Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna with Veggies is healthy, family, dinner recipe that is simmered in tradition using RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce made with fresh ingredients for a thick, hearty texture that hugs every noodle. #SimmeredInTradition #Ragu #Homestyle #ad
Our family LOVES to eat!! We often joke as we are eating one meal, “Well now that we have lunch taken care of, what is for dinner?” (or substitute any of the meal times). So it is no surprize that the majority of my most favorite memories revolve around food. More recently it is cooking together with my sisters and my mom or our annual lake vacation (which is only 38 days away), where each family takes a day and they are in charge of all the meals for everyone for that day. Even the next generation loves to eat!! Lil man and Z man are certainly good eaters and most bribes revolve around food 😉 And I am sure, that my sister’s twins will be the same! You have to love to eat to be a part of our clan 😉
As I started thinking about tradition and favorite memories, I couldn’t help thinking back to my childhood and coming up to the farm, that I now live on, to spend a couple of weeks with my grannies. Back then, I would have never thought that I would end up living on our family land…it is amazing how things come full circle!!
My Great Grandmother made a mean fried chicken with all the fixins’!! Everything was made from scratch and mostly fresh from the farm. She raised chickens and they always had a garden. She would make it for “dinner” (which was really at lunch) and then we would sit on her front porch, rock in the rocking chairs shelling peas or butter beans for the rest of the afternoon. Those were the days… Back then, I think that I took those days for granted…I sure do wish that I could have another one of those afternoons now…
I am so glad that RAGÚ® inspired me to take a trip down memory lane by trying out their new Homestyle Thick and Hearty Sauces!! I love that they make their sauce the way that we would make our own sauce! They peel, chop and simmer the fresh ingredients in this sauce. Then add herbs like basil, fennel, oregano and black pepper to build layers of flavor. You won’t find any artificial flavors, artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup in this sauce either! YAY!!
Lasagna has always been a family favorite and so I decided to make an Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna with Veggies with RAGÚ® Homestyle Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce (we are HUGE garlic fans so I knew that is the one that I wanted to try).
I realized that I actually had never made a lasagna in the slow cooker! Why? I have no idea, but I should have done it sooner!! It is so hot here already that just could stomach the thought of cranking up the oven, so that was my original reasoning behind using the slow cooker. But after finding out just how easy it is to make a lasagna in a slow cooker, it is now my go-to method. And after the rave reviews I got on this easy slow cooker lasagna, this is my go-to recipe 🙂
I loved how I was able to sneak in all of the veggies by mixing them into the ricotta mixture! I used kale & basil (from my garden) and chopped spinach, but you could use just about any combo of veggies that you like or have an abundance of in your garden 🙂 Here is a little tip on spinach: buy frozen chopped spinach! It is the best deal at the supermarket!! Let it thaw, drain and press all of the water out and you have tons of awesome spinach for about $1.
This Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna could easily be vegetarian by just leaving out the turkey sausage. I would have been fine with that, but since I was cooking for the hubs and my parents, I knew that they would miss the meat. My original plan was to purchase the Homestyle Thick and Hearty Meat Sauce, but my grocery store only carried the Traditional and the Roasted Garlic. So I just grabbed some fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles (located in the refrigerated section with breakfast meats at my store) to add to the lasagna.
Look at how thick and hearty that sauce is and how it is just hugging all the noodles!! My family knew that I had used a jarred sauce in my Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna, but they all said it tasted just as good as homemade. The recipe also makes enough to feed an army! I fed the hubs, myself and my parents on Sunday night. Then mom & dad took leftovers to work on Monday. I also took some down to my aunt and gave a very generous portion to my sis (who is eating for three, remember) and her husband. So this recipe easily feeds 10 people and you could probably stretch it to feed 12.
Here is your recipe for Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna with Veggies:
- 2 jars (23 oz. each) RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce (I used the Roasted Garlic)
- 1 bag (9.6 oz) turkey sausage crumbles
- 1 large container (32 oz.) ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup liquid egg whites or egg white from one large egg
- 1 package (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and water pressed out
- 1 small bunch baby kale, chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 box (13.25 oz.) whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 1 bag (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Approximately ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce and turkey sausage crumbles.
- In another medium sized mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg whites, spinach, kale and basil. Stir to combine evenly.
- Place a slow cooker liner in the bowl of the slow cooker or spray generously with with nonstick cooking spray.
- Layer a ladle of the sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker bowl to prevent noodles from sticking.
- Place 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce, breaking them up to fit. This will not be super pretty, so don't worry to much about that.
- Add about ⅓ of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and gently spread to cover the noodles as much as possible.
- Add about ⅓ of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the ricotta mixture.
- Add another ladle of sauce to complete the layer.
- Complete steps 5 - 8 two more times using up all cheeses.
- Add a final layer of noodles and cover with remaining sauce.
- Top with parmesan cheese.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Turn off the slow cooker, take off the lid and let the lasagna rest for at least an hour. This allows for all the remaining liquid to be absorbed and for it to be cut and served easily.
- Cut into slices and serve with a crusty whole grain baguette.
You can use any vegetables that you would like, just chop them finely.
For the shredded mozzarella cheese, you could grate your own from fresh mozzarella if desired.
Who wants to win either $20 in PayPal cash or a $20 Amazon Gift Card?
I am giving one lucky reader the chance to win either $20 in PayPal cash or a $20 Amazon Gift Card, winner’s choice!!
All you have to do for a chance to win, is to go to RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce home page by clicking HERE to discover your favorite Homestyle sauce and comment on this blog post with how you would use the sauce in a recipe. Easy enough, right? Good luck and I can’t wait to hear all of your ideas 🙂
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