I was skeptical about this recipe, until I tried it. I thought "there's no way the lasagna noodles will come out perfect without boiling them first or using the no-boil variety." I was, thankfully, wrong.
This lasagna recipe is great! The noodles are cooked to perfection and it looks, tastes and serves like real lasagna that you spent hours making. It took me about 10-12 minutes to assemble it. The slow cooker did the rest of the work.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 small onion or ½ large onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
8 lasagna noodles, uncooked (use regular lasagna noodles, not the ‘no-boil’ ones)
one 24-oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, any variety
1/3 cup water
15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz. package) shredded mozzarella cheese
Grease the insert of your slow cooker well and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the onion, green pepper, garlic and ground beef together until the meat loses its pink coloring. Don’t overcook or brown.
Layer your lasagna in the slow cooker insert in this order:
- Half the uncooked lasagna noodles in first; break them as necessary to cover the bottom of the slow cooker as evenly as possible.
- Half the meat mixture
- Half the large sauce, small sauce and water
- Half the ricotta cheese (drop by spoonfuls – no need to spread it out)
- Half the mozzarella cheese
Repeat using the remaining noodles, meat, sauces, water, ricotta and end with the mozzarella.
Cover and cook on the “low” setting for 4 ½ hours. When done, turn off the slow cooker, remove the lid and carefully remove the hot insert. Let the insert sit on a trivet, uncovered, for 20 minutes before serving.
Notes: I used a 4 quart, oval slow cooker for this recipe. You can substitute a few things such as using 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1/2 lb. sweet sausage instead of 1 pound of all ground beef, or replace the green pepper with the same amount of fresh mushrooms or spinach. Don't fiddle with the amount of liquids or noodles as that might affect the outcome.