Crockpot Lasagna Soup

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A crockpot lasagna soup starts with a rich tomato-filled soup base, cooked ground beef & aromatics, and is loaded up with cheese-filled tortellinis and a delicious, creamy cheese filling.

 

SLOW COOKER TORTELLINI LASAGNA! A crockpot lasagna soup made with cheese-filled tortellini. This soup is simple to make, tastes just like lasagna in soup form, and is a sure crowd pleaser! via chelseasmessyapron.com

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

This comforting and hearty soup channels all the best flavors from lasagna into a delicious, thick, and creamy soup.

This Crockpot Lasagna Soup begins with a saucy tomato beef base and is loaded up with tender bites of cheese-filled tortellini and a blend of three cheeses. The cheese topping melts beautifully into the soup adding a nice creamy element.

This soup is a total crowd pleaser and overall much simpler to make than a from-scratch lasagna!

Let’s talk tortellini

We love small/mini tortellini best in this Crockpot Lasagna Soup since it’s easier to eat and less overwhelming. That said, if you have a favorite tortellini, use that in this recipe. And if not, below are my recommendations:

  • Our favorite readily-available shelf stable tortellini is Barilla Artisanal Collection Three-Cheese Tortellini.
  • As far as a fresh-made tortellini, we love Giovanni Rana’s Classic Cheese Mini Tortellini. They’re a little more tricky to find (depending on your grocery store), but they’re fresh, delicious, and again they’re small so they incorporate better into the soup.
  • While full-sized tortellini will work fine, the larger pasta pieces can be a little overwhelming in the soup. And while I adore a good tortelloni, they’re a bit too large for this soup. (Tortelloni’s are typically over double the size of tortellinis).

Cooking the tortellini separately

You can cook the tortellini in this Crockpot Lasagna Soup, but we prefer to cook it separately. Here are a few of the reasons for that:

  1. First, not all tortellini (shelf-stable, frozen, fresh) will cook the same in this soup. If you do want to cook the tortellini in the soup, I’d recommend using frozen tortellini so it can cook in the right amount of time. Even with frozen it’s hard to know exactly when it is done since there is a lot of variation from slow cooker to slow cooker.
  2. Next, the tortellinis continue to soak up the soup liquid. While the soup is great right after being made, even sitting for 10-15 minutes will result in bloated tortellinis.
  3. Finally, if there is leftover soup, the tortellini soaks up all the soup liquid and becomes even more bloated– resulting in an unpleasant texture. For leftovers, it’s better to store the tortellini separately from the soup. Simply warm the two up separately and spoon tortellini’s into soup bowls.

Crockpot Lasagna Soup recipe tips

  • Salt the water. Make sure the tortellini are well-salted as they cook; the salt is what seasons them. Along with seasoning the water for the tortellini, don’t forget to taste the soup often and add more seasonings as needed. If the soup tastes bland, it just needs a bit more salt and/or pepper!
  • Use a good beef stock. The stock makes a big difference flavor-wise in this crockpot lasagna soup. My personal favorite store-bought stock is Swanson’s beef stock.
  • San Marzano tomatoes tend to be less acidic and a whole lot sweeter than standard tomatoes. They make a world of difference in the flavor of this soup and are (in my opinion) worth the extra money. Take it one step further and grab fire-roasted tomatoes to add a subtle smokey and more intense flavor.
  • For the marinara sauce, I highly recommend Rao’s® marinara sauce: (not sponsored). This marinara has a deep, intense flavor, tastes homemade and is thick and hearty. A good marinara sauce makes a huge difference in this recipe.
  • Add fresh parsley; it helps to cut through the richness of the ground beef, tomatoes, and cheese, while adding some nice freshness.

Recipe Variations

  • Use Italian sausage (mild or spicy) instead of the ground beef.
  • Add in some crushed red pepper flakes to individual bowls of the soup. 
  • Replace the ricotta cheese with mascarpone cheese for an ultra creamy delicious cheese filling.
  • To make the soup thicker, reduce the amount of beef stock/broth and to make the soup thinner, add additional beef stock/broth.

QUICK TIP

If you aren’t familiar Mascarpone cheese, it’s similar to cream cheese, but uses a base of whole cream rather than milk (so you know this is going to be good!) It’s an un-aged fresh cheese and can be found usually in one of three places in the grocery store: the deli counter, in the dairy section (near the cream cheese, sour cream, etc.), or in the specialty foods section (near fancier cheeses like brie).

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Crockpot Lasagna Soup

4.62 from 13 votes
A crockpot lasagna soup starts with a rich tomato-filled soup base, cooked ground beef & aromatics, and is loaded up with cheese-filled tortellinis and a delicious, creamy cheese filling.
Print Recipe

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

4.62 from 13 votes
A crockpot lasagna soup starts with a rich tomato-filled soup base, cooked ground beef & aromatics, and is loaded up with cheese-filled tortellinis and a delicious, creamy cheese filling.
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Crockpot Lasagna Soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 441kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup (125g) finely diced yellow onion (~1 onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (~2-3 cloves)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can (28 oz. 794g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.; 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz.; 170g) tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (350g) marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds optional
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups (670) beef broth or stock (I love Swanson's beef stock)
  • 1 package (12 oz.) frozen cheese filled tortellini (See Note 1)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, optional
  • Cheese Toppings: freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup), freshly grated mozzarella cheese (1 cup), mascarpone OR ricotta cheese (1, 8 ounce container) (we love mascarpone!)

Instructions

  • ONION, GARLIC, & GROUND BEEF: In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle in the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and garlic, cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes. Press to the edges of the skillet, increase the heat to high, and add the ground beef in the center of the skillet. Brown the ground beef, crumbling and incorporating the onions as you cook. Cook until the beef is browned. Drain off any grease if needed and transfer mixture to slow cooker.
  • SLOW COOKER: (No need to drain any of the cans) Add in the crushed tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara into slow cooker. Add in the sugar and seasonings - the dried basil, fennel, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add in the beef stock or broth. Stir.
  • COOK: Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-7 hours.
  • TORTELLINI: About 15-20 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, prepare the tortellini according to package directions. (Don't forget to salt the pasta water when cooking the tortellini; I add in 1 teaspoon salt to every 4 cups of water.) Drain thoroughly.
  • CHEESE: Meanwhile, stir together the mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and ricotta. Set aside.
  • SERVING: Taste the soup for any additional seasonings needed (remember the Parmesan will add some saltiness). Ladle soup in bowls and spoon cooked tortellini into individual bowls and stir. Add a few spoonfuls of the cheese mixture into each bowl and top with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy! Store leftovers separately.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: While really any tortellini works, our favorite readily-available shelf stable tortellini is Barilla Artisanal Collection Three-Cheese Tortellini. As far as a fresh-made tortellini, we love Giovanni Rana's Classic Cheese Mini Tortellini. They're a little more tricky to find (depending on your grocery store), but they're fresh, delicious, and small so they incorporate better into the soup. IF you'd like to cook the tortellini in the soup (instead of separately), you'll want to get frozen tortellini that cooks in about 3-5 minutes and add it in about 20 minutes before serving. You'll likely want to add additional beef broth/stock since the tortellini will really thicken things up.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 441kcal

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Recipe Rating




62 Comments

  1. I can totally see why this would be the best soup you’ve ever had, Chelsea! It looks amazing! I’ve made a crock pot lasagna soup once before, but I’m loving that you used tortellinis in here. The flavor sounds perfect too! Pinned and can’t wait to try out!

  2. I don’t have fennel but still love to try this dish!! Can I still make this one without it? If not, what’s replace for or? Thanks

    1. Yes you can definitely make it without fennel seeds. I doubt you’ll find it lacking spice without it but if you do feel free to increase any of the other spices. Hope you love this 🙂

  3. Ahh, I’m so with you. I totally tend to go overboard on the cheese. I don’t see this as a HUGE problem. I love this though, Chelsea. You’ve combined three of the most amazing things on the planet: lasagna, tortellini and slow cooker. You’re so smart. 😉 Pinned!

  4. Hey Chelsea- new reader here after seeing a post via Lee and I’m already a huge fan- your recipes look absolutely delicious! I love tortellini and the fact that you use tomatoes in so many ways- genius. Pinned.

  5. This does look like the best soup ever! Love meals that you can just dump and forget about all day. It’s perfect for the chillier weather we are starting to get – can’t wait to try this – pinning 🙂

    1. Thank you Lynn!! This is one of our favorites!! I add freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a spoonful of ricotta cheese to each bowl.

  6. This is exactly what I’m looking for! What size crock pot? And do you think it would be OK to stir a few spoons of ricotta directly into the crock pot once the tortellini is done? Thanks!

    1. I have a 6 quart slow cooker 🙂 And yes I do think that would be great! I like adding it to individual bowls to control the amount, but it works great stirred in the actual crockpot too.

  7. Would this work with ground turkey instead of beef? If so what type of broth would I use after using ground turkey?

    1. I have never tried ground turkey in this recipe, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. As far as the broth, I’m not sure what will go best without further recipe testing. Sorry to not be of more help, I don’t want to give a bad recommendation!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Chelsea. I came across this recipe and had to try it. Let me tell you that this was absolutely fabulous. I added the ricotta cheese and some grated mozzarella, parmesan and asiago cheese right into the pot just before serving and it was fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    1. Hey Tara! Thank you so much for your comment and kind review 🙂 I’m so happy you tried this, it’s my husband’s favorite soup on the blog! 🙂 And the cheeses you added sound incredible! YUM! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    OMGOODNESS!!!! The best! Simplified it a bit but omg sooooooo delish!!! If it includes anything Italian……..it’s good….but this was the best!!!! Shortcuts and all! Hoping this week goes by fast so I can make it again!!!!

  10. Does this do ok reheated for leftovers. It’s just my husband I. ?? Sounds wonderful and will make this soon???

    Can you answer my question in my e mail??

    1. If you plan to re-heat it, I would add the tortellini separately. It doesn’t re-heat well with that. I hope you both love this! Also, I apologize, but I don’t seem to have an email from you. Did you email it to chelseasmessyapron @ gmail.com ?

      Thanks!

  11. Hi Chelsea,
    This recipe looks fabulous and I am trying it this weekend! I cannot wait! I noticed the comment about not reheating well with the tortellinis and I wanted to ask if not using frozen tortellini, when do you add? Just add to individual bowls as the ricotta? I just want to make sure they have enough time to “cook”. Please advise when your time allows.
    Thank you,
    Stacey

    1. Hi Stacey! I hope I understand your question correctly; if you want to make this and plan to have leftovers, I would cook and drain the tortellini in a separate pot. Then add the cooked tortellini’s to the individual bowls you will be enjoying that night. Hope that helps!

  12. I wanted to make this tonight but just noticed it was for the slow cooker. How long would you suggesting cooking it stovetop?

    1. I’m sorry Emily; I got the black bowl at a thrift shop years ago — no legible brand name either.

  13. 4 stars
    Fixed this for dinner last night. Threw in a rough chopped zucchini & left out the fennel seed; it tasted as good as it looked & smelled.? My husband even wanted it for breakfast this morning!

  14. 5 stars
    This sounds delicious. Made lasagna yesterday and can never get enough of that fabulous taste!
    I would like to add ricotta to the pot. How much would you recommend?

  15. How do I know that it’s done cooking? I have it on high and 3-4 hours is a huge gap. I checked it at 2 hours and it doesn’t seem very thick so I’m wondering if I need to look for a thick stew or what?

    1. I’d say to the consistency you like it 🙂 The beef is cooked so it’s not a matter of food safety but more of getting it to your desired thickness, tenderizing the meat, and allowing flavors to meld. Hope that helps!

      1. 4 stars
        I kept it on high for 4 hours. The tortellini absorbed all the liquid just how I wanted. I also doubled the seasonings and added spinach. Very good!! Just felt like it was kind of missing a certain flavor.

  16. Ok… making this overnight tonight… I used ground Turkey and beef broth, didn’t even think about the clashing of flavors between the Turkey and beef broth. I really hope I didn’t ruin the recipe.

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