Slow Cooker Lasagna

I bet you didn’t know that you could make lasagna in your slow cooker, did you?

It’s one of our favorite slow cooker meals in our house and there are so many ways that you can alter it to make it healthier if you’re watching your waistline.

This recipe is inspired by the Weight Watchers Crock Pot Lasagna recipe, but I’ve changed and tweaked it just a bit to fit our tastes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef (*Healthier option: use ground turkey)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce (*You could also use about 40-45 oz. of a homemade tomato sauce)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (*Healthier option: use fat-free)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream or cottage cheese (*Healthier option: use fat-free)
  • 1 ½ cups part-skim mozzarella cheese (*Healthier option: use fat-free)
  • 6 pieces of uncooked lasagna – these can be no cook or regular (*Healthier option: use whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (*Healthier option: use 1/4- 1/3 cup)

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add ground beef or turkey and stir to brown, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Let simmer and bubble for 8-10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, sour cream or cottage cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese (the sour cream/cottage cheese will make the mixture creamier).

3. Spray a 5-6 qt. slow cooker with non-stick spray. Layer your tomato/meat mixture (you will need FOUR portions of this), followed by two lasagna noodles (you might need to break them into chunks to fit), and then the ricotta cheese mixture (you will need THREE portions of this). Spoon the cheese onto the lasagna noodles and spread gently with the back of a spoon.

4. Repeat with two more layers.

5. Finish with the final layer of tomato/meat mixture.

6. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Do not cook longer! You don’t want your lasagna noodles to get mushy.

7. Combine the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ½ cup (or less) parmesan cheese and add to the top of the lasagna. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts (you can turn the slow cooker off at this point or keep on warm/low while the cheese melts).

8. If you can wait 10-15 minute to let the lasagna firm up, then great! If not (like us) then dig in, but be aware that it might lose its shape. Don’t worry — it will still taste delicious! Cut into 6 large portions and enjoy.

According to Weight Watchers, these jumbo pieces are 10 points plus a piece, but perhaps less if you use the healthier alternatives provided or a smaller portion.

It’s also important to note that while I often assemble slow cooker meals the night before and turn them on in the morning, I prefer to not assemble lasagna this way. Letting the noodles sit in the sauce overnight makes them softer and can potentially make your lasagna mushy.

The same can be said about using a slow cooker with a timer and letting your dish sit on warm for a few hours after it’s cooked. I love to make this meal on the weekends when my son is napping and then I can be home to enjoy the delicious smell in my kitchen!

Bon Appétit!

5 Responses to Slow Cooker Lasagna

  1. That looks so delicious!

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing! With two children I love slow cooker recipes because I can leave dinner to cook for awhile. Also, I think things have so much flavor if cooked in the crock pot besides the oven. You just saved a mom some time and shared a recipe that will make 4 mouths happy!

  3. This recipe looks very tasty. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Just a suggestion, next time try using a slow-cooker liner. My MIL introduced them to me (in the foil aisle). You’ll never have to worry about baked on food again!

  5. Nice recipe, thanks for sharing this slow cooker lasagna recipe.

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