Monday, February 3, 2014

Vegetarian Crockpot Lasagna

Earlier today, I asked the People of Facebook what they thought about crockpot lasagna. I've seen it on Pinterest time and time again. I've never even bothered to pin it because I just imagined it becoming a soupy disgusting mess and a big waste of time, ingredients, and the money used to purchase said ingredients. Surprisingly, though, the responses I got from Facebook were all positive. I really couldn't believe so many people had tried this out. Today was a perfect day to put this one to the test since we had some errands late this afternoon and not much time to prepare a meal last-minute.

I'm happy to report, this recipe seriously surpassed all of my expectations! This may be my new favorite way to make lasagna! :) Ready for the recipe? I just made this up in my head as I went along. So, we'll see how jacked up it sounds when I write it out. Here we go...

What you need: 

  • 2 jars of pasta sauce. - Barilla or Bertolli. (I promise they taste homemade). 
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup romano/parmesan (I used Kraft this time, ssshhh...don't tell my Pops)
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or chopped up fresh basil if you're lucky)
  • 1 package of fresh mini portabello mushrooms (washed and sliced)
  • 1 yellow squash/zucchini (washed and sliced)
  • 1 eggplant (washed and sliced)
  • 1 package oven-ready lasagna noodles (Barilla)
  • 1 15oz package of ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (OR 2 eggs)
  • Seasonings: onion powder; garlic powder; cayenne; and sea salt
What you do: 

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350 and spray a baking sheet with cooking oil (I used grapeseed)
  • Make a single layer of sliced eggplant and spray the slices with more cooking spray (bake about 7 minutes per side, but periodically check for doneness. I have no idea how long I cooked mine. When you can stick a fork in it; it's done). 
  • While your eggplant is baking, spray a hot skillet with oil and add the rest of the sliced veggies. Season (to taste) with onion powder; garlic powder; cayenne (just a pinch, now); and sea salt. Saute all until tender. 
  • While your veggies are sizzling, go ahead and mix up the filling - 1 container of ricotta; 1/2 cup romano/parmesan; 1 tsp basil and the greek yogurt or eggs. Mix until combined and set aside. (I use greek yogurt in place of eggs all the time; I don't like egg germs. You all do what you want.)
  • Once all veggies are done, throw them all in the skillet and toss together for good measure. Now it's time to start layering this masterpiece up in your crockpot!
  • Spray your crockpot down with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Layer as follows: sauce (thin layer to cover bottom of crockpot), lasagna noodles,* 1/2 veggies; 1/2 ricotta mixture; mozzarella; sauce, lasagna noodles, 1/2 veggies, 1/2 ricotta mixture, mozzarella; lasagna noodles, sauce, mozzarella and the other 1/4 cup romano/parm.  Or, you know, how ever you want. No one's gonna inspect your layers! Just start with the sauce on the bottom and top layers. PS. I only used about 1 & 1/4 jars of sauce. Save the remaining sauce for pasta another day.
Cook on LOW for about 4 hours. Keep checking it (stick a fork in then noodles to see if they are tender). I think I turned my crockpot on WARM after about 3 hours and then off about 45 minutes before we ate. This gave the lasagna time to set-up nicely. Kid and husband approved. :)

Let me know if you try it and, enjoy!!

Lookie there, totally normal lasagna!

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