Do you call it a crock pot or a slow cooker? Wikipedia, the web's seemingly final word on everything, calls it a slow cooker. However in Kentucky, where I grew up, it's most definitely called a crock pot, so that's how I still refer to mine. If you don't own one, I highly recommend you making the investment as it's a life saver for anyone who needs to cook but who also works or has a busy schedule. Wait a minute, isn't that all parents and caregivers?!
I've been making Veggie Lasagna and gluten-free Mexican Tortilla Lasagna in my crock pot for years, but since both of my kids have been liking ground meat, turkey and chicken lately, I've been making this healthy version using meat to rave reviews from my crew. After all, what's more fun than twelve layers of pasta, cheese, and luscious sauce? Chloe said it looked like a tower the first time I put it on her plate, while Kenya (in total boy fashion) yelled "timber!" as he pushed his right over.
Other than the ease with which you can make it, the best part about this recipe is that it makes enough to feed a crowd if you want to serve it at a party. I make it in my crock pot, put the lid back on (after everyone taken their share) and when it's cooled I pop the crock pot insert into the fridge to reheat any remaining servings over the next few days, so there's minimum clean up to boot!
So crock pot...slow cooker...no matter what you call it, you'll definitely be calling this easy and delectable dish a winner after eating it with your family!
Slow Cooker 12 Layer Lasagna (serves 12 )
- 2 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1 small Onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds dark meat ground turkey
- 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 6-ounce cans Tomato Paste
- 1 tablespoon Dried Italian Herbs
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 16 ounces grated mozzarella cheese, about 4-5 cups
- 1 pound dried lasagna noodles, uncooked
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the turkey and cook for 5 minutes, until cooked though, breaking apart any chunks with the side of a wooden spoon to make bite sized pieces. Remove the turkey to a plate, and then drain the liquid.
2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot, then onions and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
3. Return the turkey to the pot, add the drained tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and italian herbs. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.
4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and mix in the cottage and parmesan cheeses.
5. In the crock pot, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce, a single layer of the dried lasagna noodles (I break them into pieces and slightly overlap to fit the crock pot), 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture, and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering until you have 3 layers of each, ending with mozzarella cheese.
6. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
7. Turn off the crock pot, remove the lid, and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving. This will help the lasagna keep its shape.
Note: My crockpot is 6.5 quarts. You may need to use less per layer to fit a smaller crock pot.
Note: You can also use lean ground beef.