Monday, March 18, 2013

My Crockpot Lasagna

Anything to make the making of dinner go faster.
We're self-proclaimed crock-pot noobs. Both Mr. E and myself love the idea of the crockpot, but the actual recipe-finding and assembling needs a little love.

Something i was ridiculously excited to try was lasagna in the crockpot. I had seen a few recipes on Pinterest, but I never had the ingredients (or the will before now). Well, a packet of frozen spinach, some Costco artichoke hearts and 1 lb of ground turkey later, we were in business!

The only disappointing thing about this recipe was it wasn't REALLY a crockpot wonder. This only cooks for 2.5-4 hours (high and low, respectively), which means it's all well and good to make it before hand, but I can't leave for the day and expect it to be done. So this is more of a weekend dinner for me- go out for errands and come back to a cooked dinner. 
Crockpot Lasagna
15 oz Ricotta cheese 1 cup mozzerella cheese 1 jar of sauce 1 lb ground meat 1 cup chopped artichoke hearts 1 packet of frozen spinach, thawed 1 egg lasagna noodles (we used the oven-ready kind) Like any lasagna we layered sauce (and 1/3 cup of water, just in case) on the bottom, then laid noodles down. I had to break my noodles because they were too big, but we weren't really going for looks. I alternated all of my layers on a whim- I wasn't very technical with what came next: noodles, cheese, spinach, noodles, sauce, hearts, etc...
 The only change i would make is to add the spinach TO the cheese. You know, the way restaurants do it. Because clearly something that is in EVERY cheese-filled ravioli and manicotti should be good enough for us. But I didnt, so we had a whole layer of spinach which didn't taste any different if you ate it with the other layers, but looked very unappetizing. Lesson learned.

Also, I was really scared once I finished because I forgot to grease the pot (I ALWAYS forget to grease the sides, right, Mom?) but upon serving I realized that my crockpot rocks. And may be non-stick. Or was just really liquidy because it served like buttah. So, no problems there.
We cooked the lasagna for 3.5 hours on high, which I think was a little long because the noodles were more soft than I would have liked them to be. Not very layered, but it still tasted great. 

What's great about lasagna is it's kind of a versatile dinner- at least in our house. It can be generic (cheese, sauce, noodles) or ornate (artichoke hearts? really?). You could add garlic or spices, spice it up or keep it bland. It's a good thing we like it around here!

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Mrs. E