It’s time for a new installment in my New Year, New Take series of updated, healthier family favorite recipes. Today I share a *really* new take on lasagna, one that uses the slow cooker. I love my slow cooker and seek out recipes of any and all types with which to experiment in our slow cooker. But I had never heard of cooking lasagna or any type of pasta in a slow cooker until my friend Julia recommended it to me.
As is my practice, I took Julia’s recipe, tweaked and played with it a bit and replaced most of the red meat with leaner mild turkey sausage and steamed broccoli. If you are vegetarian, you can easily use all vegetables in this recipe, or conversely, use solely sausage. Feel free to tweak and play with this recipe yourself.
One caveat: while this recipe uses the slow cooker, it is not the type of recipe you can pop into the slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning and let it cook all day. This recipe takes a mere 4 hours on low, so save it for a weekend afternoon when you can keep a closer eye on it, at least until you are able to get a feel for how long the recipe will take in your slow cooker (each slow cooker is slightly different in wattage and therefore cooking time).
Slow Cooker Lightened Lasagna
2 (28 oz) jars Marinara Sauce
1 # Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 cup steamed broccoli florets
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
9 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles
16 ounce container part-skim Ricotta cheese
2 cups reduced-fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
In the bottom of the slow cooker, pour 1 cup Marinara Sauce.
In a large bowl, mix the remaining sauce, sausage, broccoli, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the three cheeses. Set aside.
Repeat layers above two times. (G, observing the process below)
Cover and set slow cooker to “LOW.” Cook for 3-5 hours or until the noodles are tender.