Yesterday was dentist appointment day. Not the kind of day most people look forward too – including myself. I had a late day appointment and luckily I had the wits about me to throw something in the Crockpot before I headed out because the dentist was running late and by the time I got home it was suppertime.
I wish that I could tell you how complicated making Crockpot Lasagna is but I can’t. If you can dice, sprinkle, and layer then you’re good to go. There are no exact measurements or science in this recipe. In other words, there is no recipe.
I put this meal together using ingredients that I had on hand. If you take my word for it that this slow cooker lasagna won’t disappoint you, and decide to make some yourselves, then be creative. Maybe you don’t like onions? No big deal, just leave them out. Or maybe you want it to be meatless? No big deal, just substitute eggplant or spinach. Maybe you don’t like red sauce? Try using Alfredo sauce. You see where I’m going with this right? BE DARING!
I admit I had my own doubts about making this without a recipe but this little voice just kept telling me – just do it, and I’m so glad I listened to that little voice. Do you know that little voice you hear is really very helpful if you trust it.
To make my Crockpot lasagna I started out with two 24 oz. jars of my favorite spaghetti sauce. I ended up using about one and a quarter jars.
I began by pouring enough spaghetti sauce in the slow-cooker to cover the bottom of the dish. Then I added some diced red pepper and onion, minced garlic, and sprinkled a little Italian seasoning on top. I did not spray the Crockpot with non-stick cooking spray because I added uncooked sausage and figured that would take care of the potential sticking problem. If you don’t use sausage then consider spraying the dish with non-stick cooking spray.
After getting the sauce situated I then took four (uncooked) small mild Italian sausage links and broke them up into pieces and sprinkled two of them on the first layer of sauce. I saved the other two for the second layer.
Next I layered broken lasagna noodles on top so that they covered all of the sauce. I probably used about a half a box of noodles all together. The ribbon noodles worked great. They are slightly heavier than most lasagna noodles so they didn’t get over-cooked.
I then dropped dollops of ricotta cheese on top of the noodles making sure all of the noodles were covered. I used about 20 ounces of ricotta in total. I always beat an egg into my ricotta to help it bind when baking. I sprinkled a generous layer of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta to finish off the first layer and poured a little more sauce on top of the cheese.
I repeated this process by making a second layer of all of the same yummy ingredients. I didn’t get real heavy with the second layer of sauce (as shown in the picture above), but when I finished the second layer and final layer, I used a generous amount of sauce (as shown in the picture below) and then sprinkled a light layer of mozzarella cheese.
I baked this lasagna on low for about 6 hours. After baking, I turned the Crockpot off and scrapped the sides with a spatula. I then replaced the lid and let it sit for about ten minutes before serving. I prefer my lasagna less saucy but hubby prefers it smothered in sauce. We compromise by serving extra sauce on the side.
Because my dental appointment ran very late, because it was dark when I got home, and because I was famished, I took a quick photo and we dug in. I know it doesn’t look very pretty but the deliciousness of it made up for its appearance.