From the Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

I use my slow-cooker several times a week, and this slow-cooker roasted vegetable lasagna is perfect for a simple dinner idea. I’m always cooking up a double batch of beans or making chicken. I haven’t made many casserole-type recipes in my slow-cooker, but I was intrigued when I saw a recipe for slow-cooker lasagna in a favorite catalog. I was totally willing to give it a try with the veggies I received in my CSA.

Slow-Cooker Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Slow-Cooker Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

It may seem like overkill to roast the vegetables just to cook them in the slow-cooker. But I promise you, it’s not. The flavor is fantastic, not to mention a lot of excess water evaporates in the oven from the zucchini and eggplant.

Slow-Cooker Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

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I ended up deciding to modify my favorite Lasagna Bolognese recipe. The idea of a creamy bechamel sauce and roasted vegetables was too irresistible not to try in the slow-cooker version.

Make Slow-Cooker Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

The verdict?  It was great!  My kids even seemed to enjoy this veggie-loaded version.  The only thing I would do differently next time is to be very careful not to let it overcook.  I let it go about 30 minutes longer than I intended, so the noodles were slightly softer than we normally like.

Slow-Cooker Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

adapted from Williams-Sonoma and this recipe

Ingredients:

For roasted vegetables:
oil
salt and pepper
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4″ rounds
2 small or 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4″ rounds
2 red, orange, purple or yellow bell peppers, cut crosswise into 1/4″ slices

For marinara sauce:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large or 4 small carrots, finely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
2 14 oz. cans diced or whole tomatoes with juice, pureed in a blender
or food processor
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce plus 1/2 can of water

For bechamel:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole or 2% milk
1/2 tsp. salt

For noodles and cheese:
1 package lasagna noodles
1 lb. mozzarella, shredded

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with the sliced veggies and drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes. The zucchini will take a little longer. Set aside until ready to use.

For marinara sauce:
Heat a little oil in a 4 quart pot. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Saute until they start to soften. Add the pureed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes while veggies are roasting. Set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.

For bechamel:
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. When foaming subsides, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for one minute. Whisk in the milk. Let sauce come to a simmer. Add the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.

For assembly:

Layer this way:

about 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of slow cooker
3-4 noodles, broken to fit as needed
vegetables in a single layer
another 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
heaping 1/2 cup bechamel
1/5 of the shredded cheese

Repeat 3 times. (I did eggplant, zucchini, peppers, zucchini)

After you place the last layer of noodles, spread the remaining bechamel over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Place in slow cooker base and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Let rest for about 20 minutes before serving.

*Note: I have an oven-safe slow-cooker, so I was able to place my lasagna under the broiler in my oven to brown the top more like traditional lasagna. You don’t have to do that, but I thought it
looked pretty. :)

Makes enough for 8-10 servings (or more!)

9 comments

  1. I’ve been doing lasagna in my slow cooker for years. It isn’t until the past few years that I’ve seen more and more recipes for it.

    I always use the no boil noodles since they absorb the flavor of the sauce and almost never get too soggy. Like April said, you can even assemble in advance and then refrigerate.

    Other pasta based slow cooker meals I’ve made are the more labor intensive stuffed shells, homemade macaroni and cheese and classic spaghetti. You can convert almost any recipe to make it slow cooker friendly :-)

  2. We’ve made this twice. It makes such a great big lasagne. We’ve done it with bechamel, which is our preference, but also with ricotta which we happened to have on hand. Both were good but we liked the bechamel lasagne texture better. I doubled the cheese because we love cheese. I’ve also used jarred sauce with some added water and herbs…another lazy day and I have to say that it came out just as well or better than the homemade sauce (oh, I just didn’t say that!). We’ve also added roasted mushrooms which gave a nice earthiness. We also salted the noodles because they were so flat the first time. Great lasagne!

  3. What kind of lasagne noodles (boil or no boil)? I usually use no-boil and assemble a day in advance to avoid the mushy, pasty quality they can take on. I can’t wait to try this lasagne and other slow cooker recipes you’ve got.

  4. So you basically follow the recipe you have linked “this recipe” up top and then follow your instructions for the slow cooker part? Sounds really good and would love to try, just need a little clarification, please.

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