SC* Spinach Lasagna

by Anne Bennett on October 29, 2010

Can you make lasagna in a slow cooker? ┬áThe idea hadn’t occurred to me until I saw Jessica Seinfeld on the Oprah Show show this week hawking her new cookbook. During the show she demonstrated a slow cooker lasagna for Oprah, who gobbled it right up.

Her version was geared for kids and thus was loaded with cheese, so I searched for a recipe that was lighter yet still delicious. Frankly, I didn’t have high expectations for the whole concept of slow-cooked pasta. Once again, the Cooking Light Slow Cooker cookbook provided the inspiration.

Well, well, well. Surprised again. Now, if I were to objectively critique the texture of the pasta regardless of how it was cooked, I’d say that it was just a bit soft, but otherwise this lasagna was entirely respectable, not to mention easy as pie. (Would someone tell me what’s so easy about pie? I don’t think pie is easy.)

All in all, another slow cooker winner. Yo, havin’ FUN on LOW!

Imagine my surprise when I cut into the lasagna and it came out in a perfect slice!

4 cups baby spinach**
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
1/2 cup commercial pesto sauce
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded reduced-fat Italian blend cheese (or mozzarella)
1 15-oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 26-oz. jar tomato-basil pasta sauce
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 8-oz. package precooked lasagna noodles

Steam spinach until it wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain, squeeze dry and coarsely chop. Combine spinach, mushrooms and pesto sauce in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine shredded cheese, ricotta and egg in a medium bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and set aside. Combine pasta sauce with tomato sauce in a bowl.

To assemble: spread 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of an oval slow cooker. Arrange 3 noodles over pasta sauce, breaking up noodles if necessary to fit. Top with 1 cup cheese mixture and 1 cup spinach mixture.

Repeat layers once, ending with remaining 1 cup spinach mixture. Arrange 3 noodles over the spinach mixture, top with remaining cheese mixture and 1 cup pasta sauce.

Place 3 noodles over pasta sauce. Spread remaining pasta sauce over noodles and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or until done. My lasagna was done in just over 3 hours.

*Slow Cooker

** You can use 2 packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, in place of the fresh spinach.

Serves: 8

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda October 29, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Anne, I’m so delighted that you tried this. We have a potluck coming up where I’d like to take something hot but don’t want to have to use the oven. This will be perfect!

Martha October 31, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Anne,

I made this today and it was very good. I saw Jessica on Oprah too and thought I might buy her book. However msybe the Cooking Light Slowcooker cookbook would be a better . . .thoughts?

Michael November 8, 2010 at 9:59 am

My sister Martha made the spinach lasagna and shared some with me. When she told me it was from a slow cooker, I prepared myself for watery and rubbery gunk.
Was I ever wrong;it was delicious.
Thanks and keep inspiring my sister. ( and encourage her to share)

admin November 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Martha, Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook is geared for families with small children. I’d go with Cooking Light’s Slow Cooker cookbook if you want lots of really good slow cooker recipes.

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