I got a lovely email from Lynda, who is a mother of 6, a grandmother of 4, and a first-grade teacher. She wrote to tell me about one of her favorite crockpot dishes: no-noodle lasagna. I bought the ingredients, plopped everything into the crock, and went about my day. 8 hours later, the house smelled wonderful and we had a fantastic vegetarian dinner. Thank you, Lynda!
--1 26 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
--1 small container of ricotta cheese (I recycled the plastic already. 10 oz? 12 oz?)
--8 slices of mozzarella cheese
--2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix
--1 large eggplant
--3 summer squash
--1 pound of slices mushrooms
--bag of baby spinach
--2 T warm water
I used a 6 quart Smart Pot for this dish, it was the correct size pot to use. If you have a smaller crock-pot, you will need to scale back a bit.
Wash all of the vegetables. Slice the squash and the eggplant in long, slices, about 1/4 inch thick. These are going to be your noodles! I did not peel the squash or the eggplant. In the bottom of your crockpot, pour about 1/4 cup of pasta sauce. Layer in a few pieces of squash and eggplant. Smear some ricotta cheese on top. Add a handful of baby spinach and mushrooms, and a few slices of mozzarella cheese. Pour in some more pasta sauce. Continue layering the ingredients until your crockpot is full, and you have run out of ingredients. Top with the end of the pasta sauce and the shredded cheese. Put 2 tablespoons of warm water into the empty pasta sauce jar, cover, and shake. Pour the remaining sauce on top of everything.
Cover your crockpot and cook on low for 5-8 hours. This is done when the vegetables have reached their desired tenderness and the cheese is melty.
Serve with some garlic bread sticks, yum.
Delicious! I tested our veggies at 6 hours, and the squash wasn't quite done enough for me, but at 8 hours it was cooked perfectly. I love eggplant, and love the way it performs in the crockpot, it takes on all the flavors of the marinara and cheese. If I make this again, I may use another eggplant and scale back on the squash.
The kids picked a bit and mostly ate cheese and spinach. One of my kids really likes mushrooms, so she ate quite a bit of those.
This is a keeper! Thanks so much, Lynda, for sharing.
other lasagna recipes to try:
pesto spinach lasagna
buffalo chicken lasagna