It’s about a week before Christmas and many of us have last minute holiday shopping to do, Christmas parties host or attend, travel to pack for, gussets to clean for or any combination of the above. So take it easy on yourself and plan a slow cooker dinner that’s guaranteed to warm you up on a cold December day.
This Slow Cooker Lasagna soup is one of those things that I saw on The Kitchen and knew that I had to make right away. I love soup and am always looking for new ideas to try. Plus I love slow cooker ideas. This one does start by browning the beef on the stovetop – or if your slow cooker can sear you can do it in one pan –and then finishing in the oven French oven soup style. That finish is honestly what got me hooked on the recipe. But when I made it, I decided to try it two ways. Because let’s face it sometimes we don’t want to have to heat up the broiler too. So I also topped one bowl with some ricotta to stir in so you still get that cheesy lasagna goodness. And if you can count eating leftovers with no additional cheese as a third way – or a lactose-free way that my parents could enjoy – then you get one more option for making this soup.
Here’s what you need:
Start by browning a pound of ground beef in a skillet and seasoning with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Then place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain. If you use extra lean ground beef and sear it in the crock pot you can skip this part.
Now comes the best part of slow cooker recipes, just dump everything into the crock pot. I like to do this the night before and place the full container in the fridge. Then before work, pop it in the slow cooker and turn it on.
To the slow cooker you’ll need to add the ground beef, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, oregano, fresh minced garlic, diced onion, a bay leaf, some water, salt, and pepper.
A note about the amount of salt you add, I like to use unsalted chicken broth and control the level of salt myself. Because the salt will dissolve and infuse as this slow cooks, I start with about 2 teaspoons and then taste the cooked broth before adding the noodles later on and adjust as needed. If you use regular chicken stock start with a teaspoon at most.
Cook on low for 7 ½ to 8 hours.
Add in some broken lasagna noodles and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
The noodles will be just perfect. When it’s ready, stir in some fresh basil.
Now comes the fun part, we get to dress it up. Option #1 is a French onion soup inspired broiled cheese topping so heat up your broiler and fill a broiler safe bowl with soup.
Top the soup with some mozzarella, a little parmesan and a slice of provolone.
Pop it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Use the cheese not my time as your judge and don’t walk to far away when broiling. One thing I learned after the remodel is each oven broils very differently and times can vary.
Gotta love that cheese pull in the French onion soup style.
Option #2 is a simple dollop of ricotta cheese.
There you have it Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup two ways.
And for a 3rd option, especially if you want to take leftovers to work and bringing some ricotta is just too much work – and I’ve yet to see an office with a broiler – just eat it as is.
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ t garlic powder
- 1 t salt
- ½ t fresh ground pepper
- 4 c chicken broth
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- ¼ c fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 t dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-3 t salt
- ½ t fresh ground pepper
- 10 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
- ¼ c fresh basil, chopped
- Topping Option 1:
- Shredded mozzarella
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Sliced provolone
- Topping Option 2:
- Brown ground beef in a larger skillet over medium high heat, breaking into small pieces as it browns. Season with garlic powder, 1 t salt, and pepper. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel lined plate.
- To your slow cooker add, ground beef, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, bay leaf, salt (2 t if using unsalted chicken broth, 1 if using salted) and pepper.
- Cook on low 7 ½ to 8 hours.
- Taste broth and add more salt as needed – this tasting step is really important if you use unsalted broth.
- Stir in broken lasagna noodles.
- Cook on high for 30 minutes or until noodles are al dente.
- Stir in basil.
- Topping Option #1: Heat oven to broil. Fill broiler safe bowls with soup. Top with a sprinkle of mozzarella and parmesan cheese and a slice of provolone. Broil 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
- Topping Option #2: Top with a dollop of ricotta cheese and stir into soup.