This turned out amazing. The roasted vegetables and fresh basil added a dimension of flavor that left me wondering why I ever cooked lasagna with sausage or beef in the first place! This recipe is also fairly easy and the prep time probably took a total of 30 minutes or less. It helps that you don’t even have to pre-cook the noodles. I used whole grain lasagna noodles because they seem to hold up better in the slow cooker. Sometimes the refined pastas turn to mush when left to cook for several hours in the slow cooker.
If you prefer, you could easily make this recipe in the oven as well. Just layer in a 9 x 13 baking dish, cover with foil and cook at 350 for about 40 minutes (I would probably cook the pasta until al dente, beforehand).
1 medium eggplant (mine was about 12 oz but up to a pound or so would be okay**\*),* sliced into rounds and then quartered**
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1 green pepper, diced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper
2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta (whatever you prefer)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg (use egg substitute if you’d like)
1 (26 oz) jar of your favorite meatless spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked
1.Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place eggplant, mushrooms and peppers on sheet. Combine oil and garlic and brush on both sides of the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Stir and then cook for another 5 minutes, or so.
2.While veggies are cooking, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg in a bowl.
3.If you want to get the lasagna out of the slow cooker intact, make a foil sling for your slow cooker and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Making a foil sling: Fit two large sheets of foil into the slow cooker, perpendicular to one another, with the extra hanging over the edges of the cooker insert. Before serving, these overhanging edges can be used as handles to pull the dish out fully intact.4. Layer the ingredients as follows:
- 1/4 cup pasta sauce (spread on bottom of 6 quart slow cooker)
- 3 lasagna noodles (break in half if needed)
- half of cottage cheese mixture
- half of vegetables
- 1/3 of pasta sauce
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
- half of basil
- Repeat layers
- top with remaining noodles and pasta sauce
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or on LOW for 5-6 hours. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and let cheese melt. Unplug slow cooker and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove lasagna and transfer to a platter. Cut and serve.*Ideas and variations: Next time I would like to add a few more veggies. I think adding a red bell pepper and sliced zucchini would be wonderful. The veggies shrink down a bit when roasted so adding more would work fine.