooking time.
✔️ dried pasta sheets soften well in this dish without pre-soaking.
Here are the ingredients you will need for this lasagne. Grab the quantities from the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- beef mince (ground beef) – I use 5% fat for this healthier recipe. You can easily switch it for mince with a higher fat content if you prefer – if you do, it is best to drain the fat off after browning the mince.
- onion – for the meat sauce. Adds that delicious sweet and savoury flavour we love.
- garlic – to add a punch of flavour, vital in the base sauce I think!
- red and green/yellow pepper – I like to include vegetables in the base sauce to up the vegetable content, you could use red and green or yellow bell peppers or replace them with carrots, courgettes (zucchini), mushrooms, or whatever you prefer.
- dried oregano – adds flavour to the meat sauce. It has a pungent, aromatic scent and flavour.
- dried rosemary – also used to add fragrant flavour to the meat sauce.
- tinned chopped tomatoes – as a base for the sauce.
- tomato puree (double concentrate) – intensifies the tomato flavour and also helps to thicken the sauce,
- lasagne sheets – I use dried sheets.
- creme fraiche – I use reduced fat creme fraiche for this healthier recipe. If you prefer you can use the full fat version.
- grated mozzarella (shredded mozzarella) – don’t try to grate fresh mozzarella, this is dried type of mozzarella sold in grated format, which is great for topping a lasagne with. It melts during cooking to help brown the top.
- milk – a splash of milk is used to loosen the creme fraiche and make it more runny so you can spread it as a topping.
- fresh basil leaves – I like to add a few basil leaves on top of the lasagne before cooking, or include them in the sauce.
- olive oil – ideally if you have an olive oil spray this can be used to grease your slow cooker pot to prevent sticking. If you don’t have a spray you can use a little normal olive oil and grease the pot with it using a pastry brush.
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this slow cooker lasagne recipe perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
In a saucepan, brown the beef mince, without oil.
Once it is fully browned, stir in the onion, garlic and peppers.
Add the herbs, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Mix well.
Put a third of the meat mixture in the slow cooker pot.
Top the layer of sauce with three or four lasagne sheets.
If your slow cooker is round or oval, you might find it helps to break the lasagne sheets up a bit to fit.
Repeat the meat sauce and lasagne sheet layers twice more to use up all of the bolognese sauce and lasagne sheets.
In a bowl, mix the creme fraiche, grated cheese and a splash of milk. Season. Stir it to make a runny sauce.
Add the cheesy topping on top of the third layer of lasagne sheets. Spread it over the top layer to cover it completely.
Put on the lid and cook for approx. 6 hours on low or 4 on high.
The cheese will brown around the edges and the pasta softens well. Serve with green salad and garlic bread, garnished with basil.
If the creme fraiche and mozzarella topping melts away during cooking, which can happen, you might like to add a little more of the cheesy mixture before the end of cooking.
I also like to add some extra grated mozzarella on top to melt into the sauce.
Surprisingly, it does, as you can see in the photos.
Contact with the sides of the slow cooker cause the cheese topping to brown all on its own, without needing to put it under the grill (broiler).
It could go even more brown and crispy if you wanted to go crazy and add more cheese! Or, if your slow cooker doesn’t make the cheese brown, you can heat the grill/broiler to medium heat and put the slow cooker in an oven tray under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top further.
In this recipe we brown the mince in a pan before mixing it with the meat sauce ingredients and layering it up in the slow cooker. You could skip this stage and break up the raw mince and mix it with the sauce ingredients before layering in the same way. But, I find the texture better if the mince is browned off first, mince can go mushy otherwise. Also you will miss out on the added flavour you get from browning the meat plus you won’t be able to drain away any excess fat.
I use 9-12 sheets of lasagne in total and make three layers of meat sauce topped with the pasta sheets. So I use three to four sheets in each layer. This recipe is made in a large 5.7 litre / 6 quart slow cooker which can accommodate three layers.
I cook lasagne in the slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours, but you could cook it on high for 3-4 hours instead.
- White/cheese sauce – instead of the creme fraiche and mozzarella topping you could make up a white or cheese sauce and use that. In this case you could use it over the top of each layer or purely on the top.
- Pasta replacement – use large slices of butternut squash or courgette in place of the pasta sheets, to reduce the carbs in the dish. I use this technique in my slow cooker butternut squash lasagne.
- Pancetta/bacon – add fried diced bacon or pancetta to the meat sauce.
- Red wine – add a little red wine to the meat sauce for a richer flavour. Watch out that the sauce doesn’t become too thin if you add wine though, you may need to thicken it with more tomato puree or reduce it in a pan.
- More cheese – sprinkle over some Parmesan before cooking, or grated mature cheddar cheese.
This lasagne is just topped with a quick and easy to make cheese sauce made from creme fraiche and grated cheese, and I only add it on the top layer.
This means it holds together well and can be transferred into another dish for freezing or just storing in the fridge, if you have any leftovers.
Keep any leftovers for 2-3 days in the fridge. Freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-proof container.
More lasagne recipes
For more lasagne recipes, check these out:
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash & Lentil Lasagne
- Spinach, mushroom and blue cheese lasagne from Farmergirl’s Kitchen
- Aubergine and ricotta lasagne from Family Friends Food
Slow Cooker Lasagne
- 500 g 5% fat beef mince
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 9-12 sheets of lasagne dried
- 200 ml reduced fat creme fraiche
- 50 g grated mozzarella or grated cheddar
- milk a splash
- basil leaves to garnish
- spray olive oil to grease the pot
- Brown the beef mince in a pan, without using oil.500 g 5% fat beef mince
- Once it is brown all over, stir in the prepared onion, garlic and peppers. Turn off the heat to the pan.1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 2 garlic cloves
- Add the dried oregano and the dried rosemary, the tin of chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and mix well.1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes, 4 tbsp tomato puree
- Put one third of the mixture in the base of the oiled slow cooker pot.spray olive oil
- Top with three to four sheets of lasagne, broken to fit.9-12 sheets of lasagne
- Put another third of the mince mixture on top of the lasagne sheets, and top again with three to four lasagne sheets, broken to fit.
- Repeat once more to use up all of the mince mixture.
- Mix the reduced fat creme fraiche, grated mozzarella and a splash of milk in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour it over the top layer of pasta and spread it around to cover the top. Add a few leaves of fresh basil.200 ml reduced fat creme fraiche, 50 g grated mozzarella, milk
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- If the creme fraiche and mozzarella topping melts away during cooking, you might like to add a little more of it before the end of cooking. I also like to add some extra grated mozzarella on top to melt into the sauce.
- Serve garnished with some basil leaves, with green salad and garlic bread.basil leaves
- Slow cooker size – I use my large 5.7 litre slow cooker for this dish.
- Nutrition – This dish comes in at only 374 cals per serving (based on 6 portions).
- Storage – Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days in a sealed tub. Or freeze leftovers in a freezer-proof container for up to 3 months.