January 24, 2012

Homemade Lasagna... in a Crock Pot? Yes! Crock Pot Lasagna.

Last week I had two service-people coming to my house on the same afternoon. One was installing our Directv and the other would be replacing the computer panel in our refrigerator.   Not only would at least one of them be in my kitchen that afternoon, I had to also have all the food and shelves out of the refrigerator.  Busy between both of them, I decided dinner that night would be something I could fix and forget.  Lasagna.  In the crock pot. 

Start with your traditional lasagna ingredients OR cheat and do the REALLY FAST 5 minute lasagna like I did last week.  So you cheat?  Who cares.  It tastes good and your family will love you anyways.

 Crock Pot Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles
1 jar favorite flavor spaghetti sauce
Parmesan Cheese
Cottage Cheese or Ricotta (I like the large size but we like a lot of cheese filling)
1 -2 eggs
Mozzarella cheese 
Garlic (fresh, jarred or even use garlic powder if you usually do)

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with Pam or other spray or grease it with a light layer of olive oil.  Mix your cottage or ricotta with about  3/4 c parmesan, about a cup of mozzarella, 1-2 eggs and about a teaspoon or two of garlic (depending on how much you like in your foods).  I usually mix in some parsley or basil to this as well but I was in a hurry last week and as you can see from the photo, I didn't this time.

Pour about 1/3 of the jar of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.  Break 2 or 3 uncooked noodles in half or thirds and place them on the sauce, covering the bottom of the crock.  Top with about a third of the cheese mixture.  Layer more sauce, more noodles and more cheese.  When you get to the end of your layers, add about a cup of water to the spagetti jar.  Swish it around and pour this into the side of the crock pot.  Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese (I like to add a bit of cheddar and mozzarella mixed as I think the colors are nice for final presentation of the food when serving.)  Place the lid on and you are going to cook this on low for about 4 1/2 hours.

Every crock is different.  The newer your slow cooker is, the hotter it will run (the government got involved in this a few years back) and the newer ones are prone to burning everything.  If you have an older crockpot from the 70's or 80's you are going to be able to cook it for 5 hours.  Newer crocks will barely be able to do 4 before you need to check it.  If you have a timer, all the better!  Set it for 4 hours and then let it go to the warming stage.

Serve with some hot bread and and a side salad and you have a full meal that was easy as pie!  Lasagna 'pie' that is.

Use your own usual ingredients or use these for a quick 5 minute recipe

Amounts are all relative.  And lasagna is very forgiving.

Swish about a cup of water in the sauce jar and pour it in.  If you don't do this step your pasta will be dry.

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