Healthy Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
Healthy Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup combines all the flavor of classic lasagna without all the work plus it's a healthy version perfect for meal prep.
This Crockpot Lasagna Soup is everything you love about lasagna but in an easy to make, hearty soup that's made in the crockpot. It's so much easier than traditional lasagna and is the perfect comfort food. We also this Skillet Lasagna and Zucchini Lasagna.
I love everything about lasagna except all the work it takes to make. It isn't that I don't love spending time in the kitchen, because as a food blogger, it's something I absolutely love. But for some reason all the tasks that go into making a delicious lasagna - browning the meat, boiling the noodles, creating all the layers - just feels like too much lately.
That's why I am obsessed with this Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup. Not only does it use one of my favorite kitchen tools, the slow cooker, it's really couldn't be easier to make. The most time consuming step is browning the meat, which takes less than 10 minutes. From there it is basically a matter of dumping everything in the slow cooker. That's it. Plus this version is actually pretty light and healthy, not something you often find in lasagna.
Now to get the true lasagna feeling, you are going to want to top this soup with some cheese! Unfortunately for me, I am the only one in the family who likes ricotta so we normally just top ours with shredded mozzarella. If you like ricotta, I highly recommend mixing together some ricotta and basil (fresh or dried) and using that as your cheesy topping. Another delicious option is topping the entire bowl of soup with a slice of mozzarella cheese and throwing it under the broiler to crisp up like a French onion soup. Delish.
Easy Pantry and Freezer Swaps
This is one of those recipes you can make with whatever you have at home, so here is a list of easy swaps for most of the ingredients in the recipe.
- Ground beef: Use any ground meat you like in the recipe including turkey, chicken, pork, sausage, or vegetarian ground "meat." You could also use cooked leftover shredded chicken, beef, or pork. Sliced brown sausages would work. To make meatless, you could also swap in some white beans, chickpeas, or just leave out the meat.
- Onion: If you don't have a fresh onion, you could omit it completely and add some onion powder or dehydrated onion flakes instead. Normally you will want to use about 1 tablespoon of onion powder to replace 1 onion or 1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes.
- Garlic: If you don't have fresh, you can use garlic powder, minced garlic (the one in the jar, this one is from Costco sold through Amazon), or dehydrated garlic. Use 1 garlic clove, use 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, or 1 teaspoon dehydrated garlic.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: Any type of canned tomatoes will work in place of the crushed tomatoes. If you want a smooth consistency, just blend whole or diced tomatoes to get a crushed tomato texture.
- Marinara sauce: You can use any jarred marinara or tomato sauce in the recipe, we usually use Rao's. The marinara is an important ingredient in this soup, so if the flavor of the sauce you have isn't great, just add some extra seasoning.
- Chicken broth: Any kind of broth will work as will bouillon powder, cubes, or paste.
- Italian seasoning: If you don't have Italian seasoning, replace it with any combination of dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and/or marjoram.
- Lasagna noodles: Any type of pasta will work in this soup, it doesn't have to be lasagna noodles. You could also use cooked rice, quinoa, Israeli couscous, orzo, farro, barley, or any other pasta or grain.
- Zucchini: If you don't have fresh zucchini, just leave it out. You can replace with any other fresh or frozen vegetable. If you are using frozen, add it in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking so it doesn't get mushy.
- Spinach: Use fresh spinach or defrosted frozen spinach. You could also use kale or another hearty green, just add it when starting the soup since it takes longer to cook. If you don't have either, use any vegetable you like or leave it out.
- Parmesan cheese: The Parmesan cheese adds a salty, earthy, cheesy taste to the soup. If you don't have any, just taste and adjust the salt as needed. Top with any other cheese you add. You could also add a touch of half and half or cream cheese, to get a creamier taste.
Tips for Making this Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
- The marinara sauce is going to create a lot of the flavor in the broth of this soup so make sure to choose one that you would be happy eating on its own. Ideally, look for one that doesn't have added sugar. If you opt for plain canned tomato sauce instead, make sure to add some extra seasoning to the soup.
- Normally we use ground beef in our lasagna but you could use ground chicken, turkey, or lean turkey sausage. The turkey sausage adds even more flavor to the soup and it's one of my favorite options.
- When it comes to veggies, the options are pretty open. Zucchini and spinach are the two I use the most often, but you can mix it up to include whatever veggies you like.
- To get the true lasagna feel, you are going to want to top this soup with some cheese. You can either go with a simple shredded mozzarella or for a more traditional flavor combination, use ricotta. I like to add some fresh basil to the ricotta and then top each bowl with a nice spoonful. Not only does it look beautiful, it really brings out the lasagna factor.
- This soup freezes well but you will want to cool it down as quickly as possible so the noodles don't overcook. If you intend to freeze all the soup, I would actually undercook the noodles since they will continue to cook in the hot broth.
How long does pasta take to cook in the slow cooker?
Pasta can be tricky to cook in the slow cooker and it may take some experimenting to find the perfect cook time. Most people find that pasta will cook in about 2 hours if you are starting with a cold slow cooker. It may cook a bit faster or may take a bit longer depending on your specific slow cooker. For that reason, I like to add the pasta to a hot slow cooker about 20 minutes before the soup is ready to serve. This ensures that you won't end up with mushy pasta.
Ways to Lighten Up Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
This soup is a lighter version of traditional lasagna soup but there are even more ways to lighten it up if you are looking for a lower calorie option.
- Swap out the ground beef for 99% lean ground turkey. This will save you about 20 calories, 1 gram of fat.
- Swap in fresh zucchini noodles for some of the lasagna noodles. This will lower the calories, carbohydrates, and add some extra nutrients from the veggies. You could also add canned white beans in place of some of the lasagna noodles.
- Make sure to choose a marinara sauce that doesn't have any added sugars. You can also look for a light sauce. Your other option is to use canned tomatoes and simply add extra spices and garlic to mimic the flavor found in jarred sauces.
- Choose a fat free chicken broth or swap in a lower calorie vegetable broth.
Looking for more lasagna recipes?
- Stovetop Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
- Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna
- Five Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Lasagna
- Lasagna Cupcakes
Here are some of the products I used when making this recipe.
- Slow Cooker: There are so many different slow cookers on the market but I personally use this one that allows me to brown, sear, or saute in the same pan. Plus I find the cooking temperature to be really even and consistent.
This soup was originally shared in 2017 but we wanted to share it again since it is a great pantry and freeze recipe that is hearty, filling, and versatile.
Healthy Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
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- 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes (ideally San Marzano)
- 16 oz. marinara sauce (no sugar added)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles (or regular)
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 6 oz. fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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