Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna
Layer these healthy ingredients in the crock pot for a heart healthy meal option. The recipe modifications below help make this a more heart healthy lasagna:
- Part skim ricotta and mozzarella cheese is a lower fat/calorie cheese option with the same healthy amount of calcium and protein.
- Spinach is packed with powerful nutrients such as vitamins A and K, folate, iron, fiber, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. It is also low in calories to bulk up the recipe.
- Mushroom are a replacement for the meat that gives the same meaty texture without the calories and fat. If you prefer to add beef, you may option for this with use of the 90% lean beef or ground turkey as an option.
- Tomatoes and Zucchini also had lots of vitamins and nutrients to this dish.
- Whole wheat noodles vs white give this lasagna added fiber and the benefit of longer lasting fullness.
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours
1 large egg
1 15- to 16-ounce container part-skim ricotta -
1 5-ounce package baby spinach, coarsely chopped
3 large or 4 small portobello mushroom caps, gills removed (see Tip), halved and thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
15 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces), uncooked
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
- Combine egg, ricotta, spinach, mushrooms and zucchini in a large bowl.
- Combine crushed and diced tomatoes and their juice, garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) in a medium bowl.
- Generously coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread 1½ cups of the tomato mixture in the slow cooker. Arrange 5 noodles over the sauce, overlapping them slightly and breaking into pieces to cover as much of the sauce as possible. Spread half of the ricotta-vegetable mixture over the noodles and firmly pat down, then spoon on 1½ cups sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat the layering one more time, starting with noodles. Top with a third layer of noodles. Evenly spread the remaining tomato sauce over the noodles. Set aside the remaining 1 cup mozzarella in the refrigerator.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on High for 2 hours or on Low for 4 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, sprinkle the reserved mozzarella on the lasagna, cover and let stand for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Equipment: 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker
- Tip: The dark gills found on the underside of a portobello mushroom cap are edible, but can turn a dish an unappealing gray color. If you like, gently scrape the gills off with a spoon.
- For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.
- Per serving: 413 calories; 14 g fat(8 g sat); 7 g fiber; 49 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 78 mcg folate; 67 mg cholesterol; 9 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,678 IU vitamin A; 26 mg vitamin C; 558 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 665 mg sodium; 847 mg potassium
- Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (56% daily value), Vitamin A (54% dv), Vitamin C (43% dv), Iron (22% dv), Folate (20% dv)
- Carbohydrate Servings: 3½
- Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 2½ medium-fat meat
Recipe By: EatingWell Test Kitchen