Friday, April 30, 2010

Crock Pot Slow Cooker Lasagna

No matter what you call it - by its brand name Crock Pot or the more generic name slow cooker that bad boy is one of my best cooking friends! I put food in it in the morning and by evening I have dinner for pennies worth of electricity. All on it's own.

It's better than having cookie baking elves living in a tree in my front yard I tell ya.

What does this have to do with making lasagna in a Crock pot? Well, one of the foods I remember my material grandmother making for family dinners was lasagna. However I haven’t made it in oh forever because it is a massive cholesterol bomb and takes a long time to make. Time is something we usually don’t have a lot of in the evenings around dinnertime and who needs more cholesterol in their diet?

I heard that you could cook lasagna in a slow cooker. I did an Internet search. Some insisted you have to use no boil lasagna noodles while others didn’t. Some used jarred spaghetti sauce (cheater!) while others made their own which didn’t sound as good as Grandma’s sauce.

So I decided to adapt Grandma’s lasagna to bake in the slow cooker. I also tried to make Grandma’s lasagna it a little less of a cholesterol bomb too. Several people on Twitter and Facebook asked me for my recipe.

Here it is.

Crock Pot Slow Cooker Lasagna a la Lisa

You will need:

Sauce Layer

Olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 chopped onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 small cans of tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 pinch of hot pepper flakes (My addition. Totally optional)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ package of fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional. I had some mushrooms I needed to use.)


Cheese Layer

1 carton light cottage cheese (instead of ricotta)
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese


Cook it!

1. Strain excess liquid from the cottage cheese if desired. (Mine was very soupy when I opened the carton so I drained it. Depending upon the brand your mileage and desire may vary.)

2. Drizzle olive oil in a frying pan. Brown the ground turkey, and onion until translucent.

3. Drain any grease from the mixture and return it to the pan.

4. Mix in the tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, tsp basil, hot pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and mushrooms to taste and set aside.

5. Mix together mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese in a separate bowl and set aside.

6. If you want to oil the slow cooker, so it doesn’t stick while baking do it now. I didn’t do this because I forgot and it didn’t stick to the sides of the crock. As always your mileage may vary.

7. Layer it. Spoon a layer of the sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.

8. Add a layer of uncooked noodles. Break the noodles into pieces so they fit into the Crock pot if needed (chances are it will be needed.)

9. Spoon a layer of the cheese mixture over the noodle layer. Make sure you cover the noodle layer completely with the cheese layer.

10. Alternate noodle layer, sauce layer, and noodle cheese layer until you’ve reached the top of the slow cooker. Important: Make sure you begin and end with a sauce layer.

11. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

12. Cook on warm/low for 8 hours.

13. Chow down!

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