Any recipe I make in the slow cooker has to follow two simple golden rules:
- It has to be simple
- and it has to be delicious
I was a bit hesitant the first time I made lasagna in my slow cooker. Would the noodles be too mushy? Would it stand up to the oven baked lasagna that my family knows and loves?
I'm happy to say that this has now become our go-to lasagna recipe and my kids insist it makes it onto our meal plan each and every week. Give it a try and see what your family thinks!
Simple & Delicious Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef or 1/2 lb veggie ground round
1/2 teaspon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch fennel seeds, crushed
3 cups spaghetti sauce
2 cups water
1 lb ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 box (about 18) lasagna noodles *
4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, give it a stir to flavour the oil then add the beef, salt and pepper and cook, until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer.
In another bowl combine the ricotta, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the slow-cooker. Cover the sauce with a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles, breaking the noodles as needed to fit. Spread about 1/4 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with a thin layer of the sauce, then sprinkle with about 1/4 of the mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Repeat the layering 3 or 4 times. This will differ depending on the size of your crockpot. Top with a final layer of noodles, sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Cover and cook on low until cooked through, about 4 hours.
* Use regular lasagna noodles. Do NOT use no-cook noodles.