Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna is a game changer – saves you so much time and hassle! You’ll never want to boil noodles for lasagna again. This version is packed with my favorite seasonal vegetables – butternut squash and kale. 

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna

Is winter over yet? My body and brain are confused. One minute Boston’s getting hit with a snow storm that puts the city on hold (and my husband stuck in Kansas City) and the next it’s 50 degrees outside and I’m enjoying a leisurely walk outside without my parka. It’s a strange winter with lots of up and down temps. As much as I’d like to hope that this string of warmer weather is a sign that spring is around the corner, I’m playing it safe and taking proper precautions that another snow storm is imminent. Precautions = cooking up all the warming comfort meals, like this slow cooker lasagna.

There’s nothing like having a warm, hearty meal in front of you while watching the snow blowing in every which way outside. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s the way our bodies are programmed to eat. When it’s hot, we crave cool foods – like salads and fruit. And baby, when it’s cold outside, we crave warm, comforting foods. This logic is also in line with Ayurvedic diet recommendations.

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna

Lasagna has always been a favorite comfort food of mine. The Italian in me smiles a little on the inside every time I have it. But it’s not the easiest or fastest dish to make and requires a decent amount of prep work. Not only do you have to bake it for close to an hour, you have to boil a pot of water, cook the noodles and dry the noodles too BEFORE you can even think about assembling. I remember asking my Mom as a kid why she didn’t make lasagna more often and she said that it was a pain to make. I know my Mom is not alone in feeling this way. So, I was pretty excited when I had the inclination to try making lasagna in the slow cooker. I thought if this goes well, my lasagna making career could be forever changed.

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna

And it did go well. Very well, in fact. So well that this recipe was featured on as a favorite slow cooker lasagna recipe on Today.com. And it happens to be one of the top 5 most popular recipes on my blog. So, when I had a couple readers comment that roasting the squash and sautéing the kale ahead of time defeated the purpose of “set it and forget it,” I had to agree with them. So, I retested the recipe letting the slow cooker do all the work for you – no need to cook veggies beforehand. No baking pans or pots of water necessary (hello, minimal clean up!). And I was able to throw this together at lunchtime and have dinner ready by evening. All hail the slow cooker!

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Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 3/4 24oz jars marinara sauce
  • 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


  1. Toss butternut squash in a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, basil, garlic powder, egg and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the bottom of the slow cooker with 1 cup of sauce. Layer 3 noodles on top, breaking as needed to fit. Spread 1/3 of ricotta mixture over the noodles. Add 1/3 of kale and butternut squash over the ricotta. Top with 1 cup of sauce. Repeat this layering 2 more times. Top with one more layer of noodles and sauce.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Top with mozzarella cheese and cover for about 10 minutes (or until melted).


To save additional time, purchase already peeled and cubed butternut squash.
Save the leftover tomato sauce for reheating/serving.

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna is a game changer - saves you so much time and hassle! You'll never want to boil noodles for lasagna again. This version is packed with my favorite seasonal vegetables - butternut squash and kale. Note: This blog post was originally published in February 2015 and has been completely retested and reshot to give you the most delicious post possible. 

You May Also

Love the slow cooker? Check out these recipes for more time saving dinners:

Slow Cooker Greek Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

Slow Cooker Chipotle Corn Chowder

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  1. Julie

    I just made this for a company potluck lunch. I followed all the directions, plus I added uncooked mushrooms to it. I assembled everything at home the night before and refrigerated it. I brought it to work and plugged it in. How easy was that?! It turned out really good. So many people asked for the recipe! Thanks for posting this easy lasagna!

  2. Tara

    This recipe is outstanding! I’m trying to make recipes with vegetables (rather than meat) to help with environment. I followed recipe to the tee, I just added some sautéed mushrooms and onions (which I added into the crockpot a few hours after cooking). I highly recommend making this delicious recipe!

  3. Wendelah

    This recipe is confusing and even a bit deceptive. In the article, you talk about not needing to boil water, and then in the ingredient list, you list lasagna noodles “cooked according to package directions.” Meaning they need to be cooked in a pan of boiling water, yes? But someone in the comments asked about using uncooked noodles and you said, yes to that. So, uncooked noodles. Cooked noodles. Which is it?

    • I’m sorry to hear you found the recipe confusing! That is absolutely a good point – I will make an update to the post regarding the noodle instructions. As for whether or not you need to cook the noodles first, you do not have to do so for this slow-cooker recipe. When making lasagna in the oven, it’s up to preference. Many people choose to boil noodles first, and some will just use a little extra sauce to help the noodles soak up moisture.

  4. Miranda

    Oh gosh! I followed this recipe to a T. After an hour and a half of cooking I checked on it, and the lasagna noodles are not cooked at all! I started reading through the comments to discover I needed to boil the noodles first. You might want to add that detail in this recipe so no one else makes that mistake. Also, is there any way to salvage this recipe?

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry about that, Miranda. I will add that detail. You may be able to save it by cooking the dish longer, or adding extra moisture to the noodles. You can add extra sauce, or add water to your sauce, so the noodles have some more liquid to absorb during cooking. Let me know if that helps!

  5. Cathy

    Hi Kara,
    Thanks so much for inventing, testing and sharing this recipe! It’s just so yummy… I’m making it for the second time today in anticipation of our first “cool front” here in Kansas City; can’t wait for it’s completion and the arrival of FALL (my favorite season)!

  6. Joan Fitzpatrick

    This recipe was delicious, but the cubed squash did not cook enough. Next time I will precook the squash because it would have been much better if the squash was not still hard. And I did cut it into small one-inch cubes.

    • Hey Joan,

      That’s so interesting. I just made this again last night for my husband and a friend and the squash was cooked through. Did you cook it on low for 5 hours? I measured out the amount of squash and it was 2 cups cubed. Do you know how much squash yours yielded? perhaps a higher volume could’ve impacted the cooking. Sorry to hear that the squash wasn’t cooked enough though! I’ve made it cooking the veggies in advance too and it’s still as delicious, just requires more time and dishes :). Glad overall you thought it was delicious though!

  7. gail aloia

    How well do you think this would come out with low fat cheeses? I’m on a very fat restricted diet, but would love a good lasagna.

  8. Gina H.

    I just made this tonight, and although it’s my first time making lasagna, it’s my favorite of all time! I used Italian seasoning in the ricotta instead of basil, but I doubt it changed the flavor too much. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. This looks INCREDIBLE! Can’t wait to give it a go! xo

  10. This looks so delicious!!

  11. This sounds like a slow cooker dream meal!!! 🙂

  12. I need to use my crock pot more.. especially for recipes like these 🙂

  13. Yum! I love how you added butternut squash! This recipe looks delicious, the perfect lasagna for the winter to spring transition.

  14. I make slow cooker chicken lasagna, slow cooker beef lasagna, slow cooker taco lasagna…but never this combo. You know I’ll try it!

  15. Nico

    Hi Kara
    I dont have a slow cooker so using an oven what temperature do i use for the 5 hours
    Cant wait to try this

  16. This seriously sounds like slow cooker magic. Going to have to give this slow cooker lasagna deal a try this winter 🙂

    • Mary

      there seems to be a lot of precooking before everything goes into the crockpot. whats the point of slow cooker

    • Hey Mary – that’s a great point. My purpose was to be able to set it and forget it. You should be able to add in uncooked kale and squash and it should cook through in the slow cooker. I’m going to test it again soon and will update the recipe accordingly!

  17. The perfect meal for these cold fall days!

  18. Megan

    Is there a way to make this recipe vegan?

  19. Susan

    Entered recipe on lose it ap for nutritional breakdown.
    Cal per one serving (of 8) 587, fat 27.2g, sat 15g, chol 112 mg, sodium 730 -1037mg (depending brand jar sauce), carb 53g, fiber 5g, sugar 8.9g, protein 31.9g.
    FYI used whole milk and cheese, subbing 2% milk and part skim cheeses raises sodium 300 mg more and sugar 7 g’s more, while only decreasing fats by 1g and cholesterol by 5 mg!

  20. Christine

    Do you use uncooked lasagna noodles?

  21. Anne

    Can I use no boil lasagna if that is all I have?

  22. Anne

    If I only have no boil lasagna noodles, can I still make it in slow cooker or do I need to oven bake?
    If oven bake, what temp and time?

  23. Rachel @ Delicious Balance

    This looks SO delicious! My last lasagna attempt was a flop…this is inspiring me to give it a go again!

  24. This sounds so comforting! Love the idea of adding butternut squash and kale!

  25. marilyn

    Any guidance as to how much frozen butternut squash to use?
    And could kale be frozen, too? Again, how much to use?
    Many thanks.

  26. Leigh

    You cooked this on low, can I cook it on high and have it cook in 2-3hrs?

  27. Darlene

    I’m out of the house for at least 8 hours at a time. Would this recipe still be okay if left cooking in low for more than 8 hours?

    • Hi Darlene! It should be fine if you leave it in a little longer than 8 hours but I wouldn’t go above 9 hours. And I would suggest adding more red sauce so it doesn’t dry out/burn.

  28. Mariana

    i am using my slow cooker a lot, the recipe looks delicious, but personally i won’t add the noodles lasagna, its is a lot calories on it.

  29. Mimi

    Do you have calories and nutrition info for the recipe?
    Thanks, Mimi

  30. I made this to eat during halftime of the Patriots game on Sunday and it was a huge hit (as were the Pats)!

  31. Jennifer

    Hi, Looks delicious. How many servings does this recipe make? Thanks

  32. Yummy; can’t wait to try this recipe. I LOVE butternut squash! Thank you for sharing another use for my crock pot.

  33. Shellie

    Kara, I love my slow cooker and are always looking for great recipes. I’ll be trying this very soon and report back. Looks so delicious.

    • Thanks so much, Shellie! I’ve been a little obsessed with my slow cooker lately so feel free to check out some of my other slow cooker recipes. And please let me know how it turns out if you try it. Enjoy!

    • Shellie

      Kara, I just wanted you to know that I absolutely loved this lasagna. It was so so good. My next try is your spaghetti squash with the eggplant. You are speaking my language. I love your recipes. Keep them coming.

    • Thanks, Shellie! So glad you loved it! Hope you enjoy the eggplant parm spaghetti squash boats too!

  34. Laura

    Looks great! What size slow cooker did you use? And does that matter? Thanks.

  35. Lasagna in the slow cooker?? Awesome! My mom’s lasagna was always my favorite request when I was younger. A hot, comforting meal is always necessary with snow!

  36. Yes, that is the perfect comfort food! This recipe looks so tasty – I can’t believe this beautiful lasagna came out of the crock pot!

  37. This looks so good! I’ve been wanting to make butternut squash lasagna for a long time now. I’m a little jealous of the snow storms… yesterday here in Texas it was 65 and sunny which, don’t get me wrong is super nice, but sometimes I wish we had a “real” winter, snow and all 😛

  38. I love this veggie-filled recipe. I’m a big fan of the slow cooker and am always looking for new recipe ideas. Pinning now!

  39. Ha! It must be the snow because I posted a vegan lasagna recipe today. 🙂 This looks delicious, I love the addition of squash and kale. Yum! It’s funny, I have a slow cooker, but I rarely use it. Maybe it’s time to break it out again. Thanks for the idea Kara.