Over the years I've made many lasagnas from scratch. They've always been quite labor intensive what with making the sauce and boiling the noodles and everything, but they always turn out pretty well. When I decided to make a recipe for lasagna in the crock pot using jarred sauce and uncooked noodles, my expectations were pretty low, but I figured it would be worth a try because my husband LOVES lasagna. Much to my surprise, the lasagna ended up being pretty much the best one I've made! It took only about 10 minutes worth of work and the result is pretty near perfect: lots of noodles, lots of tasty cheese, yummy sauce, not too dry or too wet, nice and browned around the edges. Needless to say, Paul loved it and asked if I would just make this all the time. For this recipe I used a jar of spaghetti sauce that had been in my pantry for a couple of years because it was about to expire, but I'm excited to try it with my homemade spaghetti sauce that I cook in huge batches and freeze. I wonder if it will be even better that way!
Quick note: I used a round 4 quart slow cooker. The shape and size of yours will determine how many layers of everything you can make and will probably also impact how wet or dry the lasagna will be. Just use your own judgment!
Amazing Slow Cooker Cheese Lasagna
26 oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Mushroom Prego)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t salt
1 C water
15 oz container ricotta cheese
1/2 C grated asiago cheese
2 C mozzarella, divided
1 t dried basil
1/2 t salt
about 12 oz lasagna noodles (the regular kind you're supposed to boil, NOT the oven ready kind)
In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg, then stir in ricotta, asiago, 1 C mozzarella, salt, and basil. In a separate bowl stir together spaghetti sauce, garlic, water, and salt. Grease slow cooker. Pour in a layer of sauce, a double layer of noodles (break to fit crock and arrange noodles in opposite directions like a windowpane), and a layer of cheese mixture. Repeat until ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of noodles, cheese mixture, and enough spaghetti sauce to completely cover noodles. I make 4 layers in all. Cover and cook on low until lasagna is tender all the way through, 4-6 hours. When it's finished cooking, sprinkle the reserved cup of mozzarella on top. Carefully lay a paper towel over the top of the crock and then replace the lid. The paper towel will keep condensation from dripping onto the cheese. Cook until cheese has melted.
Yield: 8-10 servings