Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Easy Crock Pot Lasagna

Crock Pot Lasagna

The Best Lasagna!

I was so intrigued when I first read about the idea of making a lasagna in a slow cooker. I have been wanting  to try this for a while and finally the perfect cold winter day came along. Actually, if you want lasagna on a hot day, this is really the way to do it since using a crock pot doesn't heat up the kitchen. When you live in New England, there is just something so comforting knowing that a delicious meal is cooking in the kitchen all day long on a cold day and the best part is, you don't even need to be home! The bottom line, this turned out to be the very tastiest lasagna I have ever made.
I think it's because everything cooks so slowly together for about 4-5 hours and all the flavors have time to come together and make the most flavorful lasagna. Okay, perhaps it's the browned sausage and onions I add to my favorite tomato and basil sauce. The dry noodles, no need to cook the noodles first (big bonus) and don't use the no boil noodles, cook from all the moisture from the sauce and cheeses. I was also surprised on how well it stayed together and plated so nicely. It was the perfect consistency. To me, it was like a lasagna from a favorite Italian restaurant.

Add the sauce after the sausage and onions are cooked. 
Break the noodles up to fit,  it's okay if they overlap. 
I use sheets of mozzarella over the ricotta. It helps keep everything together and I like the taste and texture of both the ricotta and mozzarella.   
Slow Cooker Lasagna!

The Best Lasagna! 

  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • onion (chopped)
  • 2 jars of your favorite red sauce (I prefer Paul Newman's Tomato and Basil)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 32 oz of part skim ricotta cheese (large container)
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 ozs of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 packages of sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 12 ozs lasagna noodles (uncooked)
  1. Over medium heat, saute the sausage and onions until the sausage is slightly brown and the onions are soft. Add the sauce and combine, remove from the heat and set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parmesan and half of the shredded mozzarella.
  3. Use a large crock pot (mine in the pic is 6.5 quarts) and start layering the lasagna. First, place about 1 cup of meat sauce on the bottom of the crock pot and than layer the noodles, breaking them up is necessary. It's okay if they overlap.
  4. Next layer half of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly (it's easy with the back of a large spoon). Next, layer the sliced mozzarella cheese to cover completely and than add a a layer of sauce.
  5. Repeat the process again, ending at the top with a layer of noodles and than cover the top layer of noodles with sauce. Cover completely so that the noodles will cook.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for 4.5 - 5 hours and than, remove the cover and sprinkle the remainder of the shredded cheese over the top. Cover and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes or until you are ready to serve.  
  7. Turn the crock pot off and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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