Monday, February 6, 2012

Crock Pot Lasagna


I'm always looking for new ways to use my Crock Pot (a.k.a. slow cooker).  It really is one of the most used items in my kitchen.  I think one of the things I love most about it is it can be used year round.  Don't want to heat up your kitchen in the summertime by turning on your oven?  Use your Crock Pot.  Want to save on your electric bill when you've had your electric heat cranking all winter?  Use your Crock Pot.  And not only that, foods still come out tasting great.  It can take a tough, inexpensive cut of meat and turn it into a moist and juicy meal. Plus, you can make pasta dishes in it and they turn out perfect!
Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
1 (15 oz.) container small curd cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon pepper
lasagna noodles, uncooked
salt, to taste
Directions:
Brown and crumble ground beef in a large skillet. You need a larger skillet for this because you'll be adding the spaghetti sauce and water to it later. Then add in onion and garlic and cook for additional 1-2 minutes.  I like to season my beef mixture with a little salt at this point too.
Drain excess grease from beef. And put back into skillet.
Pour in spaghetti sauce, water and cherry tomatoes (if using).
Give it all a good stir (you can turn the heat off at this point). Give it a taste test, add additional salt if necessary. In a separate bowl, mix together cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, egg, pepper and chopped parsley. Put your remaining cheeses back in the fridge, you'll be using those as a topping later.
Spray Crock Pot with non-stick cooking spray.
Scoop approximately 1 cup of meat sauce into bottom of slow cooker.
 
Top with one layer of uncooked lasagna noodles.
Just do your best to break them up to fit into your crock pot.
Next top with a layer of cheese mixture.
Keep adding layers, ending with meat sauce.
I was able to get 3 layers in my 5-quart slow cooker.
Put the lid on and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
(It took exactly 4 hours in my slow cooker).
You want most of the liquid to be absorbed and noodles should be soft.
When it is finished cooking, add remaining cheeses.
Put the lid back on for about 10-15 more minutes until cheese is melted.
Slice and serve it up with a crisp salad and some garlic bread.
Enjoy!

82 comments :

  1. This looks great, especially for summer when I don't want the oven on in Central Texas! How ironic that i dropped my glass crock pot lid in the driveway yesterday coming home from a luncheon at work...oh, well....I am printing this one up for the future (:

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    1. I broke my crock pot lid a while ago.. A couple layers of heavy duty foil work JUST FINE until I get a new one. :)

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    2. I have done the same thing! Foil works very well until you can get another lid.

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  2. That looks pretty tasty and i use my slow cooker but have never made my own lasagne so this would be a good opportunity :)

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  3. I have always wanted to try making lasagne in the slow cooker but never have. This looks really wonderful. Gotta give it a try. Thanks for posting this.

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  4. This looks delicious :) Lasagna is my absolute favorite meal. It was my birthday dinner every year as a kid! I've never made it in a crock pot though! Looks like a great recipe!

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  5. Want to try the Chicken Fried Steak!

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  6. I like Newlyweds Blog on facebook (I have for several months now)love her recipes especially the crockpot sticky chicken, I use it all the time!

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  7. I already's love Jenna's shredded chicken taco recipe (it is my kids fav) and I am looking forward to trying the creamy spinach and chicken enchilades.

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  8. I am following Jenna on Pinterest!

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  9. I want to make her pull-apart pumpkin cinnamon bread...yum!

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  10. I liked Jenna on Facebook! Love her recipes!

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  11. Following Jenna on Pînterest!

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  12. Following Jena on facebook!
    tmayberry03@gmail.com

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  13. Following Jenna on Pinterest!
    tmayberry03@gmail.com

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  14. Mmm, looks delicious :) I love how versatile crock pots are turning out to be!

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  15. I definitely don't use my CP enough!

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  16. Oh I have to try this! It looks so much easier than my homemade recipe. And I could use this basic recipe to adapt my recipe to my slow cooker. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  17. I love anything pumpkin, and she shares that love! :) I never thought this lasagna would REALLY turn out for me in the CP - okay, I will try!! :)

    Thank you!

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  18. I follow the Newlyweds on Face Book!

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  19. I now follow on Pinterest too!
    Thank you!

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  20. I've never made a pasta dish in the slow cooker (honestly didn't know you could!) This opens up a whole new world to me!

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  21. This really sounds easy, I use the crockpot a lot as I cannot cook on the stove being an oxygen user and it is not really safe, I will try this and I so it will be as wonderful as it sounds. Thanks.

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  22. I liked her on Facebook and followed her on Pinterest (that place is addictive!). The salsa recipe looks perfect. I also checked out the caramel coconut pie (it looks and sounds like the girl scout cookies with coconut/chocolate and caramel). Entering to win but I'm definitely checking out her recipes also!

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  23. Ihave Likeed Newlyweds Blog on Facebook

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  24. I am Following Jenna on Pinterest

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  25. There are so many recipes I plan on fixing but I think this wil be the first one - Sticky Chicken in Crock Pot

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  26. I am following Jenna on Pin.
    virginia@heather-ridge.com

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  27. I want to try Jenna's corn dip.
    http://www.virginia@heather-ridge.com

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  28. This looks so delicious and easy! I love my crockpot and this looks like a great way to do lasagna in the heat of summer!

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  29. I like the Newlyweds Blog on facebook.
    Krissy
    kbmint@otelco.net

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  30. I follow Jenna on Pinterest.

    Krissy
    kbmint@otelco.net

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  31. I visited Jenna's blog and I'd like to try the Mini Meatloaf. I think my family will love it!

    Krissy
    kbmint@otelco.net

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  32. I made this 2 nights ago, and we are still happily eating the leftovers for lunch!! So yummy.

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  33. This is one of my favorites Brandie:)

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  34. Looks delicious and now following on Pinterest! Can't wait to try it!

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  35. Following Newlyweds blog on Facebook. This looks so good and easy.
    Melissa
    Ravenwolf6201@yahoo.com

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  36. Liked the Newlyweds blog on facebook

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  37. I think I want to try the almond joy cake!!!

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  38. I would love to try the Candy Bacon, it looks so yummy. She has some awesome recipes and been wanting some lasagna so def gonna try this recipe.

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  39. I followed Jenna on Pinterest.

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  40. Your recipes sound wonderful. I can't wait to try them!
    I too am following you on Pintrest because I can't wait to see what foods you make next. Thanks for entering me in your contest.

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  41. Love the crockpot lasagna. Following on facebook & pinterest!!Brandy- Carrythecross11@yahoo.com

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  42. I made this for my husband's grandmother. She said it was the best lasagna she's ever tasted!

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  43. Made this for dinner tonight, turned out great. Kids loved it and asked to keep it on rotation! I wish I had read the instructions all the way to the end before cooking, since I cooked it all day, instead of 4-6 hours, however it still turned out great. Just not as saucy as I would have liked.

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  44. I made this lasagna last week for my daughter which is a lasagna freak..lol and she loved it. And sooo easy to make...i will be making this more often..thanks for sharing.

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  45. I was so excited to cook this and I couldn't find my slow cooker bowl. I am wondering can you cook this in an oven and what the time difference is for cooking time?!!

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  46. To cook this in the oven, you need to cover it with non-stick foil and bake for an hour at 350deg. Then uncover and bake for ten more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for this helpful tip for others!

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  47. Crock pot is the only way I've made lasagna for 3 years now! To hot for a long oven time most of the year in FL. I'd be a toss up if I had to chose between oven or crock pot to keep in the kitchen! I love your site and check it at times I need dinner inspiration.

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  48. This is really special, first time I know that actually can use a slow cooker to cook lasagna. And it looks so nice and delicious. Compare to a bake version, it seem moist and soft. :)

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  49. Your recipe calls for grated parm but the pic shows shredded parm..I'm guessing there isn't a difference right?

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    1. Sorry for any confusion Kellie, you can use what you like here. The shredded or the grated :)

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  50. This looks delicious!! I'm having family stay with us from out of town and thinking about making this for dinner while they're here. How many people will this serve? Thanks!

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  51. this may sound stupid but I have pulled this recipe from freeze crock pot meals on pinterest......if I am making this a freeze meal, how do I do the cheese mixture.....do I put it all in one bag and freeze it too??? HELP PLEASE!!!!

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    1. Hmmm, you know I've never actually frozen this before but I guess you could. I would do it like I would freeze regular lasagna. Put it all together and make sure it is wrapped really well in freezer safe wrapping. Make sure you put the date on it too :)

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  52. Looks like dinner tonight and your chicken parm recipe for tomorrow. Thank you, love your site.
    ssmorrissey@att.net

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  53. Quick question, please answer quickly as I want to make this for dinner tonight. I have the no boil lasagna noodles. Is that what you are supposed to use for this recipe?

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    1. Hi Sandra! I use just the regular boiling noodles for this (I just don't boilg them first). I haven't actually tried it with the no boil lasagna noodles but it should work.

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    2. my sister used the no boil lasagna noodles and I didn't like the texture of them, they were to mushy almost doughy like and didn't taste as good as the boiling noodles. My brother said the same thing, turned out awful. I like the idea of mixing the cheeses like that, I had gotton the ingredients to make this so I'll try it your way. I add sausage to the hamburger mix, layer pepperoni and smoke sausage. It was so good my brothers couldn't get enough of it. Janet

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  54. I hope using ricotta instead of cottage cheese works. I was running out of time and am doing an hour on high and then I'll reduce it to low for 21/2 hours. Hopefully it's ok to do it this way, we shall see. Thanks

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  55. Made this last night, and it was delicious! I used one of the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners (no cleanup! score!), and added pepperoni slices as one of the layers. It cooked in about 3.5 hours on low in my crockpot, so I'd recommend anyone keeping an eye on it as they cook it. My husband said it was the best lasagna he'd ever eaten!

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    1. Love hearing that! Thank you so much History Girl!

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  56. Took this to a work potluck and everyone raved about this lasagna.

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    1. Hi Josie! Yay!! Thank you so very much for coming back to let me know how it turned out. SO happy to hear that!!

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  57. I made this tonight and my family loved it! I cooked on low for 4 hours, but it was probably done at 3.5 hours. I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese and it turned out great! Not dry like the last couple of times I made lasagna in the oven. Thank you! I will be making this again!

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  58. Hi Brandie! Thanks for sharing this. I would love it just as written but my husband won't touch cottage cheese. Have you, or anyone out there tried ricotta?

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  59. This has become one of our FAVORITE dishes! We just made it again last night...so wonderful and so EASY!!! Anything I can cook in my Crock Pot is the BOMB as far as I'm concerned.

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  60. I made this yesterday for my child care. I prepped it in the morning before kids started arriving.... Only change I made was adding 1/2 of a small carton of ricotti... I need my ricotti in my lasagna...
    It was AWESOME.... Big hit with the kids and myself... I even served some that night to my husband and he thought it was great... I honestly don't know if I would even make lasagna in a pan again after making this... Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe.
    Jean

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  61. I made this lasagna and it was delicious. I only cooked mine for 4 hrs and the noodles were perfect.

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  62. I hope I don't sound silly, but the pic looks like a pan was used inside the crock pot? is this right?

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  63. This sounds delicious! I love lasagna and will try this with pepperoni/salami, and even with veggies! :D Thanks for the awesome recipe. ;)

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  64. I know this post is from a while ago but hopefully you will read this...can you or have you subbed the cottage cheese for ricotta? I really dont want to ruin an entire dish of this if this is something that should not be subbed out.

    Thanks.

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  65. Hey there...Ricotta will work fine in this recipe.

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