Remember that theme song from Grease?
Summer loving had me a blast
Summer loving happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
Met a boy cute as can be
Summer days drifting away
To, oh, oh, the summer nights
Well, you can’t have a summer blast if you’re slaving away in the kitchen. But you need a plan because nothing but food will stop your family from yammering on about their hunger pains. So grab your Crock-Pot. I’m going to show you how to make 6-Ingredient Meaty Crock-Pot Lasagna. It will take just a few minutes to prepare and it cooks slowly all day while you play and frolic at the beach and imbibe frozen blender drinks. Sound good? Thought so.
6-Ingredient Crock-Pot Meaty Lasagna Will Make Your Life Easier
You might think lasagna is for fall or winter but you’d be wrong, especially when it comes to 6-Ingredient Crock-Pot Meaty Lasagna. This slow cooker meal is for any time you’ve got a busy day and need dinner ready and waiting when you get home. For me, that’s often summer.
You Deserve Weekend Fun, Not Drudgery
The best summer Saturday or Sunday is one spent at the shore. Problem is, sun, water and wind take it out of me. Cooking dinner is the last thing I want to do when I’m tuckered out from playing. Meanwhile, when we get home, everyone is starving. Takeout gets expensive and our favorite place closes by 8 p.m. on Saturdays and isn’t open at all on Sundays. #smalltownlife
That’s where this slow-cooker lasagna will be your best friend. You’ll spend a few minutes cooking the sausage and assembling everything in the Crock-Pot before you leave for (hopefully) a day of sun and fun. Hours later you’ll crawl through the door, covered in sand and sunscreen, perhaps even a little unsteady on your feet if you were on the water. But never fear, you’ll inhale the sweet aroma of a tasty dinner just waiting to be dished out. Your family will be amazed that they’re eating a delicious, home-cooked meal, even though you were hanging with them all day.
Note: if you’re really going to take off to have a fun, carefree day, this is where you’re going to want a slow cooker that automatically turns the warming function on after the cook cycle.
If you really want to get ahead of the game, cook and crumble the sausage ahead of time so you’re truly just assembling the morning before you leave.
The Best Way to Make Lasagna
Have you ever made lasagna in a Crock-Pot before? I don’t make lasagna any other way. I discovered how great this cooking method is for lasagna after making my recipe for Amazing Spinach Feta Crock-Pot Lasagna for the first time. Incidentally, that post is the third most viewed on Kitchen Serf after my about page and chocolate cinnamon fantasy cookies.
Cooking the pasta dish in a slow cooker means no more burnt or crispy edges. No more cool, under-cooked spots in the middle of the pan. In a slow cooker, the lasagna is perfectly cooked all the way through, every time.
- Half a 9-ounce package of no-boil lasagna noodles
- ¾ of a pound Italian sausage
- 1 15- ounce container ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg, well-beaten
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 28- ounce jar of pasta sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- foil or slow-cooker liner
- cooking spray
- Line the slow-cooker with foil or or a liner and spray with cooking spray to ease lasagna removal and cleanup.
- Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink in the middle. Chop into small pieces.
- Dump ricotta cheese into a medium size bowl. Pour beaten egg over ricotta and mix with a spoon until well blended.
- Open jar of sauce, grab mozzarella and noodles to begin layering in Crock-Pot.
- It doesn't really matter in what order you layer the ingredients as long as you layer noodles first or second. I like to start with a thin layer of pasta sauce followed by the first layer of noodles. Note, I use a six-quart oval Crock-Pot. Depending on the size and shape of your slow-cooker, you may have to break up the noodles and piece them in place to fit. The noodle pieces will overlap each other a bit.
- Place meat, ricotta, mozzarella and sauce on top of the noodles working in layers until all the ingredients have been used up. I like to finish with a layer of meat, sauce then shredded mozzarella. You'll have three layers of lasagna sheets interspersed with the meat, sauce and cheese.
- Put lid on slow cooker and adjust setting to cook on low for eight hours.
- Number of servings depends on how large your chunks of lasagna are. I managed 12 to 15 servings.
Tell me about your easy summer recipes. What’s your go-to dish?
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I hope you all have a great summer 🙂