The first time I made an Italian meal for my in-laws I was shakin-in-my-boots nervous.
You see, they’re not just Italian, they are super Italians – in name, in spirit and in their ability to cook the most amazing food ever. Why I ever thought lasagna was a good idea for dinner, I’m not sure. But, it turned out good. Really, it turned out great! I’m pleased to say I did my last name proud when I served crockpot lasagna. That’s right – lasagna in the crockpot. It’s beautiful thing. Read on and add this one to your meal plan.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 – 16 ounce jar infused tomato sauce (by infused I mean a fancy one like “three cheese”, “basil marinara” or “garden blend”)
- 1 – 12 ounce jar of Alfredo sauce (again, an infused variety is just fine – “garlic alfredo” is our personal favorite)
- 1 box no boil lasagna noodles
- 1 – 10 ounce tub of cottage cheese (which is the poor man’s ricotta, feel free to use ricotta if you prefer)
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
In a skillet, lightly brown ground beef, add entire jar of tomato sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place a thin layer of Alfredo sauce on the very bottom of your crockpot (this insures that your lasagna won’t stick to the bottom).
Begin the lasagna layering – there is no right or wrong way to do this – after the base Alfredo I usually go in this order: noodles, meat/tomato, sprinkle of mozzarella, noodles, cottage cheese, Alfredo, noodles and on and on until everything is gone.The final layer should be heavy on Alfredo or tomato sauce (so your top noodles have plenty of moisture to absorb). And finally, top with a blend of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Set your crockpot to low for 6-8 hours. Checking at 6. When everything looks melted, your mouth starts watering and you begin searching for French bread, unplug your crockpot and allow the lasagna to sit, with the lid on, for 1 hour. The sitting process will make cutting lasagna pieces much easier. If it’s too hot, it turns into lasagna slop – still delicious, just not as pretty
Alright now, get Italian night on this week’s meal plan and as they say with easy dinners like this, “Set it and forget it!” From my family to yours – enjoy!