Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crockpot Lasagna

I love a good crockpot meal, and when the weather tried to pretend it was Fall a few weekends back, I was in the mood for warm comfort food!

I've made this recipe many times, but have adapted it slightly over the years. It's a bit more work up front than most crockpot meals, but a delicious lasagna recipe that makes the whole house smell amazing as it simmers throughout the day. Because it cooks in the crockpot, the presentation isn't quite as pretty as if cooked in a baking pan with more noodles, but this is a delicious and easy version of the classic favorite.

It was a delicious meal enjoyed by two adults and a toddler with LOTS of leftovers. I served with a simple spinach salad with balsamic vinegar.

Simmering meat sauce with herbs ... mmmmm!

Cheese mixture on the way!

Oozing with cheesy goodness!

Crockpot Lasagna

  • lb lean Italian sausage (I used ground chicken Italian sausage made by the meat department at our local grocery store). 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz jar marinara sauce (or make your own!)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes 
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy!)
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1 oz block cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat Neufchatel)
  • lasagna noodles
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish 
  • 1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown your meat. Add onion and garlic when meat is almost finished. 
2. Stir in the next 6 ingredients (from tomatoes through to the red pepper flakes) - let simmer for 10 minutes or so

3. While the sauce is simmering, add your cheeses (ricotta, mozz and cream cheese) to a bowl and mix to combine.

4. Spoon 1/3 of the tomato/meat sauce mixture into the bottom of the crockpot. Top with a layer of noodles, breaking the noodles to fit depending on what size crockpot you have.

5. Top with 1/3 cheese mixture.

6. Repeat twice (note: depending on your crockpot you may only have enough for two "layers" ... that's OK too). 

7. Finish with a sauce/meat layer on top

8. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

9. Take cover off about 15-20 minutes before you're ready to serve and top witih parmesan. Cook for another 10 minutes or so until parmesan is melted. 

10. Serve! 


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