If you’re skeptical about cooking lasagna in a slow cooker, have no fear — it’s as easy as layering the ingredients and walking away. This recipe will have your lasagna pan gathering dust. The Italian purist in me was happy to find that traditional lasagna noodles bake up beautifully without boiling them first, and my boys were delighted to eat this for dinner and again as tasty leftovers.
Marlene Says: For Beefy Slow Cooker Lasagna, brown 1/2 pound lean ground beef with ½ teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds. After spreading 1/2 cup of marinara on the bottom of the slow cooker, add beef to remaining marinara and continue as directed (adds 55 calories and 2 grams fat).
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Mix thoroughly.
Place the marinara sauce in a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Add 1/2 cup water (unless the marinara is already fairly thin) to the empty sauce jar or container, give it a swirl, and add to the marinara sauce. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
Place about one-third of the lasagna noodles over the sauce, breaking the noodles to fit (don’t worry if small spaces are uncovered). Cover the noodles with half of the cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), then top with 1 cup sauce. Repeat.
Top with the remaining noodles, cover with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle on the mozzarella, the remaining oregano and Parmesan. Cook for 3-3 1/2 hours on low or until fork tender. Turn off heat and let sit at least 15 minutes before serving.