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Did you know that you can make a delicious lasagna in your Crock Pot? This Turkey and Pesto Slow Cooker Lasagna is a healthy version of your favorite Italian dinner recipe — made easily in the Crock Pot!

Slice of slow cooker lasagna on a spatula in the slow cooker

I was definitely skeptical at first. Would a Crock Pot lasagna have the same crusty, cheesy edges that I love on regular oven baked lasagna? Would the texture of the noodles be “normal”? The answer to these questions is “yes,” and my family agrees – this version is just as good as a traditional recipe. Plus, it just sits on your counter to cook for a few hours while you go about your business. Love that!

Slice of Crock Pot lasagna on a white plate garnished with parsley

HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER LASAGNA:

First, let’s start with the meat sauce! I use ground turkey breast in this recipe, but you can substitute with chicken for a chicken lasagna, or use ground beef or ground sausage if you prefer.

Ground turkey breast for slow cooker lasagna

Cook the turkey in a skillet along with the diced onion, Italian seasoning, and salt. You can take care of this step in advance and just keep the meat refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna in your slow cooker.

Cooked ground turkey in a skillet with wooden spoon

While the turkey browns, you can stir together your ricotta cheese mixture. This is where the pesto comes in! It just adds another layer of delicious Italian flavor (thanks to the basil and Parmesan cheese) to the dish.

Cheese and pesto sauce for slow cooker lasagna

You can prepare the ricotta mixture in advance, too!

Ricotta cheese mixture in glass bowl for Crock Pot lasagna

Then, when you’re ready to start your Crock Pot, it’s just a matter of layering the ingredients as instructed below. Make sure that you grab a box of “no boil” or “oven ready” lasagna noodles so that you don’t even have to boil them first!

Marinara sauce and lasagna noodles

HOW LONG DO YOU COOK LASAGNA IN THE CROCK POT?

This recipe cooks perfectly in about 3 1/2 – 4 hours on LOW. If you want to cook on HIGH heat, I would suggest cooking for about 2 hours. Remember, all slow cookers run at slightly different temperatures, so you’ll just need to keep an eye on your dish the first time that you make it. You’ll know it ready when the noodles are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly!

Slow cooker lasagna garnished with basil and parsley

COOK’S TIPS:

  • I used ground turkey breast, but you can absolutely substitute with your favorite lasagna meat – ground beef, ground sausage, whatever! Make a CHICKEN LASAGNA using about 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken or ground chicken instead of the turkey.
  • Look for “oven ready” or “no boil” lasagna noodles so that you don’t have to pre-cook the noodles before they go into your slow cooker.
  • Prepare the turkey and the ricotta mixture in advance and keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble your lasagna. You can do this the night before or over the weekend, so that you only have to layer the ingredients in your slow cooker before turning it on.
  • How to reheat leftover lasagna: if you have extra lasagna that you’d like to reheat for another meal, just place the lasagna in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees until heated through (about 20-30 minutes).

Sliced lasagna in a slow cooker

Looking for other delicious lasagna recipes? Try these favorites, too:

Turkey and Pesto Slow Cooker Lasagna

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 343 kcal
This Turkey and Pesto Slow Cooker Lasagna is a healthy version of your favorite Italian dinner recipe -- made easily in the Crock Pot!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast or substitute with chicken, ground beef, or sausage
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) container low fat ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • 2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese divided
  • 9 “no boil” (or "oven ready") lasagna noodles
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook turkey, onion, Italian seasoning, and salt until turkey is no longer pink. Drain.
  • In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, pesto, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread about 1/3 of the marinara sauce onto bottom of the slow cooker. Place a layer of 3 lasagna noodles on top, breaking noodles as necessary to fit in cooker.
  • Spread about 1/3 of ricotta cheese mixture on top of noodles. Then add 1/2 of turkey mixture on top. Drizzle with another 1/3 of the marinara sauce and then another layer of 3 noodles.
  • Repeat with additional layer of 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1/2 of the turkey. Top with remaining noodles, remaining ricotta cheese mixture, and remaining marinara. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or on HIGH for about 2 hours. You know it's done when the noodles are tender and the cheese is melted!
  • Remove lid and allow lasagna to cool slightly (for about 10-15 minutes) before slicing and serving. This will allow it to set so that it stays together nicely in squares!

Notes

COOK'S TIPS:

  • I used ground turkey breast, but you can absolutely substitute with your favorite lasagna meat – ground beef, ground sausage, whatever! Make a CHICKEN LASAGNA using about 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken or ground chicken instead of the turkey.
  • Look for "oven ready" or "no boil" lasagna noodles so that you don't have to pre-cook the noodles before they go into your slow cooker.
  • Prepare the turkey and the ricotta mixture in advance and keep them refrigerated until you're ready to assemble your lasagna. You can do this the night before or over the weekend, so that you only have to layer the ingredients in your slow cooker before turning it on.
  • How to reheat leftover lasagna: if you have extra lasagna that you'd like to reheat for another meal, just place the lasagna in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees until heated through (about 20-30 minutes).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the recipeCalories: 343kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 30gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 934mgPotassium: 611mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 885IUVitamin C: 6.9mgCalcium: 404mgIron: 2.1mg
Keyword: crock pot lasagna, healthy lasagna recipe, slow cooker lasagna
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in February, 2013. It was updated in October, 2018.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. I have used lasagna pasta that is not no boil or precooked for another crock pot recipe and they were tender. Would I be able to do that again?

    1. Hi, Hannah! It would probably work with the regular lasagna noodles, but those noodles will absorb a bit more liquid while they cook (since they’re not parboiled). You probably will want to add some extra sauce or other liquid in order to prevent the lasagna from getting too dry. 🙂