Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna
Makes: 8 servings
Active time: 30 minutes | Slow-cooker time: 2 hours on High or 4 hours on Low
Equipment: 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker
Sure, the slow cooker's great for stews and soups, but it also happens to make a mean lasagna! In this ingenious slow-cooker recipe, all you have to do is chop your veggies, then layer the ingredients (raw) into the crock pot.
Serve with: Garlic bread and a green salad.
1 large egg
1 15- to 16-ounce container part-skim ricotta
1 5-ounce package baby spinach, coarsely chopped
3 large or 4 small portobello mushroom caps, gills removed (see Tip), halved and thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
15 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces), uncooked
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
1. Combine egg, ricotta, spinach, mushrooms and zucchini in a large bowl.
2. Combine crushed and diced tomatoes and their juice, garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) in a medium bowl.
3. Generously coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the tomato mixture in the slow cooker. Arrange 5 noodles over the sauce, overlapping them slightly and breaking into pieces to cover as much of the sauce as possible. Spread half of the ricotta-vegetable mixture over the noodles and firmly pat down, then spoon on 1 1/2 cups sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat the layering one more time, starting with noodles. Top with a third layer of noodles. Evenly spread the remaining tomato sauce over the noodles. Set aside the remaining 1 cup mozzarella in the refrigerator.
4. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on High for 2 hours or on Low for 4 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, sprinkle the reserved mozzarella on the lasagna, cover and let stand for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
Per serving: 414 calories; 14 g fat (8 g sat, 4 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 7 g fiber; 641 mg sodium; 829 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Calcium & Vitamin A (56% daily value), Vitamin C (39% dv), Iron & Magnesium (26% dv), Zinc (25% dv), Potassium (24% dv), Folate (18% dv).
Tip: The dark gills found on the underside of a portobello mushroom cap are edible, but can turn a dish an unappealing gray color. If you like, gently scrape the gills off with a spoon.