Successful Crockpot Lasagna

Have you tried making crockpot lasagna and even though you followed the recipe exactly,  ended up frustrated because:

1) The bottom ended up burned, and

2) The noodles were mushy?

This happened to me too but I tinkered with a couple of recipes and have discovered the right way to do this.  Be frustrated no more!

First thing you to remember is that in order to be successful you need more noodles, sauce and cheese than for conventional lasagna.  3 cups of ricotta or cottage cheese,  2 of the 29 oz cans of sauce, and lots of lasagna noodles.  I know recipes say 8-10 but that is not enough. 1 lb of meat is still enough. And your mozzarella cheese as well, 3 cups I think.

Prepare the meat and sauce the way you normally do.  Add in whatever vegetables and spices you like.  Same with the cheese…some recipes call for adding 2 eggs into the cheese…I don’t, but you can.  If you think you need the eggs for extra moistness, you don’t, but if you like it that way, more power to you.

I use a 5 1/2 quart crockpot.  Spray it with cooking spray first then put in 1 cup of sauce for the bottom layer.  Do not put in less, otherwise you have the scorched bottom.  Then put the lasagna noodles on top of sauce.  I find two is what I can fit in my pot and you need to break about a 1/4 piece off the top of each noodle to get it to fit.  Now do a 1/3 cup of sauce, 1/3 cup of cheese, 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese and repeat until done.

I keep adding layers until all of my ricotta cheese is gone.  Then I do the last layer of lasagna noodles and pour the remaining sauce on top of and then all around the sides of the lasagna.  Your pot may look pretty full at this point, but as it cooks down it will shrink. After adding the last of the sauce, put the last 1/3 cup of mozzarella on top of the last two noodles.

The layers get pretty high so about halfway through I press gently on the noodles before adding sauce and cheese to help the noodles stay put and also to keep them straight.

Here is the most important part: cook time.  Cook on low for 3 hours.  I know that this is not what the recipes say but as full as your pot is, that’s all the time it needs. Trust me, every time I did the 5-6 hours on high, I ended up with the soggy noodles on top and the burnt bottoms.

If you have any noodles or noddle parts that are sticking up and don’t look like they are cooking, gently push them down into the sauce and let it cook a few minutes.

Last tip: a few minutes before serving, turn pot off and take lid off for 2-3 minutes…no more. This helps the noodles firm up slightly before eating.  Don’t do it any longer than that or the noodles end up with that heavy pasta taste.

Now you can have lasagna without turning the oven on in the summer heat!

Post for Tasty Tuesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesday.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wine blog
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 23:54:30

    Not sure the best way to cook lasagna is in a crock pot. It seems more like a pan cooked dish if you ask me.

    Reply

  2. Melissa
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:48:34

    Thank you! I tried crockpot lasagna once, with exactly the results you described at the top of your post. It took me longer to scrub out that pan than it took us to eat dinner!

    Reply

  3. angie
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 21:27:38

    I will be using this in the fall when I need meals that can be cooked in crock pot

    Reply

  4. abrianna
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 16:24:52

    Wine Blog,

    It may be best that way but there are times when an alternative is needed. Some people live where it gets over 100 in the summer and still want a hot meal without heating up the kitchen.

    What if the oven breaks and it can’t be used? Happened to a friend of mine. They went a month maybe more without an oven.

    Melissa and Angie,

    Glad I could be of help.

    Reply

  5. Jerri
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 16:06:20

    I love your idea of making a lasagna in a crock pot. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  6. Sharinskishe
    Jul 24, 2009 @ 11:24:27

    I love making crockpot lasagna. But then I love cooking in a Dutch Oven and it is so close to crock potting.

    There is a difference between pan lasagna and crock lasagna, but then is one really better than the other? It is in the tastes and likes of the beholder/eater to decide.

    I for one will always make crockpot lasagna. For me it is easier and the cleanup is also easier. I must have been blessed with an awesome crock, I rarely have things stick, never have to scrub. Soak- yes, scrub- no. (I have a regular Rival- I do use bacon grease to grease it with. But that can’t be the secret.)

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Shari

    Reply

  7. ann
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 13:39:07

    Can u make lasagna in cockpot day before and cook next day????????

    Reply

    • abrianna
      May 12, 2010 @ 20:12:38

      You can make any food in the crockpot one day and cook it the next, but you need to be sure that the pot is warmed up to room temperature before heating it. Otherwise it will crack.

      Reply

  8. jane
    Mar 18, 2010 @ 19:34:58

    does the noodles have to be no boil or can i use regular noodles and not cook them

    Reply

  9. Glenda
    Jul 20, 2010 @ 18:30:00

    Fixed this for supper today. Best lasagna we ever ate!!!
    The flavors melded together and it was soooooo good.
    Didn’t change a thing. Will be fixing this again sooooon.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

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