Lasagna is a beloved dish that satisfies our cravings for cheese, pasta, and meat all in one hearty bite.
Unfortunately, making this dish can be a tedious and time-consuming process.
This is where the crockpot comes in handy.
With the help of a slow cooker, we can make a delicious lasagna without sacrificing hours of our precious time.
Lasagna is an Italian dish that has been around for centuries.
The origins of this dish are somewhat unclear as there are varying stories about how it came to be.
However, it is believed that lasagna originated in the city of Naples in Italy.
The first recorded recipe of lasagna dates back to the 14th century.
As for the name “lasagna,” it is derived from the Greek word “laganon,” which means flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips.
The beauty of making crockpot lasagna is that it requires minimal prep time. You can basically throw all the ingredients in and let it cook on its own.
However, to ensure that your lasagna turns out delicious, there are a few things you can do beforehand.
First, make sure to brown your meat before adding it to the crockpot.
This will not only give it a nice flavor but also prevent it from turning into a greasy mess while cooking.
Additionally, you can sauté some onions and garlic for added flavor.
What To Expect
Making crockpot lasagna is straightforward.
Once you’ve browned your meat and sautéed your veggies (if desired), it’s time to start layering your ingredients.
Begin with a layer of tomato sauce followed by noodles, meat, cheese, and repeat until all your ingredients have been used up. The final layer should be cheese.
Once everything is layered, set your crockpot to low and let it cook for 4-6 hours.
The exact cooking time will depend on your specific crockpot, so be sure to check it periodically.
Once it’s done, you can serve it straight out of the crockpot or transfer it to a baking dish and broil it in the oven for a few minutes to get that crispy top layer.
The ingredients you’ll need to make crockpot lasagna are relatively simple. You’ll need:
– 1 pound ground beef/turkey/sausage
– 1 onion (diced)
– 3 garlic cloves (minced)
– 2 jars of tomato sauce
– 1 can of diced tomatoes (drained)
– 1 teaspoon of sugar
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
– 1 teaspoon of dried basil
– 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
– 16 ounces of ricotta cheese
– 1 egg
– 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
– 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
– Lasagna noodles
Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for crockpot lasagna:
1. Brown your meat in a skillet and drain any excess grease.
2. Sauté diced onions and minced garlic until fragrant.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, egg, 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan.
4. In your crockpot, add a layer of tomato sauce, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles (you can break them into pieces to fit), then a layer of meat, a layer of cheese mixture, and repeat until all your ingredients have been used up.
5. Finish with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.
6. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
7. Once it’s done, let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Crockpot lasagna is best served hot and fresh out of the slow cooker. You can garnish it with some fresh parsley or basil for added flavor and color.
Pair it with a simple side salad or garlic bread, and you’ll have a satisfying and delicious meal that’s perfect for a busy weeknight.
Can I use oven-ready lasagna noodles?
Yes, you can use oven-ready lasagna noodles if you prefer.
Just make sure to add enough tomato sauce to cover the noodles as they won’t have the opportunity to cook in boiling water before being added to the crockpot.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time by layering all your ingredients in a baking dish and storing it in the fridge (uncooked) until ready to cook.
When you’re ready to cook, transfer it to the crockpot and set it on low for 4-6 hours.
Can I freeze leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Just make sure to store them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
In conclusion, crockpot lasagna is a game-changer for busy weeknights.
It’s a convenient and easy way to enjoy a classic Italian dish without sacrificing hours of your time.
With minimal prep time and a delicious recipe, you’ll be able to whip up a satisfying meal in no time!
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