I love lasagna. My family loves lasagna. Good rich meaty cheesy lasagna. But, our summers here in Southern California are way too ridiculously hot to use an oven. I avoid anything that might heat up the house. So casseroles and other baked dishes are usually out for us during the summer months. The grill and the slow cooker are our summertime best friends.
When I first heard about this slow cooker lasagna recipe, I thought… no way! We use the slow cooker a lot, but for a pasta dish?! No way! Yes way! It’s delicious. Big time comfort food cheesy meaty delicious. Without using a hot oven! And this is actually a Weight Watchers recipe, so it’s healthy. But, like all Weight Watchers recipes, we doctored it up with a lot more fresh herbs, more onion, and more garlic. More flavor, without any extra Points.
- 1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground beef
- 1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped
- 4 cloves (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz canned tomato sauce
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1½ cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 6 item(s) uncooked lasagna noodles, no-cook
- ½ cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, and basil; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Spoon ⅓ of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining ⅓ of beef 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 ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields ⅙th of dish per serving.