Monday, April 16, 2012
Crock Pot Spinach Lasagna
It's time for another Secret Recipe Club posting. This month I got Mostly Food and Crafts, which I was pretty happy about because I've actually pinned several things from this blog already. Also, I've wanted to try lasagna in the crock pot for a long time now, but have been afraid of serving it several hours later only to find that my lasagna has been replaced with red gloppy glop from Glop. If you know what I mean. It helped to have Danielle to mentor me through.
The lasagna was excellent and super easy. The other thing I really loved about it is that with normal lasagna you're supposed to take it out of the oven (and it still takes an hour in there) and then let it set for 15 minutes or so so that it doesn't ooze out all over the place. This wasn't necessary with this lasagna. It was a little oozy, but not much. And the noodles were perfect--not mushy at all.
A few notes:
1. One thing I always forget about lasagna is that the putting together takes longer than I expect. This is a very fast meal to put in the crock, but not a five minute one. Plan for at least 10 minutes and 15-20 if you're making your own quick sauce.
2. This is very very spinachy. Which is as a spinach lasagna should be. However, if you only sort of like spinach or you're worried that people in your posse will object to so much, reduce the spinach by half. It will still taste great and you'll please a bigger crowd. In fact, if you're a little shy about the spinach, you could also use 10 oz of baby spinach, chopped and steamed in place of the frozen spinach. Frozen spinach comes with all the stems and everything. Again, no big deal if you're a spinach lover or veteran, but if you're not, or you're worried about people liking it, then chopped, steamed baby spinach is the way to go. You'll barely notice you're eating green leafy things.
3. Danielle recommends 3-4 hours on low. I did mine for 2 hours on high. Totally worked! Hurray. So if you don't get to this until you're kids are walking in the door from school, don't fret. It can still totally work and it is nice to be doing dinner while they do their after school chores/homework and then to relax during the normally rushed pre-dinner thing.
Crock Pot Spinach Lasagna
adapted from Mostly Food and Crafts
makes 6-8 servings
Prep time: 10-20 minutes
Cook time: 2-4 hours
noodles: .40, ricotta: 1.00. mozzarella: 1.00, Parm: .75, spinach: 2.50, marinara: 1.60
6-7 regular lasagna noodles (not no-boil)
20 oz. spinach, thawed (if you think this will be too much for your family, see note above)
1 C ricotta cheese
3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
3 C marinara sauce (we added some cooked ground beef to ours)
1/2 C water
1 1/2 C mozzarella cheese
If using ground beef, brown with salt and pepper or a bit of pesto (yum). Add this to your marinara sauce. Add 1/2 C water to it all.
While beef is browning, combine spinach ricotta cheese, and 1/2 C Parmesan cheese.
Ladle about 3/4 C marinara sauce into bottom of crock pot. Add 2 lasagna noodles, breaking if necessary to make them fit. Top with 3/4 C marinara sauce, 1/2 spinach mixture and 1/2 C mozzarella.
Repeat (noodles, sauce, spinach, mozzarella).
Top with final 2 noodles. Add remaining sauce and remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
Cook in crock pot for 3-4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.