Crock Pot Lasagna

Being a full time student, 3/4 time employee, and having outside interests does not always leave room for tons of cooking.

I have fallen in love with my crock pot lately!

Allows me to make super delicious meals without all the work and time.

Here is the recipe I use:

6qt crock pot

8-10oz uncooked lasagna noodles (I use whole wheat or gluten free, but you could also substitute eggplant to make a lighter version)

1lb ground turkey (or lean beef or sausage if you prefer)

1/2 a medium sweet onion, in a rough chop

2 cloves fresh garlic – minced or 2 teaspoons crushed (from a jar)

1 Jar your favorite pasta sauce (I use Classico Tomato basil, not high in calories per serving and has no added sugar)

2 cups Added veggies, I used broccoli and bell pepper, but you could also use mushrooms or carrots if you like those as well.

Cheese mix:

2.5 cups low fat, low moisture mozzarella – shredded (reserve 3/4 cups for adding to the top once all the layers are complete)

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

3/4 cup non fat/low fat ricotta

Take all 3 cheeses (- 3/5 mozzarella) and mix in a bowl till well combined. This will look a bit dry but it melts really nice when its all put together.

Creation:

Start by putting the onion and garlic in a non stick pan and cooking till it is tender and the onions are starting to show through.

Add the meat and cook till brown, in most cases I do not use any extra oil, most meat has enough moisture or fat to brown once it cooks down a little.

Once the meat has browned add the jar of pasta sauce and allow the sauce to simmer (preferably with a lid on) for 30 minutes.

Layering in the crock pot:

For me these ingredients made about 3 layers, you can double if you have a large group or big family and it still bakes well!

Start with a layer of meat sauce

Break the noodles in half and layer so the noddles make a single layer

Spread on 1/3 of the cheese mix, 1/3 of selected veggies, then another layer of sauce (I usually make the middle layers of sauce lighter since there is sauce on the bottom and top which will condense down)

Add the rest of the ingredients, following the layer pattern above till used up (ending with sauce is best in my test cases).

Once everything is layered, add the reserved mozzarella on top.

Ready to go! Cook on low for 4-5 hours (could extend to more, if you made in the morning and wanted it to sit all day, use the warm setting in this case rather than low), or if you will be home and like something with a little more crunch on the edges(which is my style), cook on high 1 hour, and low 2-3 hours.

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