Lasagna Soup

This easy Lasagna Soup has everything you love about lasagna, all in one bowl! It’s the original lasagna soup recipe and the ultimate comfort food with a fantastic ooey-gooey cheesy yum!

easy lasagna soup

The Original Lasagna Soup Recipe

Lasagna Soup is perfect comfort on a cold winter day. It’s one of my very favorite ways to gather people around our table, to cozy in and take the chill off. Served with some awesome homemade cheesy garlic bread, this soup has become a wintertime comfort food staple.

I first shared this recipe way back in March 2011 – the first Lasagna Soup recipe to hit the internet! It’s a time-tested recipe, a favorite with our family and friends. Whenever someone asks me to recommend a recipe that’ll please the whole family, I point them straight to this one.

Over the years I’ve received comment after comment (there are nearly 1,000 comments on this post!) about how wonderful this soup is. I’ve also received a variety of questions, including how to make it in a Crock-Pot and Instant Pot. So I’ve updated this post with all the latest information and different ways to make it.

Lasagna Soup forever and ever, Amen!

*Here are a few more comfort food recipes for you: Cheesy Lasagna Stuffed Peppers, such a fun and tasty way to eat stuffed peppers! This Spicy Lasagna Hotdish is a total comfort dish, and with a little kick of spicy heat. And our kids LOVE this Chicken Cheesesteak Baked Ziti!

lasagna soup in a bowl, a hearty winter soups recipe

What is Lasagna Soup?

So many people love the classic flavors of lasagna. With layers of pasta, red sauce, and cheese, that’s easy enough to understand.

Well this recipe cleverly includes the same ingredients as that beloved dish…in a bowl!

Dollops of a creamy mixture of cheeses, or “cheesy yum” as I like to call it, are added to a flavorful soup of pasta, Italian sausage, and a rich and herby tomato-based broth. The hot soup melts the cheesy yum, giving you a fantastic lasagna-like experience with every spoonful.

lasagna soup ingredients

Lasagna Soup Ingredients

This soup has simple ingredients. I’m betting that you already have most of them in your pantry and refrigerator:

  • olive oil
  • Italian sausage
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • dried herbs & spices – oregano, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes
  • canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste
  • low-sodium chicken stock
  • dried pasta
  • seasoning – salt and pepper
  • fresh basil
  • cheeses – ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella
mafalda pasta for lasagna soup

What Pasta is Best?

You can use whatever noodles you like for this recipe, but I highly recommend mafalda pasta. It’s shaped like miniature lasagna noodles. I just can’t resist them when making this soup!

Our grocery store carries Creamette brand mafalda. You know – the pasta brand in the green box. If you can’t find it where you shop, there are also options on Amazon.

Other great choices would be fusilli, rotini, or bow tie pasta.

lasagna soup in big pot

How to Make Lasagna Soup

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add sausage and brown for 3 minutes, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces with a wooden spoon.
  • Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 7 minutes more.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Cook pasta to al dente, while soup is simmering. Drain pasta. (If you want to cook the pasta right in the soup, please read the sections, “Can I Cook the Pasta in the Soup?” and “How to Store Lasagna Soup”.)
  • Stir in fresh basil right before serving.
  • Combine ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl, to create the “cheesy yum.”
  • Serve: Add cooked pasta to individual bowls and ladle soup over the top. Serve with dollops of cheesy yum plus additional shredded mozzarella.

Can I Cook the Pasta in the Soup?

If you plan to serve the soup right away and think you’ll eat most of it in that first meal (with little to no leftovers), it works great to cook the noodles right in the hot soup.

Just add the noodles during the simmering time – they should cook in 10 to 15 minutes, but it will depend on the temperature of your soup and the type of pasta used. Whatever you do, do NOT let the soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb too much of the soup broth.

I prefer to cook the pasta separately and add to individual bowls. Because I am not a fan of mushy noodles!

Plus, the soup reheats much better if noodles are stored separately from any leftover soup. Noodles require less time to reheat, and heating them separately keeps the noodles from absorbing all the broth.

Can I use ground beef, turkey, or chicken?

Yes, of course you can use other ground meats.

But I definitely think that the Italian sausage gives this soup a big boost in both texture and flavor. If you use something other than Italian sausage, add 2 teaspoons of dried Italian herbs when you add the chicken stock. You might also like to add a bit more salt and pepper – taste test and adjust to your liking.

cheesy yum ingredients

Do Not Skip the Cheesy Yum!

The cheesy yum brings the whole lasagna-in-a-bowl concept full circle. Do not skip it! Simply stir together the following ingredients:

  • Ricotta (Have you ever made your own homemade ricotta?!)
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Salt & pepper

Add a dollop of this creamy cheese mixture to individual servings of soup, and then sprinkle “additional cheesy yum” (aka shredded mozzarella) over the top. The hot soup will begin to melt all the cheeses in the most beautiful way. It’s crazy fun and delicious!

Tip for you! If you can find shredded WHOLE MILK mozzarella, it’s even better than the more usual “part-skim” varieties found at the grocery store. The whole milk variety is my favorite, because it’s creamy and gooey, with a more buttery flavor and better meltability. Crystal Farms offers one, and I just recently noticed that our local Cub Foods carries one under their ‘Essential Everyday’ store brand. Once you try the whole milk variety, you’ll want it for your pizzas, pastas, salads, EVERYTHING!

how to serve lasagna soup, with Italian chopped salad and bread

How to Serve Lasagna Soup

For a weeknight family meal, I usually just serve this soup with bread. I like a buttery, crusty loaf, warmed in the oven. But if our girls catch wind of the menu, you can bet they’ll be in the kitchen making some baked cheesy garlic bread…heavy on the cheese!

If we are entertaining with this soup, I like to also offer a salad. My family LOVES this Italian Chopped Salad. Besides a good amount of fresh ingredients, it has slices of salami, provolone, and black olives. And the zippiest Italian vinaigrette ever. It’s fantastic!

what wine goes with lasagna soup

What Wine Goes with Lasagna Soup?

When we entertain, I like to offer a glass of wine with this soup.

I look for an acidic red wine with a bit of tartness, usually a classic Chianti or a Sangiovese. A medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel would also be nice.

For a “fancier” meal (this is a great meal for Valentine’s Day!), I like to use stemmed red wine glasses. But more often than nought, we serve this soup very casually. Then I pour wine into half-pint jars (we use these for everyday juice glasses) or these simple, stylish glasses (they’re my favorite glass for entertaining!).

How to Store Lasagna Soup

If you have leftovers, store the soup, cooked pasta, and cheesy yum in separate containers in the refrigerator. Do not combine the soup and pasta together, as the noodles will absorb most of the soup broth and become soft and mushy.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta after it has drained, and then fold gently to coat. This will help keep the pasta from sticking together.

How to Reheat Lasagna Soup

Leftover Lasagna Soup is amazing because the flavors have had even more time to mingle. I am all for leftovers – they make for easy, delicious homemade meals in a fraction of the time!

To reheat soup: Place desired amount of leftover soup in a saucepan and reheat over medium to medium-high heat. Occasionally give it a stir. Once heated thoroughly, turn heat down to low to medium-low.

To reheat pasta: Plain leftover pasta can be easily reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop:

  • To reheat in microwave: Place desired amount of pasta in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner slightly open to allow steam to escape. Heat on medium power to prevent overcooking. Heating time will vary depending on the amount of pasta you are reheating, but for 1 to 2 cups of pasta, start with 1 minute. Give a stir and then microwave in shorter intervals, stirring in-between, until hot. Remove the bowl from the microwave and carefully remove the plastic wrap so that you are not exposed to escaping steam.
  • To reheat on stovetop: Bring some water to a boil in a sauce pan. Be sure to use enough water to sufficiently cover the amount of pasta you are reheating. When the water comes to a full boil, add the leftover pasta and give a good stir. Boil for 30 seconds and then test to see if the noodles are hot. If needed, add time in 15-second intervals, until sufficiently heated. Remember that the pasta has already been cooked, and only needs to be reheated. Do not overcook or it will become mushy. Then drain the noodles.

To serve: Add warmed pasta to individual bowls and ladle hot soup over the top. Then dollop some of that irresistible cheesy yum into the bowl. How easy was that? Super quick servings of homemade Lasagna Soup!

Can I Freeze Lasagna Soup?

Absolutely! This soup freezes very well.

Again, you’ll want to store the soup, pasta, and cheesy yum portions separately in the freezer. Let everything thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to preparing it for the next meal.

instructions for crockpot lasagna soup

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

This Crock-Pot method allows you to mostly prepare the soup and then walk away for up to eight hours while it cooks nice and slow. While the stovetop method only takes 45 minutes from start to finish, a slow cooker can be utilized to accommodate a variety of schedules.

To cook this soup in a slow cooker, you’ll use the very same ingredients and quantities.

Here’s the instructions for the Crockpot:

  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add sausage and brown for 3 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon.
  • Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 7 minutes more.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to slow cooker and stir in diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Cover and set slow cooker to low 8 hours or high 4 hours.
  • Combine ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a bowl, to create the “cheesy yum.” Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the soup.
  • Cook pasta on the stovetop during the final 30 minutes of slow cooker time, just to al dente. Drain pasta. (If you want to cook the pasta right in the slow cooker, stir it into the soup during the final 30 minutes. But please first read the sections, “Can I Cook the Pasta in the Soup?” and “How to Store Lasagna Soup”.)
  • Stir in fresh basil and then serve: Add soup to individual bowls with dollops of cheesy yum plus additional shredded mozzarella.

Tip for you! If you own a multi-cooker like we do, brown the sausage, onion, and garlic right in the multi-cooker. Skip the browning in the skillet!

instructions for Instant Pot lasagna soup

Instant Pot Lasagna Soup

For those who love to cook with their Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), use the very same ingredients and quantities as the stovetop method. You will need a pressure cooker that is a 6-quart size or larger for this recipe. I own this 6-qt Instant Pot and have found it to be a great size for our family’s meals.

In all three cooking methods – stovetop, Crock-Pot, and Instant Pot – I recommend cooking the noodles separately. When cooked together, the noodles absorb much of the soup broth after sitting for awhile, which makes them soft and mushy. Simply cook the noodles separately and then add them to individual bowls, with soup ladled over the top. This method is also much better for storing, freezing, and reheating leftovers – be sure to back up and read those sections in this post.

The especially wonderful thing that I love about an Instant Pot is how quickly it can turn big cuts of meat into fork-tender bites. But this soup doesn’t require any magical tenderness potion, since it incorporates crumbled sausage. So the Instant Pot method is actually very similar to the stovetop method. Both methods will have the soup done in about 45 minutes.

Here’s the instructions for the Instant Pot:

  • Press SAUTE. Once hot, add olive oil and let it warm for 30 seconds.
  • Add sausage and onion and brown for 5 minutes, breaking sausage into bite-sized pieces with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 3 minutes more.
  • Stir in tomato paste to completely incorporate, and scrape bottom of pot well.
  • Press CANCEL and then stir in diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock.
  • Press SOUP and cook for 15 minutes on this setting.
  • Meanwhile, combine ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl, to create the “cheesy yum.” Set aside.
  • Press CANCEL and then quick release pressure.
  • Add mafalda or fusilli pasta, submerging it below the soup broth.
  • Press SOUP and cook for 8 minutes more for al dente mafalda or fusilli pasta. Thicker pastas will take a bit more time to cook. (If you plan to let the soup sit for awhile before serving or are planning on leftovers, I recommend cooking the pasta separately to avoid mushy noodles. Please read previous sections, “Can I Cook the Pasta in the Soup?” and “How to Store Lasagna Soup” for more info.)
  • Press CANCEL and then quick release pressure.
  • Stir in fresh basil and then serve: Add soup to individual bowls with dollops of cheesy yum plus additional shredded mozzarella.

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the original lasagna soup recipe
Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

This soup is truly like lasagna in a bowl. It’s packed with the familiar flavors of lasagna, with an ooey-gooey cheesy yum that gets stirred in right before eating. It's a fantastic comfort meal!

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

for the soup:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
  • 1 extra-large yellow onion, chopped (about 3 c. chopped)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 T. tomato paste (add more for even deeper tomato flavor)
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 c. low-sodium chicken stock
  • 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly

for the cheesy yum:

  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

additional cheesy yum:

  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (If you can find shredded whole milk mozzarella, use that!)

Instructions

Stovetop Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and brown for 3 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon.

Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 7 more minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta in a separate saucepan according to package directions, to el dente. Do not over cook. Drain.

In a medium bowl, create the "cheesy yum" by combining the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Stir fresh basil into soup right before serving.

To serve, add cooked pasta to individual bowls and ladle soup over the top. Serve with dollops of cheesy yum and additional shredded mozzarella.

Crock-Pot Directions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Once hot, add sausage and brown for 3 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon. (*If you have a multi-cooker, set it to BROWN/SAUTE and add the oil. Once hot, add sausage and brown for 3 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon.)

Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 7 more minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more.

Transfer sausage mixture to slow cooker (or just proceed if using a multi-cooker) and add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Cover and set slow cooker to low 8 hours or high 4 hours.

In a medium bowl, create the "cheesy yum" by combining the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to eat.

About 30 minutes before soup is ready, add pasta to slow cooker. Cover and cook until pasta is just al dente, checking after 15 minutes. (If you plan to let the soup sit for awhile before serving or are planning on leftovers, I strongly recommend cooking the pasta separately to avoid mushy noodles. Read section in post titled "Can I Cook the Pasta in the Soup?" for more info.)

Stir fresh basil into soup right before serving.

To serve, add soup to individual bowls with dollops of cheesy yum plus additional shredded mozzarella.

Instant Pot Directions:

(Note: Instant Pot says "do not fill the inner pot more than 2/3 full", so you will need one that is a 6-quart size or larger. I use this 6-quart Instant Pot, and find it to be a great size for our family's meals.) Press SAUTE on the Instant Pot and add oil. Once hot, add sausage and onion and cook for 5 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon.

Stir in garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 3 more minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more. Scrape bottom of pot very well.

Press CANCEL to turn Instant Pot off. Stir in diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock.

Press SOUP and cook for 15 minutes on this setting.

Meanwhile, create the "cheesy yum" by combining the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Press CANCEL and quick release pressure.

Add mafalda or fusilli pasta, submerging it below the soup broth.

Press SOUP and cook for 8 minutes more for al dente mafalda or fusilli pasta. Thicker pastas will take a bit more time to cook. (If you plan to let the soup sit for awhile before serving or are planning on leftovers, I strongly recommend cooking the pasta separately to avoid mushy noodles. Read section in post titled "Can I Cook the Pasta in the Soup?" for more info.)

Press CANCEL and then quick release pressure.

Stir in fresh basil and then serve. Add soup to individual bowls with dollops of cheesy yum plus additional shredded mozzarella.

Notes

Adapted from the February-April 2011 edition of At Home with Kowalski's magazine from our local Minnesota Kowalski’s Markets - from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1025mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 26g

Did you make this recipe?

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Like this recipe? Here are a few more you might like:

I’ve had this Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad recipe set aside to try – from Reluctant Entertainer. This Chicken Alfredo Ravioli Lasagna with a creamy white sauce from Inside BruCrew Life looks awesome good. And I want to sit down to this Seafood Lasagna from The Cookie Rookie!

lasagna soup in a bowl

Be sure to check out 300 Sensational Soups – if you like soup, you’ll love this book!

This post was originally published March 2011, and then updated March 2020.

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