Friday, June 17, 2011

Crock Pot Lasagna Casserole

      
I am not one for BAKING as my mom tells me.  It drives her mad, when she asks to help me with food prep and I don't have exact measurements. I am a dump and pour kind of girl. (Mom says that I cook not bake) I love to make things that I think will be easy and simple.  My kids love when they see meal on Tv and there I am trying to make my own home version.
 Alot of it is simple and not genius trust me!  I find when I cook at home my kids actually prefer it, sure fast food here and there happens but on a budget it doesn't happen alot.   So ANY WAY here is my way of making Lasagna, because I don't like the whole way it is normally made....it just takes to long in my world and the egg in the cheese mixture creeps me alot!
My ingredients are Lasagna noodles, Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, your choice of sauce, and cream cheese with garlic flavor (this is something new I just started adding).

First thing I do is mix the ricotta (only one container-sorry I pictured 2, cream cheese and mozzarella cheese (little more than half bag) and stir together.  
I like to use Italian sausage if you want to use ground beef that is totally cool. My trick that I do (and I think I saw Rachel Ray do this to, is to use a potato masher it makes the meat ground up a bit more,  do this after most of the meat is cooked)
Next I break up the noodles into bite pieces, makes it more casserole style.  I cook them till the are well done, I don't like a lasagna noodle that is still raw or uncooked (another reason I am not a fan of regular lasagna never seemed cooked)

Then let the layering begin.  I do sauce, noodles and then cheese mixture.  When I have reached my layers that I want I top with some of the left over mozzarella cheese.  I also add a bit of water around the edges, this also helps if the noodles didn't get cooked enough.  In a crock pot I try to let it go for at least 2 hours on high.  If you were wanting an all day approach cook on low for 4-5hours. You could also cook this in an oven if you wanted, 400 degrees till bubbly.  
There you have it Crock Pot Lasagna Casserole !  If you try this let me know how it worked for you and if you tweaked it let me know that too!