This incredibly easy crockpot ravioli lasagna recipe is amazingly delicious! Any slow cooker lasagna we make here takes less than 20 minutes to toss together…but THIS lazy day lasagna takes LESS than 10!
To make this recipe you need 4 very easy to find ingredients. You need ground beef, spaghetti sauce, frozen ravioli, and shredded mozzarella cheese.
In This Article (click headings to jump)
- 1 Super Easy Crockpot Lasagna Freezer Meal Prep
- 2 Lazy Day Crock Pot Lasagna Step-by-Step
- 3 Optional Cooking Methods for Lazy Day Ravioli Lasagna
- 4 DIY Ingredient Options for Slow Cooker Lasagna
- 5 Printable Recipe for Lazy Day Crock Pot Ravioli Lasagna
- 6 Easy 4-Ingredient Crockpot Ravioli Lasagna
- 7 Pinnable Options for Easy Crockpot Ravioli Lasagna
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So WHY do I think this crockpot ravioli lasagna rocks? Well, I’ve traveled a decent amount. A little for pleasure, a lot for a previous job I had, but mostly now, it’s for my spouse’s work. And it seems, I’ve cooked mostly everywhere I go.
If we’re traveling in our RV (and don’t be envious, as that’s 98% work) or if we’re in hotels (still 80% work) …I generally have a slow cooker in the process of cooking something….
But I’ve been a lot of VERY rural places in the country. A few so rural, if you don’t cook, you don’t eat. So, I cooked a lot even before I started Slow Cooker Kitchen.
AND the point of that little babbling session? I’ve made a LOT of crockpot lasagna recipes. And I know (though the numbers aren't documented anywhere) that means triple figures… I’m just not sure how high in the triple figures 😊
SO, when I say THIS crock pot lasagna is easy AND delicious…I am not pulling your chain!
Super Easy Crockpot Lasagna Freezer Meal Prep
M’kay, I’ve said EASY like 4 times already. And I’ve already told you the ingredients. But if you missed it, they are frozen lasagna, ground beef, mozzarella, and spaghetti sauce.
And I’ve also stated less than 10 minutes of prep time. And that’s true. BUT that includes the amount of time it takes to brown the ground beef.
So, you can cut back on the amount of time it takes to make this recipe to less than 5 minutes too. HOW you say? It just takes a little meal prep. Then, you’ll be able to pull this recipe off even faster.
To set yourself up for making the yumminess of this (or any) slow cooker lasagna you just need to cook your ground beef ahead of time and freeze it. You can do this in your skillet as most folks do, or you can use our make-ahead ground beef recipe.
Then you simply freeze the ground beef in 1-pound packages per the directions on that article and your done. IF you’d like to make your life even easier, then wrap your ingredients together as I did with this Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie recipe.
I wouldn’t personally freeze the spaghetti sauce. I’d just tag it in the pantry for this particular recipe. Then mark your lasagna freezer meal as needing that ingredient. Easy peasy!
Lazy Day Crock Pot Lasagna Step-by-Step
There’s not a big secret to making this lasagna recipe. Not really. The only semi-mandatory thing to do is layers. If you don’t do this in layers, it’s still going to taste the same. Delicious in fact. But it’s going to come out more like big people Chef Boyardee.
And that’s a fine thing. It’s still yummy. Thus, you can use this exact same recipe as a stove-top 20-minute meal if you’d like. But the directions for that are on down the page a bit. This section is for the step-by-step directions for making this into an easy slow cooker lasagna recipe.
BTW…you do NOT have to make the layers in this order. Spaghetti sauce really should go on the bottom. This gives everything a nice base and helps the layers stick together. It also keeps ravioli from sticking to your crockpot casserole insert.
Adding the sauce to the bottom helps you have less cleanup time and that's always a fine thing. Bonus points and half your clean up time if you oil or spray the slow cooker insert.
But the rest…that’s just my personal preference. It isn’t mandatory. So, just FYI there. NOW. Here are the step-by-step layering directions for our easy crockpot ravioli lasagna recipe!
Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna Layers
- Step 1 for Easy Crockpot Ravioli Lasagna is spaghetti sauce. After you lightly oil the crockpot insert, just pour in about half the jar...
- Next...Step 2 for Slow Cooker Ravioli is Frozen Ravioli Layer #1. Just layer on about half a bag of frozen ravioli...
- Then comes step 3 and that's pre-cooked ground beef layer#1. Again, about half. It doesn't have to be exact.
- Step #4 for ravioli lasagna is about half the shredded mozzarella cheese
- Next, layer the last of your ravioli...
- And then the remaining ground beef...
- Top with the remaining sauce...
- AND last, top with cheese...
AND that’s our easy ravioli crockpot lasagna recipe! Made in the slow cooker and done in a couple of hours. Super easy and yummy!
I made this batch on high for 3 hours and it works perfectly using the Casserole Crock-Pot. It’s flat and casserole shaped as you can see in the images.
BUT if you need more time-wiggle-room…you can cook it on low for 5 ½ to 6 hours. I have never tried to cook it longer; I don’t know if it will burn or not.
Theoretically, you could use a deeper oval slow cooker and increase the cook time by an additional hour or two. The ingredients would be stacked higher and have less surface area. So that would increase your cook time some. It’s a viable option if you already own a traditional oval or round slow cooker.
Another practical option for a longer cook time would be to double the recipe. The higher the stack... the longer the cooking time. And the leftovers freeze beautifully.
Optional Cooking Methods for Lazy Day Ravioli Lasagna
So, you’ve made up your crockpot freezer meals. You toss that puppy in the refrigerator before bed. You get up late, have a cup of rushed coffee, nothing goes as planned. Then you forget to toss dinner in the slow cooker.
Life happens. This recipe is one of those that can easily remove just a little bit of the issues like forgetting to get dinner going before you leave. Things like this just plain HELP. And it helps because this exact recipe works in your slow cooker, your oven OR on your stove-top in a skillet.
Oven-Baked Ravioli Lasagna
I’ve made this recipe in the oven 3 times. The first round, I added the last layer of cheese in the beginning. Yeah, don’t do that unless you want it crunchy or gloppy runny. Half the pan turned out crispy and the other half was too melted to tell it was cheese.
The best oven-baked method for converting this easy crockpot lasagna is to oil your pan, add the layers as per the step-by-step directions and the video, and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Then, toss on the top layer of cheese in the last 15 minutes. And that works out perfectly! Then, just add a Caesar salad and classic garlic bread. They work perfectly to complement this recipe.
So, you can add the cheese in the last 20 minutes and put the garlic bread in the oven at the same time. Then make your salad while those are finishing off. Dinner is served and you still only have 15 minutes total prep time. Woo Hoo!
Stove-Top Lazy Day Ravioli
You can also make this ravioli lasagna dish on your stovetop. BUT you may need to add an additional bit of water when cooking it.
I can’t tell you the exact amount of water to add. That is going to vary depending on your type/brand of spaghetti sauce, ravioli, humidity levels, pan-type, etc.
It isn’t a scientific experiment. But it is a "watch and see" the first time you convert crockpot ravioli lasagna to a skillet dinner. After that, you’ll get a general feel for it.
The printable recipe is just below. Scroll down there to see the detail on the stove-top conversion method.
DIY Ingredient Options for Slow Cooker Lasagna
There are times when you want (or need) food prep to be quick and easy. AND there are times when you want to do homemade and healthier. I personally appreciate both.
For us, it’s a balancing act. I tried the completely from scratch and nothing processed for almost a year. It didn’t work. Yes, we felt amazing. But I had NO time for anything else.
I cooked. I studied. Then I cooked some more.
My gardens were neglected. The farm was neglected. And sadly, so was this website. I managed to keep the house was generally clean, but there was no time for fixing stuff and larger projects either.
BUT homemade/DIY, from scratch, and home-grown ALL have their place around here. So, as I’ve time, experiments occur on occasion.
That being said, store-bought spaghetti sauces and frozen ravioli are used for this recipe. But you can also make your own. I didn’t for this time around. These from-scratch options are just FYI. They are a fun, worthwhile option for when you have time to play and experiment 😊
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
I tried to make homemade spaghetti sauce for years. And I mean like close to 20 years. It never came our right. It was ALWAYS lacking, and I couldn’t figure out why.
THEN I got fed up with everyone appreciating store-bought more. Even me! SOOOOO after reading a lot, asking a couple of professional chef friends AND consulting the older generation…well, I found the “secret ingredient” for the taste we prefer.
BEEF STOCK! Or beef bouillon. Whichever of the two you personally prefer will work. I had no idea it would make such an amazing difference!
And am not kidding. It works. It's absolutely delicious! My own homemade slow cooker spaghetti sauce I had tried to tweak for years only needed a good quality beef bouillon added.
And I have my personal favorites. I prefer the Better Than Bouillon brand. They have organic, gluten-free, and reduced-sodium varieties. They also have multiple flavors and when I can't find a flavor I need, I can find it online pretty easily.
Knorr also has a packaged bouillon paste that I've had success using. I just happened upon it in a grocery store while we were traveling. So I have no idea which state we were in at the time. I do know I can't find it locally very often. Happily, it is also available online.
Knorr's condensed stock also comes in multiple flavors and a reduced-sodium version too. So, if you're shopping locally, you can probably find one or the other. But online shopping can be a lifesaver when you can't find what you need close to home.
How to Make Ravioli from Scratch
Did you know you can make your own homemade ravioli? I don’t personally do it often, but it’s an amazingly simple process when time allows.
The beauty of a DIY ravioli recipe is you can change up your ingredients. Cheese ravioli is almost always available frozen. Well, not in those incredibly rural places I was talking about earlier…but if you have a decent-sized grocery store around, or a big box store that sells groceries…you can usually find it.
But what if you want to make something like “chicken asiago spinach ravioli”? And no, I don’t have a recipe for that as the moment. I just made it up as an example...This ravioli is a 3 Cheese Spinach Ravioli 🙂
My point is…if you make your own homemade ravioli recipe, you can make any flavor you want. Another excellent point about homemade ravioli is that it freezes beautifully.
So, don’t limit yourself to just cheese ravioli. Next time YOU have time…here’s our easy homemade ravioli recipe to try…
Making the Filling for Homemade 3-Cheese Spinach Ravioli
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced fine
- 8-ounces Ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 egg
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Pour a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a hot skillet and add your spinach leaves. Toss them around a bit to get them nice and coated, then let them simmer lightly on medium-low heat with no lid, to allow the leaves to wilt and all the fluid to steam off. About 10-15 minutes.
- Beat your egg. Then combine with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and garlic in a large bowl. Remove spinach from skillet and chop finely, then gently fold it into the cheese mixture. Salt to taste.
- Smells good, right? Once the filling is well combined, put the bowl in the refrigerator and let it chill. Trust me, the filling is way easier to work with if it’s chilled.
You’ll know the filling is chilled enough when you can pinch off a quarter-sized piece and roll it into a ball without it crumbling (too cold) or deflating (too warm).
Pasta Dough Options
Now we’re to the pasta dough option. And you must choose. Do you want to do semi-homemade or from scratch homemade?
You can make your own pasta dough, or you can plan to purchase it. IF you have a good stand mixer, you can mix the dough using it. And then making homemade ravioli isn’t too difficult. Even if you don’t have a pasta sheet roller, you just roll it out on your cutting board. So, it still isn’t too bad or time-consuming…
But, if you don’t own a stand mixer and still want to make your pasta dough from scratch, it’s a bit time-consuming. If you already make bread. Or know how to knead bread, you know what to expect. If you don’t, well it’s somewhat therapeutic and a great way to relieve stress or anger. Because you can work a lot of frustration out on that pasta dough!
I’ve made it with a stand mixer and completely from scratch on a cutting board. And I’ve purchased pasta dough on occasion when it was available too.
But, the first time I decided to make it, all my major kitchen appliances were in another state over a thousand miles away! Sure, it would have been wonderfully easy if I had the attachment to my KitchenAid mixer that makes pasta sheets. But it was and still is on my wish list, not in my possession.
Once I get that puppy, will I make my own homemade ravioli pasta dough regularly? You bet!
Homemade Pasta Dough for Ravioli
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tble hot water
- Mix the flour and salt together and mound on a cutting board. Make a well in the center.
- Beat the teaspoon of olive oil, eggs, and water in a bowl. Pour half the mixture into the well.
- Mix the egg with the flour with one hand. Use your other hand to keep the flour mound steady.
- Add the remaining egg mixture and knead until well combined and smooth. 8 to 10 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove dough from plastic wrap and divide in half. Form into a ball.
- Use a cutting board and rolling pin to roll the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Dust with flour. Flip and dust the second side with flour.
- Gently move it out of your way and repeat with the second half of dough.
Store-Bought Pasta Sheet Method
You can also opt to go semi-homemade on making your homemade ravioli. If you decide to go the store-bought route, as I said earlier…you can look for it in the refrigerated or frozen section. A lot of big box stores and bigger supermarkets carry them.
IF you can't find them locally, there are now places you can purchase frozen pasta dough online. This one really IS new to me. I have not purchased from any of these companies yet, these links are provided so you can check them out if you don’t want to fool around with making your own:
How to Assemble Your Homemade Ravioli
NOW, it's time to make assemble your own homemade ravioli! Here's the easy step-by-step process...
- Grab your pasta dough and roll it out flat on a cutting board or another flat surface. It needs to be chilled as well or it will stick to everything.
- When the dough is rolled out to about the thickness of a quarter and even, brush it with an egg wash. Grab yourself a teaspoon or melon baller scoop. I personally like using the melon baller best. It didn't purchase one for several years but they come in very handy! You can also just use your fingers if you prefer (just try to keep the portions consistent or it’ll throw off your cook time). Drop balls of filling evenly across your dough.
- Place the second sheet of dough on top. Do another egg wash on the outside of the top sheet. Then seal the edges.
- Start slicing off the excess dough around the edges. If you don’t have a ravioli cutter, you can just use a knife or pizza cutter, your pasta just won’t have those cute, crinkly edges.Slice vertically and horizontally between the filling pockets. At this point, you should be able to tell if your dough is getting too warm. If it starts sticking or gets hard to work with, just sprinkle the top and your work surface below with a LITTLE BIT of flour. Careful. Too much will make it taste starchy.
- Keep going until you end up with pretty, little individual ravioli pockets.
Now, you can discard the excess dough and cover and freeze the extra filling. Or, if you’re thrifty, you can form the dough trimmings into a ball, roll them out flat to form another sheet of dough, divide that sheet in half to form two sheets of equal size, and start the process over again until you’re out of material.
Next step is to drop your ravioli into a pot of boiling, super-salty water (think seawater). Don’t put too many in the pot at once, like 10 or 12 at a time is best. Take the water down to a hard simmer and let them go about 3-4 minutes.
You can serve these beauties with a tasty sauce, a simple sprinkling of olive oil and fresh herbs OR you can use them to make ravioli lasagna casserole!
Printable Recipe for Lazy Day Crock Pot Ravioli Lasagna
Here is the printable version of our crockpot ravioli lasagna! If you enjoy this recipe, you should also check out our 5-Ingredient Meatball Ravioli Casserole too! AND there's also our Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti to consider as well. Both are delicious, easy and excellent options to Rock Your Crock!
Easy 4-Ingredient Crockpot Ravioli Lasagna
- 1- pound lean ground beef
- 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce
- 16 oz frozen ravioli of choice
- 16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Lightly grease, oil, or spray your crockpot insert.
- Layer ingredients. Half the sauce, half the ravioli, about half the ground beef, half the cheese. Top with remaining ravioli, ground beef, sauce then shredded cheese.
- Cook on high for 3 hours. Or low for 5 ½ to 6 hours.
Stove Top Directions
- Add the ravioli, sauce, and ground beef to a large skillet. Add 1 cup of water and stir. Turn to medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a slight boil.
- Stir and turn heat to low. Cover again. Allow it to cook as per the boil directions on the ravioli (usually about 18 minutes). Check after 7 or 8 minutes to stir and make sure the ravioli isn’t sticking. Then once more about 5 minutes later. Add more water as needed.
- Turn heat off. Add shredded cheeses to top, cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes for cheeses to melt.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Layer the ingredients as with the slow cooker method, but don’t add the last layer of cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Add the last layer of cheese. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serving Suggestions: Serve this easy crockpot ravioli lasagna with buttered French bread and a Caesar salad for a complete meal.
For both the crockpot and oven-baked versions… I personally think the ravioli cooks better if your second layer of sauce goes over the last layer of ravioli. But the exact order doesn’t matter if you put half the sauce in the bottom of the crockpot insert.