Slow-Cooker Turkey Sausage and Zucchini Lasagna

Active time: 15 minutes         Total time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

If you were thinking this was a zoodle lasagna, think again! However, making lasagna in the slow-cooker yields lovely browned edges and a convincing baked flavor. It’s also easier than traditional lasagna because there’s no need to cook the noodles before layering them with the sauce and zucchini; they become deliciously tender during the 4–5 hour cooking time.    

Slow-Cooker Turkey Sausage and Zucchini Lasagna


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces (340g) bulk Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 24-ounce (695g) jar low-sodium marinara sauce (such as Amy’s Organic)
  • 1 1/2 cups (255g) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (12g) fresh basil, chopped and loosely packed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini (1 1/2 pounds or 680g), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch (.6cm) slices
  • 8 uncooked dry lasagna noodles (not the no-boil type)
  • 3/4 cup (70g) skim mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 6 tablespoons (30g) Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat the oil over medium-heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until browned all over, 8 minutes. Add the sauce, stir and remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, basil, egg, lemon zest, nutmeg and pepper; set aside. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch (.6cm) thick slices.

Coat a 6–6 1/2-quart (560–610ml) slow-cooker with cooking spray. Ladle 3/4 cup (177ml) of the sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add a layer of noodles, breaking them into segments to fit them into the cooker. Add an even layer of the zucchini, followed by another 3/4 cup (177ml) of the sauce. Sprinkle with a little of the mozzarella.

Place another layer of noodles over the top and spoon all of the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles. Place another layer of noodles, zucchini and 3/4 cup of sauce on top of the ricotta.

Place a final layer of noodles, zucchini and sauce in the slow-cooker. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 4–5 hours.
Remove the pot from the appliance and let the lasagna stand, covered, for 30–45 minutes before serving.

Serves: 8 | Serving Size: 1/8 of the lasagna
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 354; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 68mg; Sodium: 468mg; Carbohydrate: 31g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 24g