Monday, February 21, 2011

Veggie-Loaded Crockpot "Lasagna"

Lasagna is put in quotes here, because I didn't have any gluten-free lasagna noodles. But I used some brown rice fusilli noodles, so it was more of a "casserole". But this is intended to be lasagna. Next time when I have them, I will definitely use them. But it works out fine with whatever noodles you have. It's the crockpot; you can't go wrong with a crockpot. Just throw it all in and walk away.
So, it's Sunday. A big crockpot day in our house. And where do I go when I need a good slow-cooker recipe? Yep. Crockpot lady again. You can go directly to her recipe to check it out if you like.
One thing I like about this, if you know you're heading into a day that is going to be super-busy and won't even have time in the morning to put this together, you can certainly assemble it in the crock the night before and store it in the frig till morning, when you can whip it out, turn it on and be on your way!! Um, yeah. That was one long sentence.

What you need:

1/2-1 pound ground beef
jar of pasta/marinara sauce
box of lasagna noodles or any other noodles you like
ricotta cheese
shredded parmesan cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
any chopped up veggies you want to throw in there (I used broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms. Spinach was in the picture, but I forgot to put it in!)
1/4 C. water (if you're assembling this the night before, don't add the water till you start cooking it)

How you make it:

Brown your ground beef in a pan on the stove and pour in the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes. Then you're ready to start the layering. First put in some of the sauce mixture on the bottom of the crockpot, then a layer of UNcooked lasagna noodles. You can break them to make them fit. Since I didn't have lasagna, I just took a handful of fusilli noodles and sprinkled them on the sauce. Next, spread some ricotta on the noodles. Kinda hard to spread when it's not on flat lasagna noodles, so I just broke some up and sprinkled it around on top of the fusilli noodles. Next, add a layer of veggies, then parm and mozzarella. And you start all over again layering sauce, noodles, ricotta, veggies, cheese. And so on. I did 3 layers. Add the 1/4 cup water to the whole thing. A good way to use up all the extra sauce left in the jar or can is to put the 1/4 c. water in it and swirl it around and use that to pour in.
Cook in the crockpot on low for 5 hours. It will be longer for lasagna noodles. Probably 6-8 hours. Or cook on high for 3 hours or 5 hours for lasagna on high.

You could serve this with a green salad. But this was so loaded with veggies, we just ate a big plate of it all by itself.


  1. YUUUMMM-O! I love the crock pot too! This one's making the list, thank you thank you!

  2. Thanks Mandy! ENJOY! YAY, crock pots!

  3. Making this tomorrow night...I'll have to let you know how it goes.....think I'll hide some squash in there ;) Maybe John would eat it then...

  4. I think squash and zucchini work the best in this! Do it! Yes, let me know. :)

  5. I made this, we all liked it. I really loved it. I even had enough left overs for lunch the next day...I'm trying the stir fry chicken tonight! Yeah:) THanks are awesome. I'm in awe of you :)

  6. I'm so glad it worked out, Michelle! You don't know how excited I get when I hear someone makes once of these! It's silly, I know. :)
    Enjoy the stir-fry!!
    (And I'm in awe of you every time I turn around, so the feeling's mutual, my friend.)