Ground beef, lasagna noodles, tomatoes, and lots of cheese create a satisfying taste of Italy with almost no effort.
Lasagna is the love language of many Italian nonnas (grandmas) and for good reason; it’s labor intensive but so delicious. I’ll often order lasagna when dining on The Hill, St. Louis’s Italian neighborhood because I know there’s no way I’m making this at home!
When I have a taste for my favorite Italian restaurant dish, I now have a much simpler yet equally delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup that I can easily make at home. This recipe is inspired by one demonstrated on Food Network’s “The Kitchen” (I binged several seasons while lying on the couch recouping from COVID in December.) There are others sprinkled across the internet as well, but I love this recipe because it’s designed for the slow cooker. I think this helps to develop deep flavor that’s reminiscent of the rich, red sauces created by Italian grandmas. The generous amount of cheese that broils on the top of the soup crock reminds me of the French onion soup Mom and I often enjoyed at the restaurant inside Famous-Barr. That department store’s gone but I still have the original recipe and little French casseroles. For me, this soup checked all the boxes: nostalgic, comforting, and delicious.
To make my Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup, which yields six generous servings, you’ll need these ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 large (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, whole
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 box beef broth
½ cup water
8 dried lasagna noodles
Salt and pepper
Provolone cheese, sliced
Part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese, finely grated
I chose the lean ground beef but if you have ground chuck or something with similar fat content, go ahead and use it; just after it’s browned, place on a paper towel to absorb some of the grease.
A white or yellow onion is fine. I chose beef stock to bump up the beef flavor, but if you have vegetable or chicken in your pantry, that stock also would work. And there’s no shame to use Parmesan cheese from the canister (as I did) in this recipe because it’s added to the soup.
Directions for Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
Bring a large skillet to medium-high heat on your stove top and add the beef. Brown until there’s just a very small trace of pink left in the meat. I think this adds extra flavor to any slow-cooker recipe and is worth the step. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
To the slow cooker, add the onion, browned beef, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, seasoning, pepper flakes, bay leaf, stock, and water. Give it a light stir to mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook on low for eight hours.
Thirty minutes before the soup is finished, break the lasagna noodles in half and tuck into the soup. Add ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover and finish cooking.
To serve, fish out the bay leaf and garlic (although I like to leave the latter in because it’s like finding the baby in Mardi Gras King Cake for me).
Like its cousin, French onion soup, lasagna soup must have a golden hat of browned, gooey cheese. Fill an oven-proof bowl or crock about ¾ full and add ¼ cup of grated mozzarella cheese on top of the soup. Top the mozzarella with two slices of Provolone per bowl.
Place the bowls on a baking sheet (in case of spills) and broil until cheese is bubbly and golden. You also can set the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for about 10 minutes to get the golden, melted cheese. If you’re reheating the soup, I prefer the oven-baking method over top broiling.
Can I freeze this soup?
You bet! However, because noodles can get a little mushy after freezing, I’d recommend cooking the lasagna noodles in boiling, salted water and adding them to the soup when you reheat it. Then add the lasagna soup to your oven-proof bowls, top with cheese, and enjoy.
What can I serve with this soup?
This is a very hearty soup—almost like a stew—so it’s easily a meal by itself. But a simple green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette would pair well. Toss in some garlic bread or knots and it’ll be like you’re having dinner on The Hill!
I hope you’ll try this Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup recipe. Honestly, it’s the star of our short slow cooker series this month. Don’t forget to check in next week as we close out Slow Cooker February with a familiar dessert (bread pudding) with a little twist.
Looking for other soup recipes?
My mom’s Mormon Soup is another tasty way to stretch a pound of ground beef while getting all those good veggies into your tummy.
A great soup for a winter meal is Chicken Curry Soup that’s easily made with shredded chicken and a few pantry and refrigerator staples.
About the blog
Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.