Crockpot Lasagna

***My apologies to anyone trying to access my site for the last 24 hours. We had a little hiccup which was just corrected. Hope none of you were planning on making this recipe last night!***

My husband thought this recipe was so good that I need to blog about it. So I am. I always listen when my husband says blog. Actually I usually have an excuse not to blog, like the pictures I want to blog are still on the camera and I don’t know where the camera is. But today I am prepared to blog with only one picture that doesn’t show any of the food I made. Kind of like how my knitting blog has no pictures of knitting. But I digress.

You are going to need at least a 5 quart crockpot for this recipe. Mine is 5 qt and it was filled to the brim. You can use any kind of spaghetti sauce, meat or pasta you would like for this recipe. You could even take out the meat and add in spinach or some other veggie.

If you end up closer to the 52 oz of sauce rather than 56oz you may want to add a bit of water to the sauce to make sure there is enough liquid to cook the noodles in. The water listed in the recipe is added at the end and helps the cheeses melt and jump starts the cooking.

If you are making your own sauce you probably don’t have to add the Italian seasoning but it will turn the flavor up a notch.

You can use any type of pasta you prefer but a thicker pasta like penne tends to hold up better to the crockpot cooking and gives a better ratio. I used wide egg noodles because that is what I had in the cupboard but it did feel like the ratio of noodles to everything else was a bit off. Next time I use egg noodles I will probably just use a bit less than 16oz.

This is constructed in the crockpot as layers just like regular lasagna.

Crockpot Lasagna
52-56 oz       spaghetti sauce (2 jars)
1 1/2 tsp       italian seasoning, divided
1 lb              ground beef, browned
16 oz            pasta, uncooked
24 oz            cottage cheese
1                  egg
1 tsp            dried parsley
12 oz            mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup         water

1. Mix slightly beaten egg, parsley and cottage cheese to a separate bowl. Set aside.
2. Pour one jar (26 – 28oz) of spaghetti sauce into crockpot.
3. Add 3/4 tsp italian seasoning and mix with sauce
4. Add 1/2 lb ground beef
5. Add 8 oz pasta
6. Add 1/2 of cottage cheese mixture
7. Add 6 oz of mozzarella cheese
8. Repeat steps 2-7
9. Add a generous amount of Parmesan cheese to the top layer. Sprinkle water over top layer also.
10. Turn your crockpot on HIGH for 4 hours. (Mine was done in about 3.5 hours)

This post is linked up to What’s in Your Crockpot?

Then I decided I just had to make The Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever. since I was inviting my mother-in-law over for the evening and I just bought the right size pan to make it! The recipe calls for a jelly roll pan or half sheet pan. Approximately 13 x 18. This is a fast and easy chocolate cake and oh so moist and delicious! Again, no pictures but if you click on that link for the recipe you will get more pictures than you could ever think to take yourself. Every step is cataloged. Mine looked just like hers only in my kitchen and most of the cake never even made it on to a plate and wasn’t eaten with a fork. It’s just that good! Please make this cake this weekend. Your waistline may not love you, but your tastebuds will!

Here is my little girl after lasagna & cake

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Since I was home all day yesterday (Nov 12)  with Abigail (she has a bad cough but no fever) I made the Chicken Mexican Skillet I referenced in my last post. As The Happy Housewife suggests I made the brown rice with salsa added to the water and it was excellent! I also put my black beans in the crockpot for a few hours with onion, garlic & pepper and it made the house smell so good. This was a very economical meal coming in at $3.70 total. This was a big hit and I still have about 8 cups leftover! As Terry was eating he noted that his Chipotle burritos are usually made with these same ingredients. We may be making our own tortillas this weekend and trying it out! Terry has wanted to make homemade tortillas for quite a while so I’m sure he will be pretty excited for those!

So to recap our suppers this week:

Sunday: Crockpot Lasagna

Monday: Papa Murphey’s pizza

Tuesday: Leftover Lasagna & pizza

Wednesday: Brats

Thursday: Chicken Mexican Skillet

Friday: ?

Saturday: Pearson Burritos & Potato Soup

As for the meal planning, the plan was mostly in my head and the two things I really wanted to make, I made. We did make two trips to the grocery story this week after I made my “big” trip on Saturday. Once for peanut butter (breakfasts) & potatoes (for soup day this Saturday) and the second trip was for milk, garlic (last night’s supper) & salsa (I really like salsa and need to have it in the house because I knew we would run out after having supper). So we weren’t going to the store “for” supper except for the garlic. Which is really a big part of my goal with meal planning is to be able to get home and make supper without running around after work looking for food to make.

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