Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Lasagna

I don’t make lasagna all that much. It’s time consuming and cooking the noodles is such a pain. This recipe is awesome because it eliminates that step! I still needed to cook the ground beef first and layering everything in the crock pot took longer than I would have liked…BUT…that also could have been because I had to stop SO MANY TIMES to help my kids. They all seem to like to use the bathroom at the same time…plus, I’m potty training one of my twin boys right now. (The other twin trained himself just before he turned two…crazy, I know!!)

Anyway, making this lasagna yesterday went something like this… Start layering noodles, hear someone say “I have to go pee! I have to go pee!” Stop what I’m doing, head quickly to the bathroom, help him go, wash hands, come back to start working on dinner again. I do about 2 minutes worth of layering. Then I hear the next one “Me go pee!” Stop quickly, take him potty, clean up, wash hands and then hand out a “chocolate drop.” (They’re from the Simple Truth line at Kroger–free from artificial colors and preservatives.) Anyway, get back to the lasagna. Not more than another 2 minutes passes and then my daughter needs help in the bathroom. Sigh… Break again, help her, wash hands, come back to the kitchen. At this point, the whole dinner thing took WAY longer than I had anticipated and then I needed to stop to put the boys down for their nap. So, once again, break, take them into their room, read them each a book, put them in bed, give them both a sip of water, leave room…and finally come back to work on dinner again. Oh wait! Now I have to start a movie for my daughter. Start a movie for her and then, FINALLY, I can run upstairs to finish assembling dinner in my slow cooker! The whole dinner should NOT have taken so long to prepare, but I suppose that’s just how it goes with three little kids. Anyone else find that their cooking/baking attempts take way longer than they should sometimes due to their kids??

Anyway, if you haven’t noticed before, my recipes are all VERY simple. I don’t like a lot of ‘fuss’ when cooking and if there is a long list of ingredients in a recipe, I won’t even consider it. I like easy to prep, quick meals that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes…using only natural, real ingredients. This lasagna is one of those meals. It may have taken a little longer than I would have liked due to the assembling part, BUT, because I did this right after lunch, my work was finished by 1:30! All I had to do at dinner time was heat up some frozen (organic) veggies and put food on everyone’s plate! Love that!

Lasagna

Note on this recipe: This can go from ‘real food’ to ‘filled with artificial ingredients’ in no time! The key to making this lasagna “real food approved” is using the best quality ingredients and reading the labels on each item!

Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Lasagna
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage (I buy local, grass-fed beef/free-range pork from Seven Sons Family Farm)
  • 3 - 15 oz. cans of organic tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 16 oz. box whole wheat lasagna noodles (or other noodles), uncooked
  • 4 cups (+ extra) mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1½ cups cottage cheese (I buy Daisy)
Instructions
  1. Spray the slow cooker with an olive oil sprayer.
  2. Brown the ground beef or sausage in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. While the meat is cooking, mix together the three cheeses in a bowl.
  4. When the meat is cooked through, add the tomato sauce, salt, and seasoning. Stir together.
  5. Spread ¼ of the meat sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  6. Add ⅓ of the cheese mixture over the noodles.
  7. Repeat these layers two more times and top with the remaining sauce.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  9. Just before serving, add a little more mozzarella cheese on top and let melt.
  10. Scoop out and enjoy!

It doesn’t come out as “pretty” as a regular 9 x 13 pan-baked lasagna, but if you’re not trying to take a picture for a blog…then who cares, right?! 😉 I was also nervous the noodles wouldn’t cook (since I’ve never done this in a slow cooker before), but the noodles were perfectly done and the lasagna was nice and hot when it was time for dinner. Yum!

Note: This makes A LOT of lasagna!!! We ate it for dinner last night and will have it again for dinner tonight…and there will probably still be enough leftover for us to eat it for lunch tomorrow! My daughter LOVED it. She had three helpings!! My boys picked at it a little, but didn’t go crazy over it. However, my husband liked it too, and he’s not big into pasta, so that’s a good sign!

Not that the dinner required it, but instead of making garlic bread, I served the lasagna with slices of honey whole wheat bread that I had just pulled out of the oven. We all LOVE my homemade bread with some butter spread on top!! (I use this crock to keep my organic butter spreadable at all times.)

You may also like:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Real Fit, Real Food Mom will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

16 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Lasagna

  1. Quick question – where have you had success finding whole wheat lasagna noodles? I haven’t seen them at any of the grocery stores I shop at.

    1. Hi Valerie! I find them at Kroger–in the same aisle with all the other pasta. Sometimes I’ll get organic whole wheat noodles when I’m at Whole Foods, but I can usually find several varieties in our local Kroger. I would think most grocery stores would carry whole wheat noodles?? Just ask someone if you can’t find them. Hope that helps!

      1. We, of course, do not have Kroger in my area 🙂 But I will check Whole Foods the next time I’m there. Thank you! Great blog!

        1. Well, I finally did locate whole wheat lasagna noodles at Whole Foods and we made this last night – it was fantastic!!! I played around with the recipe just a bit (I added some fresh garlic and fresh basil to the meat sauce, plus a very small splash of cream). I used pecorino romano instead of parmesan (not organic, but it’s imported from Italy and is made from the milk of grass-fed sheep…). I did season the cottage cheese with some parsley, garlic powder, and black pepper. Everything just cooked down together so nicely, the noodles were super tender, and I’m pumped to have enough leftover for a few lunches this week. Thank you! (Oh, one more thing I’ve learned in my real food journey – I always used part skim mozzarella in my recipes and never really enjoyed it. Now I use whole milk mozzarella and it is just decadent!!)

          1. Glad you liked it, Valerie!! I will admit that I’m kind of ‘boring’ when it comes to adding spices and seasonings. I’m sure people that are more accustomed to stronger flavors would be ‘missing something’ with some of my recipes. I keep things very basic… 🙂 Your additions sound very tasty–thanks for sharing with me! And, yes, it’s great to use the full-fat options in recipes…the taste is definitely way improved!

  2. What size crock pot do you use? I have a tall round one and a shorter oval one if that makes sense. I’m guessing shorter oval that would be similar to a casserole dish? Going to make this tomorrow and love the idea of leftovers. We are heading out for a quick spring break and will need something when we get back. This sounds perfect!

    1. Sorry for the delay in response, Brittany! I don’t get notifications on posts written before a certain date, so I’m just now seeing this. Our crock pot is the 6 quart size (shorter oval).

  3. So made this tonight and we all loved it, even the 11 month old baby. He ate his weight in lasagna tonight! I did half ground beef and half Italian sausage cooked with half an onion, one green pepper and half a jalapeño (cause we like it a little spicy). Added 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning, 1 Tbsp parsley and 1 tsp oregano to the tomato sauce. Was awesome and look forward to eating the leftovers! Oh and I was short on cooking time so cooked high 1 hr and low last two. Love my crock pot and preparing things and leaving til dinner time and loved that I didn’t have to cook whole wheat noodles. I’ve learned that I can’t skip that step like I could with white noodles.

    1. Yay! So glad it worked out for you! 🙂 Your additions sound great! I need to learn to cook with more spices and get a little more adventurous with flavors, but I’m always scared to try. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Question for you about Seven Sons! I’m in a small town outside Dayton and close to their delivery drop off here. When I lived in Texas, I was in a Co-op and the grass fed beef tasted delicious. But, I purchased grassfed from a farm near here and found the beef to be disgusting. The ground beef tasted like a barn smells. Do you like the taste of the Seven Sons ground beef? I haven’t found any one yet who purchases grass fed around here to ask for a good recommendation! Thanks! Love your site!

    1. Hi Ellen! Glad to hear you like my site–makes me happy to hear that! 🙂 Yes, we all like the taste of Seven Sons’ meat. I’ve NEVER tasted anything ‘barn like’ at all. We’ve been buying from them almost exclusively for over a full year now and I’m very happy with their quality products. We buy the ground pork/sausage, ground sirloin, and whole chickens (as well as ground and breasts). Of course, they sell a lot of other varieties, as well, but we just don’t eat a lot of steaks or other cuts of meat. I also buy my eggs from them, as well as maple syrup and raw honey. Very, very happy with them and would definitely recommend you try them out!! (And I apologize that it took me over a week to reply–we were on vacation last week and this is the first time I’ve sat down at my computer!) If you try Seven Sons’, please let me know how you like it!

Comments are closed.