We all have those day, especially around the holidays, when there is so much to get done that dinner needs to be something that's easy to throw together and that everybody loves.
This crock pot lasagna is just the ticket for those type of days.
Now don't let me mislead you. I've always been a fan of the long process of putting together a traditional lasagna...the boiling of the noodles, making my own sauce (gravy) from scratch, layering the pan with lovely browned Italian sausage, oodles of fresh cheeses and noodles. Using just about every pot I own to make a hefty and heavy pan of lasagna that would bake in the oven to cooked perfection. Then I would obsess over how it would look when plated...did it cool long enough to serve it into a perfect little square of cheesy, noodley goodness on the plate?
Well, I got over it.
Using the simplest ingredients and the same method of layering, this lasagna tastes almost every bit as good as the lasagna I slaved hours over and truth be told, my family loves it just as much! Who cares if it's not in a perfect little square on the plate anyway? The flavor is still there and weeknight lasagna just got a whole lot easier.
This recipe is for my son Adam. I'm hoping that now he can, and will, make his own crock pot lasagna and who knows? Maybe some night he'll even invite his mom over for dinner! LOL! Well, lets take this one step at a time, shall we?
CROCK POT LASAGNA
1 box of lasagna noodles (you won't use all of it)
1 large (32 ounce) jar of you favorite sauce
1 - 16 ounce container of cottage cheese
1 - 16 ounce container of ricotta cheese
1 bag of your favorite brand of frozen meatballs (you won't use an entire bag)
Parmesan cheese (you decide how much)
shredded mozzarella cheese (you decide how much)
dried oregano (approximately 2 teaspoons, divided)
dried basil (approximately 2 teaspoons, divided)
salt, pepper and garlic powder (to taste)
-In the bottom of the crock pot, add enough sauce to almost cover.
-Break up about 3-4 lasagna noodles and layer them over the sauce.
-Add a layer of frozen meatballs.
-Add some salt and pepper.
-Spread half of the ricotta cheese and half of the cottage cheese in a layer over the meatballs.
-Sprinkle half of the basil, oregano over top and then add some garlic powder to taste.
-Add a layer of Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
-Continue by adding another generous layer of sauce and repeat the process of layering...(not necessarily in this order: broken noodles, meatballs, salt and pepper, cottage and ricotta cheeses, basil, oregano and garlic powder, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and finish with a final layer of sauce.
-Cover and cook on low for 8 - 9 hours.
I served mine with some nice steamed broccoli and some store bought frozen garlic bread (can't get much easier than that) to round out the meal. And, as everybody knows, this will even be better as leftovers the next few days, which is perfect for a bachelor like you Adam!!!
Now, don't get me wrong son, I still want you coming over to your mom's for dinner...A LOT, but with this quick and easy method to make a delicious lasagna supper that cooks while you're at work, you sure will save time and money by making this for yourself once in awhile, plus girls love a guy that can cook!!!
Pull up a chair and dig in. Dinner is served...