Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Did you ever think you could make a tasty lasagna in a slow cooker? No, neither did I. It turns out you can. My good friend, Maggie, makes this all the time, and after begging her for the recipe, she finally relented and passed it on.
The original recipe is a Kraft Canada recipe, and you can find it here. I made a couple of alterations, just to boost flavour, and I will admit, if you follow the Kraft recipe, you will end up with way over cooked noodles. It's very tasty, I just prefer my noodles more on the al dente side. I don't know that you will ever be able to get your noodles al dente in the slow cooker, but we can keep trying.
My one year-old twins love this lasagna, most likely because it is soft and tasty, and from the middle there are no crunchy parts. 
My slow cooker is huge, so I doubled the original recipe - we do have oodles of lasagna leftover, but it freezes perfectly well, for meals down the road. 

Slow Cooker Lasagna
adapted from a recipe by Kraft Foods
1 tablespoon canola oil
1lb lean ground beef
1lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 jars prepared pasta sauce (650ml ea)
2 containers ricotta cheese (400g ea)
400g shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
 2 eggs
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
Heat oil in a large saucepan, add beef and sausage meat and brown. Stir in pasta sauce. Mix well.
Combine ricotta, half mozzarella, half Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Mix well
Scoop 2 cups meat sauce onto bottom of slow cooker. Top with 4 lasagna noodles, breaking to fit slow cooker insert. Top noodles with 1/3 cheese mixture and 1/3 meat sauce. Repeat two more times. 
Cover with lid.
Cook on low heat for 3 1/2 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Let stand, covered for another 10 minutes, or until melted. Serve hot.  


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