By Cassie Johnston
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Ready in 8 hours
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This post was updated in February 2016.
You know what’s awesome? Lasagna. You know what’s not awesome? How fussy lasagna can be to make. Layers and division and dolloping and the whole regular or no-boil noodle controversy. It’s enough to make a gal never want to make lasagna again.
Okay, that’s a total drama queen over-exaggeration, but the truth is, lasagna can be a bit finicky to make. It’s definitely not a weeknight dish. But you know what is a weeknight dish? Anything that’s made in the slow cooker. Including this soup.
My love affair with my slow cooker continues. Seriously folks, if you work outside the home and don’t have/use a slow cooker, you are missing out. It’ll make your life infinitely easier. Your car will never be out of gas. You’ll never have to take the trash out again. Your kids won’t complain about anything ever. The slow cooker rights all wrongs.
Theme of this post: over-exaggeration.
The best part about this soup is that is tastes like lasagna, obviously. It has all the flavor (read: cheesy yum) without the layering and baking fuss. Devote 10 minutes to the slow cooker before work and you’ll come home to a hearty, lasagna-flavored soup that will make even the coldest and darkest November evening feel a little bit warmer and brighter.
Granted, today it is 70° outside here in sunny Southern Indiana today, but still, you should totally make it.
Craving lasagna but don’t want to make one? Use your slow cooker! This Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup has all the flavor of a lasagna with a fraction of the work. Adapted from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles.
Swap out the diced tomatoes for stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes with basil if you can find them, it just adds that much more flavor!
I like to pre-cook my Italian sausages so they don’t crumble in the slow cooker. I just cook them in a skillet until done, then let cool and slice. If you prefer the sausage to be throughout the soup instead of in bites, don’t pre cook the links or just use a raw pound of loose sausage.
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Thank you for posting this right as I’m leaving to go to the store. This will be Friday’s dinner. Yum!
Um, used to prefer no-boil (so much faster!), but wasn’t good about getting the noodles cooked just right. Between inconsistent results and the boyfriend preferring the “way my mom does it”, switched to regular (I’ll be back in 3 hours) pasta which means we don’t have lasagna very often.
Hahah, “the way mom does it” always sucks. :P I just let Babyface cook the foods that he wants like his mom. Which is why he is the pancake master in our house.
Love this recipe. I got a slow cooker as a wedding gift and have never used it. I’m going to make this on Friday night! My husband loves lasagna but it’s such a pain in the you know what to make. Thanks for sharing!
Oh girl! Get that slow cooker out. You will not regret it!
Jenn, you should try Betty Crocker’s slow cooker lasagna! It is to die for, and only takes ten or so minutes to prepare – literally! I hardly ever made lasagna before because it was such a pain to layer, etc, but now I make it all the time in the crock pot. LOVE it!!
The closest I have come to “making” lasagna is putting a frozen one in the oven. But this soup? OMG, this soup I could totally handle making!!
Yes! I’d venture to say this is as easy as popping one in the oven and probably with even better results! :)
When I make momma’s lasagna, I par-boil the noodles (read: cook to al-dente) and then layer away :) I actually posted about it.
Part I: http://megsfitness.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/how-to-make-lasagna-part-1/
Part II: http://megsfitness.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/how-to-make-lasagna-part-2/
That’s how I do it, too! :)
Regular noodles. I’m not a fan of that oven ready noodle business.
This looks so good (as do all your recipes). I believe I’m going to put it on next weeks menu!
Love your blog! Keep up the good work!
Are the noodles you put into the soup uncooked or cooked? This looks fantastic!
O what a great idea for an easy weeknight meal if you are craving lasagna but don’t have the time. It’s all the good stuff, just in a different deconstructed form.
The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com
I made this recipe last night and it was FANTASTIC! Cooking the sausage in a slow cooker made it so tender and soft. I also made homemade garlic wheat croutons to add to the cheesy top (a little like French onion soup.) I’ll definitely be making this again :)
Ooooh yum! The croutons sound like an amazing addition! I might have to steal it next time I make it. :)
So I made this today and just had to say that this is even more delicious because it was so darn easy! I am waiting 20 minutes before I go back for bowl #2 in case I am actually full enough, but I can’t wait to have it for lunch tomorrow.
You made a pregnant lady very happy.
THANK YOU!!! It was sooo easy! It’s cooking now! I can’t wait to taste it!
Yum! I used regular lasagna noodles – just broke them up into smaller pieces. I also added some red bell peppers and threw in some portobella mushrooms towards the end. My 10-month old baby is devouring this!
This was amazing! The only change I made was to cut it down to one large onion, even then it seemed like a lot. I don’t know if I’ll ever make regular lasagna again!
Do u have to put it under the broiler to melt the cheese?
Nope, you don’t have to, but the melty cheese is definitely my favorite part! :)
Did anyone substitute for the tomato paste? Tomato sauce, perhaps? How about the fire-roasted tomatoes – they sound very expensive. Could I sub 2 jars of home-grown maters (although there is a lot of liquid in them)? Thanks.
You could sub in the home-grown tomatoes, but the fire-roasted tomatoes are just that—fire-roasted so they have some extra flavors and spices that a regular can of tomatoes wouldn’t have.
Do you cook the fusilli before putting it in the crockpot? Thanks!
Nope! The hot soup cooks it!
Sounds great. My husband cannot have seeds; think I could use tomatoe sauce with good results? Would love to try.
We do a $2 Lunch Bunch on Fridays @ work. All the support staff throws in $2. We use the $$ to buy the ingredients for that Friday’s lunch. The lunch is Crockpot “whatever” and this recipe is going into the rotation mix. I can’t wait to hear the oohs and aahs. We’ve done Taco Soup, Baked Potatoes and King Ranch Chicken, now for a little Italian. Thanks for sharing.
Could you brown ground beef and use it instead of Italian sausage which II don’t care for? Still cook that long though?
Sure! It’ll alter the flavor a bit, but it should be fine. And yes, still cook it the same.
Ok, I’m off to the market to pick up some of the ingredients I need. It’s tonight’s dinner and everyone in the house agrees that it looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it! I’ll let you know how it turns out! :)
I am allergic to garlic. Can I substitute anything in this dish. Maybe cayenne, chili powder in small amonts
I’m assuming you can’t use other alliums either (shallots, onions, etc.)? If so, I’d just add one of those. If not, I’d just leave it out. There is no real substitute for garlic.
Can you freeze this? I like to freeze soups.
Sure can. I’d just either leave the noodles out and add them back in when you reheat, or just cook them to just shy of al dente before freezing.
I can’t wait to try this recipe. I can no longer have cheese (due to whey allergy). This may be our replacement for lasagna
I love the lasagna with no boil noodles from Cook’s Illustrated, which I dress up with more spice. This soup looks amazing. I’m always looking for new recipes for the slow cooker.
my daughter is an incredible fussy eater, as in she really doesn’t eat anything but lasagna. This soups would be a fun way to change it up a bit, and I LOVE good slow cooker meal
I love the idea of turning lasagna into a soup. Even though I have great lasagna recipes and love the slow cooked layers, it’s not a quick or easy process. This soup sounds so much better than the no-bake noodle route – can’t wait to try it.
Do you have nutritional info doe this recipe?
You can calculate the nutrition info yourself by using this calculator (it makes it really easy): http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php
Wondering if anyone has tried making this on medium or high settings to shorten the time and how it turned out.
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