Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Lasagna is one of those foods that ranks high on the list for both my husband and I. He likes it because it's beefy. I like it because it because it's pasta. Combine that with the fact that I have a passion for my slow cooker and this recipe became instantly appealing.

Traditional lasagna is easy enough to make and is usually a crowd pleaser. However, the assembly can take quite a bit of time and you're glued to the house while the dish is in the oven. This variation in the crock pot is super easy and took 10-15 minutes from start to powering on the slow cooker. You don't even have to pre-cook the noodles! I was a bit concerned that they'd be mushy after the 4 to 6 hour cooking time. They weren't al dente, but they certainly weren't overcooked.

As you can tell by the picture, it's difficult to scoop out in nice "slice" form. The taste more than makes up for the appearance. Huge thumbs up from both my husband and I! We both took leftovers to work for lunch the next day...and the next day. It's equally as good (if not better) reheated.

By the way, we skipped the final step in the recipe which is why there's no cheese shown on top. We were STARVING when we got home for the gym and couldn't wait the extra 10 minutes. In fact, I think my fork was making its approach as I snapped the picture.

Makes 6 servings.


1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 item(s) dry lasagna noodles, uncooked
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

3. While that simmers, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese in a medium-sized bowl. .

4. Spray the inside of a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.

6. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.

7. Combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes.

Source: Weight Watchers

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