I’ve been experimenting a bit more with my crockpot these days. When I first got it, all I ever used it for was roasts. Later I branched out into some soups and later some meat dishes like BBQ Chicken and Chili-Lime Chicken Tacos. With the hectic season of life we are in right now, I find myself thinking more and more about how I can use my trusty old Crock Pot to help streamline and simplify my days.
So, I did a little research last week about making lasagna in the crock pot. The main reason was that I had all the ingredients on hand, leftover from other recipes, and I wanted to use them up before they went bad. But I really didn’t feel like taking the time to boil my noodles (the kind I had on hand weren’t the no-boil kind), or assemble and bake the lasagna right before the dinner hour.
After reading a few different recipes, I threw together what I had and walked away. I knew Brian and I would probably eat it no matter how it turned out, and I had a package of hotdogs on hand, in case my Picky Eaters rejected it. I was mostly concerned that the noodles would be either mushy or crunchy.
To my great surprise, it turned out beautifully! The kids actually loved it! The only thing I’m not wild about with this recipe is that you do have to brown the meat beforehand. I almost always stick to Crock Pot recipes that only involve dumping everything in the pot. But I made an exception this time, since the one extra step was a simple one. If you want to avoid this step you can use my friend Michelle’s advice and brown all your hamburger when you get home from the store and freeze it in meal-sized portions.
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 jar spaghetti sauce
lasagna noodles (I used 6 noodles, which was enough to fill my crockpot halfway)
cottage cheese (about a cup and a half)
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup water
1. In a large skillet, brown the beef with the onion, garlic, and spices. When completely browned, turn off the heat and stir in the spaghetti sauce.
2. Mix together the cottage cheese and the 2 eggs. (I usually just crack the eggs straight into the cottage cheese container and stir – saves a dish!)
3. Spoon a small amount of sauce (with as little meat as possible) into the bottom of the crockpot. Place a single layer of noodles on top of the sauce. You will need to break some of the noodles to make them fit.
4. Smear some of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the noodles. Top with about half of the sauce. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the sauce.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the crockpot is as full as you want it. Finally pour the water all over the lasagna. Top with Parmesan and cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Serve and enjoy!