CrockPot Lasagna

Disclaimer: I’m going to go ahead and tell you, right off the bat, the name of this recipe versus what I actually made are incongruous. The recipe is clearly for lasagna made in the slow cooker, and, while I followed the recipe exactly in every other way, I did not cook this in my CrockPot.

To be completely honest, I am highly opposed to any and all CrockPot recipes that require much effort beyond throwing it all in the pot and turning it on. I think the slow cooker is an invaluable tool that almost every home should possess. That said, the convenience factor of it is lost on me if I have to do a lot of prep work before tossing it in. At that point, most of the work is done, and I would just as soon cook the item in my oven for a fraction of the time. This recipe is a perfect example of one of those times.

Putting aside the fact that I’ve read mixed reviews of lasagna from the slow cooker, I just didn’t get going early enough in the day to let dinner cook for 4-6 hours, and I ended up baking my lasagna. I followed the recipe and used the exact same ingredients but assembled mine in a casserole dish and baked it at 350 until bubbly and lightly browned (the CrockPot instructions are below).

I’m a huge lasagna fan, and my classic (completely not WW friendly) recipe is a huge hit with my family who request it regularly. I typically have to make several pans at a time so that some can be frozen, and the rest usually disappears within 24 hours. In other words, I’m kind of picky about what I expect from lasagna. However, I was looking for something that would be more figure-friendly so that I could incorporate it into our menu a little more frequently, still saving the other recipe for splurges and special occasions. I was pleasantly surprised by how well this recipe turned out; I thought it had a great flavor and a nice kick to it.

There are two minor complaints though: it was way, way, way too salty and it was also incredibly saucy. I actually enjoy both salt and sauce a good deal, but they were both overpowering in this dish. I would absolutely cut the salt in half (or omit completely) next time; I can’t remember if I used reduced sodium tomatoes so that may have played a part, but either way I will be more aware of the salt content should I make this recipe again. I’m also wondering if I actually had made this in the CrockPot if more of the sauce would have dried up leaving it less soupy. I love a lot of sauce, but this was too much. If you’re going to leave it cooking all day, try the full amount of tomatoes, otherwise you may want to consider cutting back somewhere.

Overall this was pretty quick to make and pretty good. I would give it three stars as is, but I’m sure some minor tweaks to lessen the saltiness would give it a higher rating.

CrockPot Lasagna

4 links spicy Italian chicken sausage, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
15 ounces canned tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 ½ cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 dry lasagna noodles, no boil variety
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Spoon 1/3 of sausage mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over sausage mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of sausage mixture.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over sausage mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.

Source: Weight Watchers
6 servings | 8 POINTS


March 11, 2009. recipes.

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