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With all the comforting flavors of traditional lasagna, Crockpot Express Lazy Lasagna comes together in minutes for an easy weeknight dinner.
I love lasagna. Growing up, it was one of my favorite meals, and I would always request it for special occasions. However, it’s a bit tedious to make so I don’t add it to our family menu very often. When I started seeing posts about “Lazy Lasagna” on Facebook and Pinterest I figured I’d give it a try.
This Crockpot Express Lazy Lasagna has all the flavors of traditional lasagna but comes together in minutes and cooks even more quickly. Everyone gobbled it up, so I will be adding this to my list of favorite Crockpot Express Recipes and the regular meal rotation!
I used these fun little curly noodles called Radiatore because they resemble the curly edges of typical lasagna noodles. They also cook very quickly, so the overall cook time is very short. If you prefer your noodles more on the “al dente” side of things, you could shorten the cook time by 1-2 minutes.
The rest of the flavors in this recipe are standard to any traditional lasagna: ground meat (I used beef, but you can use pork, turkey or a mixture), onions and garlic, your favorite spaghetti sauce and cheese.
My mom always used cottage cheese when I was growing up, so that’s what I use as well. It’s a bit cheaper than ricotta and I like the texture. But if you prefer ricotta, go for it! Don’t forget that nice layer of mozzarella on the top. Everyone loves a good cheese pull. 😉
This “cheater” recipe reminded me of another favorite-Crockpot Ravioli. It’s one of those “I can’t even deal with thinking about what’s for dinner” kind of meals. It’s quick to prep, uses a few ready-made ingredients and cooks while you’re busy working.
You can easily make it in your Crockpot Express and the nonstick liner guarantees easy cleanup, just like with this Lazy Lasagna. So there you go-two dinner ideas for the price of one! 😉
Crockpot Express Lazy Lasagna
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 36 oz spaghetti sauce
- 6 cups radiatore noodles (one pound bag)
- 4 1/2 cups water (enough to cover pasta)
- 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
- 2 cups mozzarella divided
- Press Brown/Saute and allow the pot to heat for a couple minutes. Add the ground beef. When there's just a bit of pink left in the meat, add the onions and garlic. Continue to stir and cook until the meat is browned through and the onions are translucent. Drain any fat.
- Add the spaghetti sauce and stir well to mix with the meat and onion mixture.
- Place the pasta on top of the sauce mixture. DO NOT STIR.
- Pour the water over the pasta, pressing down gently to push the pasta into the sauce if needed. The pasta should be covered by the water.
- Close and lock the lid, turning the steam release valve to closed. Press Steam and adjust the time down to 5 minutes (high pressure.)
- When the cooking cycle is done, do a quick release. Open the lid and stir in the cottage cheese and a little more than half the mozzarella. Cover the top of the pasta with the rest of the mozzarella and then close the lid (leaving it on Keep Warm) for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to warm and melt.
- Spoon out of the pot and serve hot with garlic bread and fresh salad for an easy meal!
- If your spaghetti sauce is thin, you may not need as much water. Start with 3 cups and then add a bit at a time until the noodles are covered. I used Prego traditional sauce when testing this recipe.
- If you prefer noodles with a bit more "bite" just cut the cooking time down 1-2 minutes.
- Check for splatter before opening the valve completely for quick release. If it's making a mess, simply release in short, quick bursts instead of a full stream.
- Feel free to cut down on the cheese if 2 cups is too much for you!
- This recipe works well in smaller batches. Adjust the number of servings in the recipe card and it will do the adjusting for you. The cook time should remain the same.