Crock Pot Lasagna Pie

Serve with Cheesy Garlic Bread

I love eating lasagna, as much as I love cooking it…BUT I don’t make it often.  The last time I cooked lasagna I was still dating my husband!  We’ve e been married 13 years to date–so that was a while ago.  Today, however, I was on a mission to do one my favorite things, surf the web for a beyond-the-ordinary lasagna recipe.

Crock Pot Lasagna and Cheesy Garlic Bread

In the past I didn’t enjoy the task of having to boil the noodles.  They sometimes stuck to each other, fell apart, or the sides were not cooked evenly.  I also wanted to avoid the dreaded clean-up task after the fact.  BUT NOT TODAY…Hooray!

Although I still had a few steps to do, it was nice to know that I didn’t have to bring out the boiling pot for this particular recipe because all was cooked in a slow-cooker!  Yes, my good ‘ole Crock Pot that could has definitely done it again…

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (I used Nudo Italia)
  • 2 lb. organic, ground turkey (or your choice of organic ground meat)
  • 2 jars (each 24 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can S. Marzano (or similar) whole tomatoes
  • 1  6-8 oz whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Ruffle-edged lasagna noodles (not no-boil noodles)
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish

Directions:

1.  In the stove-top-safe insert of slow cooker over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomato paste and bring to a simmer.  Add the whole tomatoes and mash.  Saute for a few minutes.  Set aside.

2.  In another bowl, stir together the ricotta, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3.  Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the slow-cooker insert. Cover the sauce with a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (about 3), breaking the noodles as needed to fit. Spread about 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with about 2 cups of the sauce, then sprinkle with about 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat the layering 4 more times, starting with the noodles.

4.  Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base, cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the noodles are tender and cooked through, approximately 4 hours. ( With my Rival brand Crock Pot, it was cooked in about 2 hours)

5.  Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to broil.

6.  Transfer the slow-cooker insert to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.  Great with my cheesy garlic bread (a secret recipe😋)!

Original recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen