Crock Pot Lasagna

Hey. So I'm doing this thing where I'm trying to cook "real" food more and rely less on nuking a frozen pizza pocket in the microwave for meals.  But because I hate hate hate to cook, my sole saving grace is the crock pot.  Toss some stuff in and leave it alone for a few hours.  Then magically pull out beautiful homemade food that wows Tony and entices a certain picky little girl to eat.  That is my kind of cooking, my friend.  So I picked up a couple of crock pot recipe books from the library, and I try a new one out every week.  And because I am a thoughtful and polite hostess, I am willing to share some of my crock pot adventures with you.  (It's like those dinner and movie shows where they tell you how to cook a dish and then you get to watch a movie while it cooks!  Only with blog entries instead of movies!  But still, kinda the same thing!  Kinda!)

Anyway, I tried this one last night, and it was pretty and easy and tasty.  Toss together a salad and some garlic bread and you are guaranteed to impress your friends and family with your awesome Julia Child-like ways.

Crock Pot Lasagna!

(Note: This recipe makes enough for two to four people, or in my case, two people, a picky toddler, and enough for leftovers for lunch tomorrow.)

1 pound (16 ounces) ground beef
1/2 cup diced white onion (Note: I used a teaspoon of onion powder instead...seemed to work just as well).
1 teaspoon minced garlic (Next time I'll use more garlic.  It was okay like this,  but we like lots and lots of garlic in this house.  Up to you on how much you like it and if you're expecting any romance later).
1 (24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 whole egg
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
6 uncooked lasagna noodles (Be sure and get the no boil kind.  Apparently there's a boil kind and a straight to oven/crock pot kind.  Who knew, right?)

1) In a large skillet brown beef and onion. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Drain. (Mine took longer than one minute.  I guess just brown until it's brown).
2) Add spaghetti sauce and water and simmer for about 5 minutes. 
3) Mix ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, egg and parsley in separate bowl. 
4) Pour 1 cup of spaghetti meat sauce into a 4 to 6 quart sized slow cooker. Place half of the noodles and half of the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles (If the noodles don't fit exactly break them to fit) and cheese mixture and meat sauce. 
5) Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until noodles are soft.  (Mine was ready in 4.  5 hours may give you soggy noodles)
6) Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella and remaining Parmesan. Recover with the lid to melt the cheese and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Note: Do not overcook and don't try to speed up the process by cooking it on high. Works best with a 4 to 6 quart size slow cooker.

Ooooooh Yummy!

Cheesy noodley meaty deliciousness! 

Toughest critic says "More please!"