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Keeper: Crock Pot Lasagna

Glad everyone enjoyed the Q&A and the chickpea cookies! I was a bit hesitant to post such opposition to veganism from a nutrition-bias, but you guys were all really understanding. Merci beaucoup!

I assure you, this recipe is a keeper! I was able to do all of the prep (slicing and browning) the evening before, and throw it all in the crock pot yesterday morning in about 5 minutes. Hubby put the crock on at noon, and we had ourselves and our dinner dates a wonderful meal! Everyone gave a thumbs up. I believe it will be the next taste test recipe for the work crowd! The portions are abundant and the flavor is outstanding, even with very lean ground beef. Ground turkey would be a perfect substitute, as well!

Despite my embarrassing attempt at a photo and plate job, this recipe is EXCELLENT! 😉

Crock Pot Lasagna

1 pound uncooked lean ground beef, 3-4% fat
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium garlic clove, minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes (reduced sodium, if possible)
15 oz canned tomato sauce (reduced sodium, if possible)
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
1 and 1/2 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
6 dry whole-wheat lasagna noodles, no cook
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat a large skillet over med. heat. Add beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until meat is done or about 5-7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Simmer 5 minutes. In med. bowl stir together ricotta and 1c. of mozzarella. Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5 qt. slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna noodles in half and place over beef mixture. Top noodles with 1/2 of ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting 4-6 hours. Remove cover. Turn off heat. Season to taste if desired.

In a small bowl combine remaining 1/2 c. mozzaarella and parmesan; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and the lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes.

Serves 6 people.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 425 calories; 16.7 g. fat; 45 mg. cholesterol; 32.2 g. carbohydrate; 5 g, fiber; 39.2 g. protein

Puppy was up at 5:24am. I got up with her because this will be my new up-and-at’em time come February 1st and my switch to a 4-10 work week. :(/ 🙂 My early rise got me thinking how my parents are in Cancun right now…sending emails twice a day, making me green with envy! (They totally deserve this vacation!)

Question: When is the last time you took a vacation? Where did you go?

Random: When a recipe calls for “onion” — do you use white, yellow, or another variety of onion?

Happy Hump Day! Make it a healthful one! 🙂

P.S. Meredith over at Pursing Balance is giving away a Wholly Guacamole shirt! While I want to win that shirt more than anything, go enter here! Spreadin’ the guacamole love!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. January 20, 2010 / 6:33 am

    I love crock pot meals! Fabulous!

    Our last vacation was in Seattle for Christmas. But out last tropical vacation for just the two of us was to Belize last February. Beautiful place!

  2. January 20, 2010 / 8:04 am

    I usually use yellow onions when a recipe calls for onions, but sometimes it just depends on what I have on hand. I could really use a crock pot to experiment with!

  3. eaternotarunner
    January 20, 2010 / 8:09 am

    I usually use yellow onions, not sure why though. Any my last trip was to Antarctica. It was amazing!

  4. January 20, 2010 / 8:10 am

    I tried making crock pot lasagna a few months ago and it turned out really burnt. The bottom and sides especially were BLACK and cripsy..yuck. How did you avoid that?

    • Nicole
      January 20, 2010 / 1:22 pm

      Huh. I had NO issues with this. Maybe you need to use a lower setting, if possible? Make sure that there’s PLENTY of sauce on the bottom when you start layering. This recipe worked beautifully for me!

  5. January 20, 2010 / 8:30 am

    Oh my goodness…this looks amazin! I’ve never thought about making lasagna in a crock pot!

  6. Kenya
    January 20, 2010 / 8:32 am

    I too have tried crockpot lasagna recently & mine was pretty bland and burnt as Morgan mentioned. I went against my better judgment and followed the recipe exactly (Kraft) instead of adding additional seasonings. I’ll give yours a shot and let you know how it turned out!

    PS – I made the Laughing Cow Spinach Alfredo last night πŸ™‚ yummy!

    • Nicole
      January 20, 2010 / 1:23 pm

      I posted above, but this particular recipe gave me no issues with burning at all. It was on for 5 hours and perfect! Nothing was crusty or burnt!

      • Nicole
        January 20, 2010 / 1:23 pm

        P.S. SO glad you liked the Laughing Cow Alfredo!! πŸ™‚

  7. January 20, 2010 / 8:43 am

    Wow….who knew you could make lasagna in a crock pot?! I just copied and pasted this – definitely trying it. Thanks for sharing!

    My last vacation was with my family to Michigan last summer. But my last “real” vacation (on an airplane) was to visit friends in Colorado 2 years ago. I know they can be real vacations by car, but it seems more real when you fly. πŸ™‚

  8. January 20, 2010 / 9:29 am

    That looks fantastic! I love messy food πŸ˜‰
    I really need to get a crock pot!

    The last time I went away was two weeks ago – to Japan & if a recipe calls for onion I just use what I have on hand (which is mostly white onion)

  9. January 20, 2010 / 10:08 am

    I would have never thought of lasagna in the crock pot. And I was standing staring at lasagna noodles in the grocery store yesterday thinking Mmmmmmmmm lasagna. But I didn’t buy them. Guess I’ll have to go back to the store. This looks tres yum!

    My last vacation was to Germany in August of this past summer. We also went to Paris for a day and the Netherlands. It was really great. If you’ve got the time, head on over to my blog and click on the Germany and Paris labels and you can see a bit of my trip!

    I use white onions for cooking and green onions for salads.

  10. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    January 20, 2010 / 10:26 am

    oh cancun, that sounds amazing! i’ve never been to mexico, even though i used to live just an hour away. weird! that lasagna looks phenomenal, where’s garfield?! good idea to transition in to waking up early, it’ll be much less of a shock to oyur system once your new schedule starts up!

  11. January 20, 2010 / 10:35 am

    I made a lasagna in the crock pot a while ago – it had pesto and spinach it!

    I love the crock pot – so easy to use.

  12. January 20, 2010 / 10:44 am

    Great recipe! I need a crock pot so bad. Well, I need the room first really.
    I was on vacation in July, and not since then. Nick and I are going to start saving for a trip to NYC for next year around the holidays, and I can’t WAIT! Before that we may go somewhere like the Hocking Hills in Ohio (about 45 minutes away) but it’s hard to spend when saving for a home. Ugh. I need MONEY!

  13. January 20, 2010 / 10:58 am

    LOVE this recipe! I love lasagna and the fact that I can cook it in a crock pot makes it even better πŸ™‚

  14. January 20, 2010 / 11:01 am

    Vacation? I need one, but if I say that people will laugh. I just want to travel I guess. My life is a vacation. I live on an island in the Atlantic ocean. I can’t lie…life is good. I think we have been using yellow onions since we get the most size variety on this. Your lasagna looks great. Gotta love the crock pot.

  15. January 20, 2010 / 11:55 am

    I LOVE using my crock pot, but having in quite a while πŸ™ It makes for super easy meals when I get home.

    Lets see, last vacation… Seaside, OR
    Onion… whatever I have on hand, but if I had to choose in a recipe like your crock pot lasagna I’d probably use white or yellow. Red is my favorite in salads though πŸ™‚

  16. January 20, 2010 / 1:01 pm

    We actually were able to go to Niagara Falls for our last vacation. It was so much fun and absolutely breath taking.

    I need to find Gluten Free Lasagna noodles ASAP! I miss lasagna!

  17. January 20, 2010 / 1:02 pm

    this looks and sounds incredible. I can’t wait to try it. I have some leftover regular lasagna noodles…could I just boil them first, and then do it the same way? I don’t want to buy a whole new box. I’m going to try this with venison!

    • Nicole
      January 20, 2010 / 1:24 pm

      The noodles are uncooked, so no need to pre-boil the noodles! Venison would work great!

  18. January 20, 2010 / 1:09 pm

    That looks great. Can you use ground turkey instead?

    The last vacation I went on was in September to Seattle. It was fun, but a lot of walking.
    If a recipe calls for onion, I leave it out. I hate onions πŸ™‚

    • Nicole
      January 20, 2010 / 1:24 pm


  19. January 20, 2010 / 2:44 pm

    I love this question about the onion! I always wonder which one I should be using! I just try to mix it up, so I’m varying the nutrients each time. My favorite is purple! I love sauteed purple onions.

  20. January 20, 2010 / 2:47 pm

    Nice recipe..and you have used my fav cheeses πŸ˜€

  21. January 20, 2010 / 3:31 pm

    This sounds really, really good. I’d substitute out ground beef for fake meat, but other than that – perfect!

  22. January 20, 2010 / 3:55 pm

    I have a crockpot but never use it.. I really should

    Last vacation… It was in Oct. we went to France and Holland…

    I always use yellow onion.. but for salad or raw dishes I use red.

  23. January 20, 2010 / 4:51 pm

    That looks great! I love lasagna. I might try that with gluten free lasagna noodles. I usually use a white onion if it just says “onion.” Actually, most of the time I probably just leave it out b/c I’m a huge fan…

  24. intheskinny
    January 20, 2010 / 5:26 pm

    This is going on my list of recipes to make! I’m still working my way through the cookbook from New Year’s too.

    I always use sweet yellow onions. Yum!

  25. January 20, 2010 / 6:32 pm

    I have a recipe for crock pot lasagna at home. I was just too scared to try it!

    My last vacation was in Colorado. Im terrified of airplanes, so it was an ordeal. But SO much fun!

  26. January 20, 2010 / 6:51 pm

    That looks fantastic!!!!! Although…I am not a huge fan of ricotta. Usually I substitute cottage cheese *low fat, of course!* instead. I may have to try this!!!!

  27. January 20, 2010 / 7:45 pm

    okay for real gota try this! i have a crock pot and never used it..the horror!

  28. January 20, 2010 / 7:53 pm

    Oooh, lasanga is a fav of mine! I love how this recipe utilizes the crockpot…perfect for a weeknight meal! I typically use yellow cooking onions for everything…even as a raw burger topping (I just soak them in cold water for a while to take a little of the bite off).

  29. January 20, 2010 / 8:27 pm

    Last year we only went on a 3 day mini vacation to Lake Tahoe. It was short but very nice… πŸ™‚

    Love the crock pot lasagna. I have been meaning to use my crock pot for soooo long now….

    I love red onions in salads, and often use yellow onions to cook with.

  30. January 20, 2010 / 9:09 pm

    I am calling my sister right now and telling her to make this recipe (she has a crockpot)

    I always tend to buy white onions when I am making a dish….

  31. January 20, 2010 / 11:09 pm

    up until a few minutes agao I have never heard of crock pot lasagna- now I do not own one but I love the idea behind it and will share your post with some friends who use them-

    I stick to my traditional bottom layerd meatball and sausage version- of course another one of those and I will need to go pants shopping …. again πŸ˜‰

  32. January 21, 2010 / 10:55 am

    The lasagna looks very yummy! I’m off to San Diego next week for a mini vacation!

  33. January 21, 2010 / 11:33 am

    awesome recipe!! I cant wait to try it out. Im actually heading to vegas this weekend for a bit. So that will be fun! Although our last real vacation was my honey moon last May. We went to Mexico and it was ssooo fun! Usually in a recipe when it calls for an onion I always use sweet onions. Vidalias if they are in season otherwise Texas sweet onions. I just like the taste alot better. Have a wonderful day sweetie!!

  34. January 21, 2010 / 11:33 am

    I’m all about the crock pot! Looks yummy.
    I haven’t been on a vacation in so long. It has at least been since September. I do have some vacations planned this year…visiting a friend in Seattle and FNCE.

  35. January 21, 2010 / 11:43 am

    That looks delicious Nicole! Um, I hate onions, so I have no idea!!

    My husband had two surgeries last year, so no vacation – but our last vacation was to Gaitlinburg, Tennessee – we rented a house in the mountains and it was gorgeous!

    Although we loved how remote and quiet our house was – the traffic was awful, so we’ll probably never go back!

  36. January 21, 2010 / 3:57 pm

    This is going in the crock pot tomorrow!!!

    I think my last “real” vacation was my friend’s destination wedding in St. Lucia. I need a “real” vacation badly! Just can’t decide where to go… long wish list.

    I love the frozen white chopped onions. They are great to keep on hand.

  37. January 21, 2010 / 7:51 pm

    OH that lasagna looks delish and in the crock pot makes it even better!! I typically use yellow onions…mild and flavorful, they go with anything.

  38. January 22, 2010 / 5:08 pm

    Lately I have been digging shallots. Nice flavor, kinda elegant take on the onion πŸ™‚ I also like to snip some chives and dust them over my meals. Fancy!
    Crock pot lasagna…..yummy!
    We leave in the morning to SKI!! Telluride….can’t wait. Love vacations!

  39. January 22, 2010 / 5:58 pm

    Looks good. I think I need a crockpot; I always see all these good recipes involving one.

    I normally use yellow onions, but sometimes I’m lazy and buy the pre-chopped red ones at the store.

  40. January 22, 2010 / 10:09 pm

    I love lasagna and I love things cooked in crock pots. This looks like a winner! πŸ™‚

  41. January 25, 2010 / 7:16 am

    This looks/sounds to die for–and lucky for me, I got a slow cooker for Christmas!! I bet this would be great served over a bed of spinach with some roasted squash on the side? YUM

  42. February 15, 2010 / 10:38 pm

    Hi Nicole, I just made it today and it turned out well. I added some spinach to the recipe but otherwise made it just as you listed. Approved by both me and my husband (well, he would’ve preferred it without the spinach but he survived). Thanks for the recipe!

  43. September 20, 2010 / 5:27 am

    excellent points and the details are more precise than somewhere else, thanks.

    – Norman

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