If you happen to be staying in on Valentine’s Day and are looking for an easy Valentine’s Day dinner, Crock Pot Lasagna is a fabulous option! Several years ago, I found this recipe for Crock Pot Lasagna and fell in love. I use a bottled spaghetti sauce but add additional spices to give it a homemade taste. If you keep browned ground beef in the freezer (read more here), it will cut your preparation time dramatically. After the recipe, scroll down as I have also included a couple of pics to answer any questions you might have.
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 jar regular size spaghetti sauce
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (Italian or Basil, Oregano & Garlic Flavored)
- 12 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups mozerella Cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 package 8oz no-cook lasagna noodles
- salt to taste
- Brown ground beef and chopped onions until no longer pink. Drain, rinse, and return to pot.
- Stir in pasta sauce, canned tomatoes and 1/3 cup water on medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low to simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Dump ricotta cheese in a bowl with the egg, stir well until combined.
- Pour 1/5 of your meat sauce into the bottom of a greased Crock Pot and top with a layer of dry noodles. They won’t fit perfectly, you’ll need to break off bits and pieces all over the place (I’d consider wearing safety goggles for this job) and overlap them some – but no worries, it’ll all work out in the end.
- Spread a ricotta cheese mixture on top of noodles. I've found it's easiest to squeeze mixture out of a zip lock. (see image below recipe).
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, followed by mozarella. I use more mozarella than parmesan.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have 3 layers of noodles or are simply out of ingredients. It’s hard to mess this up – the most important part is to make sure there is a layer of sauce touching each layer of noodles so that it will “boil” while cooking. Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours. During the last hour, pour the extra 1 Cup Mozzarella on top so it will melt and look lovely by dinner time
When adding the no cook lasagna noodles, don’t stress about laying the noodles out perfectly. Unless you have a rectangle crock pot (do they make those?) you are going to have to overlap noodles.
I have found that squeezing the ricotta/egg mixture out of a zip lock baggy with a hole in the corner cuts down serious frustration. If you’ve ever tried to spread out ricotta cheese on hard lasagna noodles you know what I mean. Squeeze out the ricotta on top of the lasagna noodles, then spread with a the bottom side of a large spoon. This little step is pure genius I tell you!
Pour sauce generously on top of the cheese, and spread evenly.
Tada – final layer. Cover and cook on low 4 hours.