It’s another Slow Cooker Sunday for the Yogis!
We like to eat lasagna in our house, but rarely do because it’s generally a lot of work, and I don’t ever have time (or patience). If we ever do eat it, it’s usually the Costco frozen lasagna, but in an attempt to bring down the sodium and saturated fat content, I thought I’d give this a go.
During my search, nearly every slow cooker lasagna recipe I found promised a no fuss, EASY lasagna that everyone would love. That was enough for me! They all looked so great, so I set out to create a hybrid version of my own.
First, to give proper credit, I obviously didn’t come up with this on my own (if you know me, you know how much of an amateur I am in the kitchen). So yes, I combined recipes from several different sources, which are listed at the bottom of this post. I tried to seek out healthier versions, but let’s face it, it’s lasagna, so it’s not exactly a health food. I substituted ground turkey for beef, added a ton of veggies, and used whole wheat pasta noodles. So I do think I made some pretty good ingredient choices, and I promise to keep my portion sizes small. :)
Here is what I came up with:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
- 1 small eggplant, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes, with the juice
- 1 can tomato sauce (can substitute Italian spaghetti sauce, like Prego, etc.)
- uncooked lasagna noodles (use whole wheat, if desired)
- 1⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, low fat/skim
- 15 oz. Ricotta cheese
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- non-stick cooking spray
- Sauté in olive oil, in two separate pans on stove: (1) ground turkey (until brown); drain and add tomatoes and tomato sauce. (2) In separate pan, sauté garlic and onion, and add the zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms. Remove from heat.
- To make the cheese mixture, combine in a bowl: mozzarella, Ricotta, chopped spinach, and egg. Set aside.
- Spray the inside of the slow cooker with non-stick spray and you are ready to build your layers: Layer the bottom with some sauce, just enough to coat the bottom. Then lay your uncooked lasagna noodles (about 3 or 4) over the sauce (break apart as needed so they fit), then a layer of veggies, then some of the cheese mixture.
- Repeat layering (noodles, veggies, sauce, cheese) until you can end with a final layer of noodles and the remaining sauce.
- Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
- Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours, until noodles are cooked through.
- Turn off slow cooker and let sit uncovered for 20-30 minutes before serving to let it set (helps it hold its shape when serving).
Sautéing the veggies (I used eggplant, zucchini, & mushrooms,
but use anything you like)
Mixing up the cheese, egg, and spinach. Kinda looks like mashed potatoes…
Layering in the Crockpot.. almost done!
I admit, popping that frozen Costco lasagna in the oven is always so tempting, but this recipe really wasn’t that difficult and I can safely say it is a lot healthier without sacrificing taste. The chopping and sautéing took a while, but once it was in the slow cooker, I could kind of just “set it and forget it”. I did find it a bit challenging to get a nice firm piece scooped out when we were ready to eat, but all in all, I’m happy with this dish. I even made the leftovers into single servings to stick in the freezer for later.