Slow Cooker Lasagna

I was having a friend come down to go to church and have dinner with us Saturday night. The complication of this is, church Saturday night isn't out until 7:30, and by the time we get home, it makes for a very late dinner, unless I can have it pre-made or cooking while I'm away. I'm not too keen on leaving the oven on while I'm not home, because I think the apartment-building neighbors would hate me if the place burned down. Previously, I've assembled a casserole beforehand, and cooked it after church, but even that made for a later-than-I'd-prefer dinner. The solution this week? Utilize the crockpot.

This is a record for me- last night's meal made for TWICE in the same week that I used my slow cooker. Crazy. Anyway, I've had a box of lasagna noodles sitting in my "pantry" (I don't really have a pantry) for a while, and been intending to make it, but hadn't had an occasion yet. Well, this was a perfect one. Luckily, I fund a slow cooker lasagna recipe, tweaked it a bit, and gave it a try.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 lb ground turkey (You can use ground beef. We were trying for slightly-healthy.)
1 T chopped garlic
2 mushrooms, chopped
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 container ricotta cheese
2+ C shredded mozzarella
1 box lasagna noodles (mine had 10 noodles)
2/3 C water

Also will need: a slow cooker * Note: Mine is a huge oval. I don't know if everyone's slow cooker will work the same as mine.

Brown meat in a pan with the garlic.

Combine meat, mushrooms, and sauce. Break the noodles in half. Put about half the noodles on the bottom of the crockpot. Layer half the water and half the meat mixture on top of the noodles, followed by a layer of half the ricotta cheese and half the mozzarella cheese*. Repeat layers.

Cook on Low 5 hours. (I didn't have 5 hours. I cooked on High for just over an hour, then on Low for just under 3 hours with great results.)

Serve with garlic bread and a salad. Feeds 6.

* My visiting friend is a bit quirky and has an aversion to melted cheese, so I used significantly less than what I would have otherwise. I would suggest just making a layer of cheese to your liking.

The results of this experiment were exciting- I've had things both burn and be too wet in past crockpot recipes (and have eaten both soupy and rubbery lasagna), so I was worried that either the noodles wouldn't cook and the whole thing would be dry, or that I modified the recipe too much and the whole thing would be a drippy mess- I used about twice the water the original recipe called for. Both these very real possibilities were going to be embarrassing, as I was trying a new recipe to company. I knew my friend was very gracious.

As it turned out, it was perfect. Hooray! We love lasagna, and this was a first-try for me. Hopefully I'll have more excuses to make it in the future! Who will be the next 'company' so I can try it out again? ;-)


Stephanie said...

There is no bad lasagna. It is a good one to make and freeze into smaller portions too!

Lisa Knight said...

Sounds yummy. And it doesn't "look" like crockpot food. I'll be trying this recipe, thanks for sharing!