Sunday, December 4, 2011

Slow-cooker Lasagna

Christmas decorating can't be rushed. I find it's best to spread it over several days and to have the house completely decorated before we cut and put up the tree. After spending the day in New York City viewing the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, the creche at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the wonderful Christmas decorations throughout mid-town, I felt ready to begin. That meant I needed something quick and easy for Sunday dinner.

I've come across quite a number of recipes for slow-cooker lasagna and decided that now was the time to give one a try. I made an exception to my general rule for using the slow cooker in that it was necessary to brown several ingredients in a skillet. While I didn't use any one recipe, I did take some suggestions for the cooking method and time. This recipe serves 8-12.

no boil lasagna noodles (use Barilla; they're the best)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
10 oz sliced white mushrooms
1 (28 oz) jar tomato sauce (I used Barilla's 5 cheese sauce)
1 (15 oz) container part skim ricotta
2 cups part skim mozzarella
grated pecorino romano cheese

Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. In a large skillet, place the ground beef, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes over medium high heat, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Fit 3 no boil lasagna noodles in the bottom of the slow cooker (I broke some apart so as to cover the bottom). Use a slotted spoon to spread 1/3 of the beef mixture over the noodles (there will be lots of extra liquid extruded from the mushrooms and you don't want this in your dish). Add 1/3 of the ricotta, spreading as evenly as possible, then 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat the layering 2 more times, finishing with the mozzarella. Sprinkle the grated cheese over this top layer, place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-5 1/2 hours.

Eileen, this one's for you!
I'll admit I wasn't expecting much more than a home made version of one of those boxes of pasta casseroles. I was wrong! While this will never take the place of real lasagna, particularly one made with handmade pasta, it was very tasty and had even set up when I was packing up the leftovers. DSO absolutely loved the taste and is even looking forward to eating the leftovers. This would be a great dish to round out a holiday buffet, to take as a contribution to a covered dish, or to put on the table for a special weeknight meal. It could be put together the night before and set to cook while you get your holiday shopping done. Whenever or however you make it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


  1. You have to love the ease of the slow cooker--even those times you have to brown something, it's worth it in the end. This looks delicious. ;-)

  2. What a wonderful rib-sticking meal. It's made better still by the use of a slow cooker. I am relatively new to your blog but always enjoy the time I spend here. Recipes like this keep me coming back. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  3. Truly one of my favorite ways to make this lasagna, I set it and forget it... then its works magic.. I do this for my staff every year its almost that time... yours looks great!

  4. Popped in to say hi! This looks amazing! I love lasagna!

  5. I have a ton of tomato-meat sauce leftover and was just about to freeze it - but I am bringing out my slow-cooker instead.

  6. I have always been skeptical of crockpot lasagna, but I trust you and will give this a try!

  7. this is such a great idea! i just love lasagna and this is perfect for a busy day!


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