Okay, I swear to god that I really and truly DO make stuff that isn’t made in the crock pot, but since I had to throw a batch of this stuff together, why not document it for you lucky DCEPers?
Fred is one of those weirdos who doesn’t like to eat food from a restaurant most of the time (or maybe he’s just cheap), so every couple of weeks I need to make a batch of some kind of freezable entree that he can divide up into single-serving containers and freeze. He takes one container and a container of salad to work with him, and that’s his lunch. He tends to like Italian entrees, I don’t know if it’s the pasta he likes so much or what, but 9 times out of 10 what he requests that I make for him is Italian.
When he announced over the weekend that he was out of lunches, he said “Didn’t you once make some sort of crock pot lasagna? I’d like that, please.”
So, crock pot lasagna it is. I’ve had the recipe for years, and I have no idea where I got it. Given that it calls for ground turkey, probably out of a Cooking Light magazine or something of that ilk.
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey. I don’t buy ground turkey and I don’t eat ground turkey, because I? Do not like ground turkey. True, this isn’t for me, but Fred would prefer that I use something we’ve got in the freezer rather than go out and buy ground turkey. So what I use is 1 1/2 pounds of ground pork sausage from our very own pig. Also, you’ve got chopped onion, minced garlic (I buy those handy squeezable bottles of minced garlic from the grocery store), 1 pound of mozzarella, cottage cheese, Italian seasoning, no-cook lasagna noodles, and tomato paste. Now, the recipe calls for a can of tomato sauce, but I didn’t have a can of it in the pantry (this is all about what’s convenient for me, you know), so I used a jar of spaghetti sauce. Oh! And underneath the mozzarella is a bag of cherry tomatoes I slow-roasted in the oven last Summer and then froze. There should be a container of Parmesan, but I forgot about that. Sue me.
It’s simple: cook the onion, garlic and sausage until the sausage is browned (or turkey if you prefer it, or I’m sure you could even use ground beef). Because there’s fat in that sausage, after I’ve browned it, I rinse it in a colander (yes, maybe some of the garlic rinses away. That’s life.)
Then put the sausage/ onion/ garlic back in the pan and add the spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce), the tomato paste, and the Italian seasoning (and in my case, I stirred in the roasted cherry tomatoes, too). Stir it all together.
In a bowl, mix your mozzarella and cottage cheese together.
Then begin the layering. A layer of the meat sauce (about 1/4 of the total meat sauce you have).
A layer of noodles.
And a layer of cheese.
(Pretend there’s a picture of a layer of cheese, here.)
Repeat the layer twice, then top it off with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan and cook on low 4 – 5 hours.
I’m not going to show you a final picture of the lasagna because: (1) I’m not a food photographer (if that lasagna was jumping up after a cat toy, I’d manage to get a FANTASTIC picture of it, I assure you) and (2) Lasagna just looks gross. I have been assured by Fred that it’s damn tasty.
- 1.5 lb ground turkey (or ground sausage or ground beef)
- 1 lg chopped onion
- 1-2 T minced garlic
- 1 lb mozzarella, shredded
- 12 oz cottage cheese (I used 16 ounces)
- 1 t. Italian seasoning
- 8 oz no-cook lasagna noodles
- 29 oz tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- Parmesan (shredded or powdered, up to you)
- Cook turkey (sausage/ beef) over medium heat (drain and rinse if you are using a particularly fatty meat).
- Add spices and tomato sauce and paste (if it’s too thick, add water to thin).
- Mix the two cheeses together in a bowl.
- In the crock pot, put about ¼ of meat sauce, layer of noodles, layer of cheese. Repeat layering twice, topping off with remaining meat sauce.
- Sprinkle with parmesan and cook on low 4 – 5 hours.