Craving lasagna? Let your slow cooker do the work! In this ingenious recipe, all you have to do is chop your veggies, then layer the ingredients (raw) into the crock pot.
1 large egg 1 15- to 16-ounce container part-skin ricotta 1 5-ounce package baby spinach, 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
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.
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.