Spinach and mushrooms are layered into this rich and cheesy crockpot lasagna that slowly cooks into perfectly sliceable layers.
This crockpot lasagna is vegetarian, but it's not light and skimpy. Rich, thick layers of mozzarella, parmesan and an extra-creamy layer of ricotta and creme fraiche are stacked with marinara sauce, mushrooms, spinach and noodles.
Why Cook Lasagna in a Crockpot?
Convenience: Layer it up, program the slow cooker and leave the house (or just leave the kitchen) to live your life while dinner cooks itself.
Feed a Crowd: Crockpots are great for cooking big portions of food, and this rich and filling lasagna recipe will satisfy a big group or a smaller family who wants leftovers.
Eat Dinner in Shifts: Some of your kids are hungry at 5pm. Others will wonder into the kitchen at 6pm. You aren't hungry until 7 pm. Just leave the lasagna in the crockpot (on warm or turned off - it will still hold it's heat) and everyone can eat when they're hungry.
Have Your Kids (or partner) Start Dinner: You can layer this lasagna up the night before and keep it in the fridge. The next day, whoever happens to be at home in the afternoon can put the insert in the slow cooker and simply press start.
Don't Heat Up Your Kitchen: As a person who lives in Los Angeles without central air conditioning, this applies to me year round. I love recipes that let me avoid turning on the oven.
What You Need to Know About Crockpot Lasagna
- Know your slow cooker. How hot the "low" and "high" settings cook can vary a lot, which is why most slow cooker recipes give an approximate, not exact, cooking time.
- Unless the "low" heat on your slow cooker is very low, cooking lasagna for 6 to 8 hour in a crockpot is probably too long. In my experience, the the noodles are mushy and the edges scorched.
- My experience is that 3 to 4 hours is an ideal cooking time for crockpot lasagna. The noodles are tender but not too soft, and the edges brown just a little bit but don't scorch.
- If you work from home or it's a weekend, this is a perfect recipe to put in the crockpot around 1 or 2pm so it's ready for dinner.
- I like using regular lasagna noodles for crockpot lasagna (not the no-boil, oven-ready noodles). Both types of noodles will work, but the regular noodles keep their texture better and help create distinct layers.
Tips for Thick, Sliceable Layers of Lasagna
- Water is the enemy of lasagna layers. This recipe doesn't add any water and quickly pre-cooks the mushrooms and spinach so the veggies don't release too much moisture in the crockpot.
- Use thick, regular lasagna noodles with the frilled edges (and don't pre-boil the noodles)
- Add a little bit of creme fraiche to the ricotta, which makes it thicker and creamier
- I use a 6-quart slow cooker, which is the right size for creating a high, thick lasagna.
- Let the lasagna sit for at least 30 minutes after you turn the slow cooker off. This gives it time to settle into layers.
What is Creme Fraiche?
Creme fraiche is cultured cream. It’s thick, rich and creamy. Buy creme fraiche that doesn’t have any added stabilizers or thickeners. The only ingredient should be cultured cream. My favorite brand is Bellwether Farms. Creme fraiche is sold in the refrigerated dairy aisle, sometimes near the cheese and sometimes near the sour cream.
Mixing a little bit of creme fraiche with ricotta makes the ricotta layer richer, smoother and creamier.
More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
- My Favorite Vegetable Lasagna (oven-baked)
- One Pot Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Kale
- Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
- Instant Pot Artichoke Spinach Dip Pasta