Hello out there!
Happy New Year! As promised, M and I have been planning all kinds of fun vegetarian slow cooker recipes that we’re excited to share with you! Last week, I tried another one of America’s Test Kitchen recipes. I have to say I’m not overly impressed with a lot of what it’s in their books (I have both Vol. 1 and 2). The food is good, but they don’t have a great understanding of what makes a good Crock Pot recipe – at least to me. They tend to involve a lot of prep and other appliances like the microwave and stove. You sort of hit a point where you start wondering why you are bothering with the slow cooker at all. This one is about as much work as I am willing to put into prep. It’s not exactly a set it and forget it, but it is really really good!
Prep Time: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours, 0 minutes
- Vegetable or Olive Oil Spray
- 1/2 box of oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1.5 pounds white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 20 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 15 ounces alfredo sauce
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
Spray the Crock Pot well with the vegetable oil spray. Set aside. Head oil in a very large pot (I used a wok) over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt - cook until mushrooms are browned. Stir in spinach and alfredo sauce. Take off heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, egg, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Mix together. Ok, prep completed! Add a small amount of water to the alfredo sauce bottle and put a layer of watery sauce at the bottom of the Crock Pot. If you don't have enough, add a little of the mushroom sauce mix as well. Arrange lasagna noodle pieces flat in slow cooker (they will overlap). Dollop some ricotta mix over the noodles. Then add more of the mushroom sauce mix on top of that. Then sprinkle a layer of the Italian blend. Then add another layer of noodles. Repeat until you run out of everything. Add cheese on the very top. Cook on low for 4 hours. The cheese on top should start browning. Then unplug the Crock Pot and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Review: This turned out great! We were both super happy about it. The asparagus was nice on side too. We both ate leftovers for lunches and it reheated very nicely. Two thumbs up – will make it again!
This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.