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.
1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 large onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
10 ounces curly pasta (fusilli)
Ricotta and mozzarella cheeses for topping
In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients except pasta and cheeses. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add in pasta.
When ready to serve, preheat broiler. Spoon soup into oven-proof bowls. Top each bowl with a dollop of ricotta and a sprinkling of mozzarella. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is hot and melted.
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.
At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.
Cassie is a holistic nutritionist, cookbook author, and all-around food lover. She grew up cooking dinner with her parents every evening, and her passion for home cooking has been strong ever since. Cassie is the author of two published cookbooks (Cooking with Greek Yogurt and Chia, Quinoa, Kale, Oh My!) and dozens of recipes published in major magazines and newspapers. Cassie has been sharing her award-winning recipes on Wholefully since 2010. She loves dark chocolate, homegrown tomatoes, motorsports, and anything that sparkles. She lives in Indiana with her family on a small homestead.