I am NOT a food photographer. I haven’t figured it out, but I promise it tastes better (and looks) than the picture suggests.NOTE: You can make the sauce as a GREAT spaghetti sauce or you can make it ahead so you don’t have to cook spaghetti sauce first thing in the morning.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef (7-10% fat is best)
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 t each: salt and oregano
1/2 t each: dried basil, red pepper flakes
OPTIONAL: 1 T. Balsamic Vinegar (my husband likes a sweet sauce and this adds that well)
16 oz. skim ricotta cheese
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
2 c. part-skim mozzarella
dry lasagna noodles
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1. Sauté beef until caramelized, add onion and garlic. Continue cooking until meat is brown. Add remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer 5-10 minutes.
SAUCE IS DONE! It’s that easy, so good and actually a very low calorie sauce. It’s adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe.
2. Stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
3. Start layering ingredients in the slow cooker. First add a thin layer of sauce, then two layers of noodles right on top of each other (you will have to break them some to get them all to fit in the round slow cooker). This is especially important if you are cooking it for 8 hours or more. The noodles will absorb a lot of liquid and the double layer helps them to not get mushy. Then a layer of ricotta mixture and then a layer of sauce. Start over. I normally get 3 layers of sauce and noodles and 2 layers of ricotta, so you are finishing with sauce.
TIP: If you run out of sauce, it’s ok. Top the last layer of noodles with whatever pre-made pasta sauce you have on hand or a little bit of plain tomato sauce. You only need a little liquid so that the top layer of noodles cook.
4. Cook in slow cooker 4-6 hours or longer. The longer you cook it the less sauce you will have.
5. Top with mozzarella & parmesan and let sit long enough to melt. I like my cheese to be a little browned, so I take the whole insert out of the slow-cooker and put it under the broiler in the oven for 5 minutes, but that’s optional.
Done! Hope you enjoy!