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!
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 (15 oz.) container small curd cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided use
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
lasagna noodles, uncooked
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 & pepper at this point too.
Drain excess grease from beef. And put back into skillet.
Pour in spaghetti sauce and water.
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.
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. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed and noodles should be soft.
When it is finished cooking, add remaining cheeses and sprinkle with a bit of parsley.
Put the lid back on for about 10-15 more minutes until cheese is melted.
Slice and serve it up with a salad and some garlic bread.