Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna

I was so excited last night. For the first time since we'd moved to Pittsburgh, we had the chance of having trick or treaters. So I filled up the candy bowl, and waited. Made some lasagna, and waited. Ate some lasagna, and waited.

Wouldn't you know it -- we didn't get a single trick or treater last night. Bummer.

Except for the fact that now I get to keep all the candy. Which is just marvelous in my book. Except for my teeth. Which may just rot out in 2.3 days at the rate I'm going.

While this isn't the lasagna I made last night, it is another one of my slow cooker meals that worked out perfectly during soccer season. And I've decided that lasagna might just be one of the more infuriating things to try and get a good picture of. Usually it just ends up in a cheesy, meaty, gooey pile of deliciousness. Which, tastes excellent, but photographs... not so great. Especially when you're starving and all you want to do is eat -- but no, you have to take 257 million pictures first. Give or take a few.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Inspired by: The Meat and Potato Foodie

6 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, and cook until they start to become fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the Italian sausage, breaking up into smaller bits with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with garlic powder and red pepper flakes and cook until brown (about 8-10 minutes) stirring often. Turn off heat and stir in tomato sauce, paste, and broth until the mixture is fully incorporated.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Stir in the eggs until well mixed, then add in the salt, nutmeg, parsley, basil, and Italian seasoning.

Cover a slow cooker with a liner. Spread part of meat mixture on the bottom of the slow cooker so it is lightly covered. Layer with 3 lasagna noodles (you may need to break a few). Spoon half of the cheese mixture over the noodles, spreading evenly across the noodles. Top with 1/2 the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture, lasagna noodles and cheese mixture. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 30 minutes prior to serving, top with remaining mozzarella and the shredded Parmesan. Let melt, then serve.

Serves: 12

I was a little leery at first using noodles in the crockpot. Wouldn't they just end up in mushy nastiness? Surprisingly, no. Although I was closer to the 4 hour end rather than the 6, so I can't guarantee anything at that point. This does take a little bit of work to put together prior to cooking, so it's great if you have a lot of free time earlier in the day, need to go do stuff later, yet want to eat as soon as you walk in the door (unlike traditionally cooked lasagna where you would still need to bake it at least 30 minutes once you arrived home). For the way my schedule broke down, this method worked perfectly.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 186g
Amount per serving
Calories 400Calories from fat 210
% Daily Value
Total Fat 23.3g36%
Saturated Fat 10.3g52%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 104mg35%
Sodium 1032mg43%
Total Carbs 22.7g8%
Fiber 1.0g4%
Sugars 3.1g
Protein 24.0g
Vitamin A 14%Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 23%Iron 8%


  1. Love this! I've always wanted to try slow cooker lasagna. I've actually been meaning to use my slow cooker more in general. I need to follow your lead, it's just so hard because I am away from home for over 8 hours every day and my slow cooker doesn't have a auto-shut off/timer on it. Maybe it's time to invest in a new one?

  2. What an awesome and easy way to get dinner prepped. Love it! The slow cooker is something I never think to use.

  3. This sounds great! Quick question, does the cottage cheese melt into the lasagna, or are there still curds? I'm a cottage cheese lover.. but the only in the family!

  4. @spinachandspice Um, I guess it kind of remains curd-y (although you could always puree it if you wanted) but honestly, I have never noticed it and I don't think it's too textually different than ricotta by that point. I say go for it and don't tell anyone!

  5. We didn't get any trick or treaters either! So disappointing. Your lasagna looks great, though!

  6. It was my first time giving out to trick or treaters as well. We set out a pumpkin and some scarecrows (cute not hideous) and got 5. I think that are just so many safety issues that not a lot of people actually go trick or treating anymore.

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I have always thought that there was no way a lasagna could be done in a slow cooker. I might just try it out now. Bummer that you have work before putting it in the slow cooker but on a busy night there is nothing better than walking in the door with dinner waiting.

  8. Oh, it doesn't take that long to get to Pittsburgh from here! I want some of this - I mean, seriously want some of this!

    Im sorry you didn't get any trick or treaters. We handed out candy last year but only to a few kids so I didn't even bother this year which made me feel kind of bad :/

  9. I love the idea of making lasagna in the slow cooker! I definitely don't use mine enough.

  10. this is a lasagna: http://ricette.pourfemme.it/articolo/ricette-primi-piatti-lasagne-al-ragu/989/



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