Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lasagna in the Crockpot - - for real!

Okay girlfriends, this has to be one of the easiest ways to make Lasagna. And yes, that is spinich in the photo!   I scooped the recipe from Crockpot 365 and adapted it to my family.  You should do the same thing...this could be a family favorite.  The first time I made it, I put it together in the morning, and headed out of town leaving it for my parents and kids to eat. My mom said they all liked it, but I had no photo to post, so I had to wait until now to post it.

I made it this week for my husband and kids, and they all agreed it was great. And I made it with real cheese because I wasn't going to be home to eat it.  The boys had no idea that there were carrots, spinach and mushrooms hiding inside that red sauce and pasta.

Prep time:   about 30 minutes if you are browning meat; 15 otherwise
Cook time:    8 hours on low; 4 hours on high; or 1 hour on high, then 6 on low


1 box regular lasagna noodles, I use whole wheat
1 jar pasta sauce
1 lb ground beef, pork, turkey
1 small ricotta cheese, or tofutti w/ 1 Tbs lemon juice
1 package shredded Italian cheese
8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
⅓ cup spinach, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced onions
1 tablespoon ground oregano
¼ cup water


--brown meat with spices in large skillet
--pour in entire jar of pasta jar, don't rinse or throw away - this was Stephanies idea, so read on...
--simmer meat and sauce on low for a few minutes
--put a ladle-full of sauce mixture into the bottom of your crockpot.
--top with a layer of dried lasagna noodles. You'll have to break them to fit.
--smear ricotta cheese on top of lasagna noodles
--layer a handful of veggies on top of the ricotta cheese

Yep! Those are carrots, mushrooms and spinach, finely chopped so no one in the family sees them admist all the sauce and cheese. Brilliant idea, don't you think!

Now, back to the directions continue as follows:
--add a handful of the shredded cheese
--ladle on some more of the meat sauce
--top with more dry noodles and repeat layers until crock is to desired capacity (always make sure your crockpot is at least 2/3 full or it won't cook properly).

--put the 1/4 cup of water into your empty pasta jar and shake. Pour tomatoey juice over the whole pile of food. (See this is why you saved your jar!)

--cover and cook on low for 8 hours, high for 4. I cooked on high for 1 hour, then low for 5-6 hours.

--Check noodles an hour before serving, and push the top ones down into the liquid if they are getting too hard or are curling up. Mine had no problem at all.

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