DIY, decorating, and navigating through life as a newlywed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Okay, so I know that this blog's main focus is home renovations, decorating, and crafting, but I just have to share this recipe with you!  It's Weight Watchers Slow Cooker Lasagna.  This is the hubs and my favorite recipe, and it's even mildly healthy for you!

Here's what you need to make this layered awesomeness:

1 lb lean ground beef (browned)
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups skim mozzarella cheese
9 lasagna noodles (just buy a box and you'll have extras)
1/2 cup shredded parm

Now here's the fun part--making it!  (Well, okay, the fun part is really eating it)

1. First, brown the ground beef in a large, deep skillet with the diced onion and garlic.  Drain when browned.
2. Dump in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
I encourage a taste test at this point to make sure it's seasoned
how you like it.  I tend to add more than the recommended amount
of herbs because I like my sauce zesty!
3. While the sauce simmers, get out a medium bowl and mix the ricotta cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella together.

4. Get out your Crock Pot and make yourself a little assembly line: sauce, Crock Pot, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture.
5. Spoon about a third of the sauce onto the bottom of your Crock Pot.
You really just need to cover the bottom of your
Crock Pot.  Mine's pretty small, so my lasagna ends
up being thick; a smaller Crock Pot will make a "skinnier"
6. Then, add your lasagna noodles over the sauce.  You want to try to cover the whole pot, so you'll have to break the noodles into odd sizes at times.  I can typically put a whole noodle down the middle, break another in half for both sides, and then one more to fill in the bare spots.
Don't worry too much about getting really close to the
sides.  The noodles will get soft while cooking and
cover most of the Crock Pot.
7. Then, spoon your cheese mixture over the noodles.  It won't spread particularly well, but just do your best.  As it melts, it'll spread out a bit more.
Doesn't it look yummy so far!?
8. Repeat this two more times.  You'll end up with a little sauce left over (if you put as much as I do in each layer), so lather up the final layer of cheese.

9. Set your Crock Pot on low for 4-6 hours or high for about 2 1/2 hours.  
10. About 10 minutes before the lasagna is done, add the remaining mozzarella cheese over the   top.  Once it melts, your lasagna is done!
Just check out all of that hot, melted, cheesy goodness!  You get
some ridiculously awesome cheese strings in every bite.  If you
don't get sauce and cheese down your chin when eating this,
you're a miracle worker. 

*Let the lasagna cool for about 10-15 minutes in the Crock Pot so that it can set up.  It won't set up quite as nicely as a traditional lasagna, but it'll still take shape.  Enjoy!

I highly recommend this recipe!  In my opinion, it's so much easier and tastier than traditional lasagna.  My problem with traditional lasagna is that the noodles always seem to burn on the side; not with Slow Cooker Lasagna!  I hope you try it out; it's our favorite!  

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