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.