New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Vegetarian No Noodle Lasagna CrockPot Recipe


Day 215.

I got a lovely email from Lynda, who is a mother of 6, a grandmother of 4, and a first-grade teacher. She wrote to tell me about one of her favorite crockpot dishes: no-noodle lasagna. I bought the ingredients, plopped everything into the crock, and went about my day. 8 hours later, the house smelled wonderful and we had a fantastic vegetarian dinner. Thank you, Lynda!

The Ingredients.

--1 26 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
--1 small container of ricotta cheese (I recycled the plastic already. 10 oz? 12 oz?)
--8 slices of mozzarella cheese
--2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix
--1 large eggplant
--3 summer squash
--1 pound of slices mushrooms
--bag of baby spinach
--2 T warm water

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart Smart Pot for this dish, it was the correct size pot to use. If you have a smaller crock-pot, you will need to scale back a bit.

Wash all of the vegetables. Slice the squash and the eggplant in long, slices, about 1/4 inch thick. These are going to be your noodles! I did not peel the squash or the eggplant. In the bottom of your crockpot, pour about 1/4 cup of pasta sauce. Layer in a few pieces of squash and eggplant. Smear some ricotta cheese on top. Add a handful of baby spinach and mushrooms, and a few slices of mozzarella cheese. Pour in some more pasta sauce. Continue layering the ingredients until your crockpot is full, and you have run out of ingredients. Top with the end of the pasta sauce and the shredded cheese. Put 2 tablespoons of warm water into the empty pasta sauce jar, cover, and shake. Pour the remaining sauce on top of everything.

Cover your crockpot and cook on low for 5-8 hours. This is done when the vegetables have reached their desired tenderness and the cheese is melty.

Serve with some garlic bread sticks, yum.

The Verdict.

Delicious! I tested our veggies at 6 hours, and the squash wasn't quite done enough for me, but at 8 hours it was cooked perfectly. I love eggplant, and love the way it performs in the crockpot, it takes on all the flavors of the marinara and cheese. If I make this again, I may use another eggplant and scale back on the squash.

The kids picked a bit and mostly ate cheese and spinach. One of my kids really likes mushrooms, so she ate quite a bit of those.

This is a keeper! Thanks so much, Lynda, for sharing.

other lasagna recipes to try:
pesto spinach lasagna
buffalo chicken lasagna
traditional lasagna
ravioli lasagna
 

43 comments:

Sharon said...

This sounds ABSOLUTELY delicious! I'm definitely going to try it! Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...

Oh, that looks so good! I never thought of using eggplant and squash instead of lasagna noodles, now I'm intrigued!

CrabbyMom said...

I haven't ever cooked with eggplant. Is the outside completely edible? How did you peel it, just with a knife into thin strips? This sounds so delicious! Thanks!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi CrabbyMom (oh my, I LOVE that name!!) I didn't peel the eggplant. I like the skin---it kind of keeps everything together. Eggplant gets a great consistency in the crock--I really like it a lot. I made an eggplant parmesan earlier in the year that we adored.

xox
steph

quinn said...

This looks like a great cooks-while-I'm-at-work recipe. I'll try it right after the next time I stop at the farm stand for veggies Thanks! :)

Karen said...

This looks really yummy!. I love veggie lasagna. It looks a bit like ratatouille. That might be a good one to try in the crock if you haven't already. Because of some health problems of one my kids right now, I am having to concentrate on soups that can be pureed to liquid, but am definitely looking forward to trying these recipes when we are through this bump. Thanks for all the research and testing. Saves the rest of us some time!

The P & A Food Chronicles said...

pourquoi? did u have to post lasagna!! i can't stop myself.. i have to do it... i love lasagna... thanxxxxx
xoxoxoxoxo

Daisy said...

This sounds great! I'll have squash in the garden soon, and I already have loads of spinach. I can pick up the rest at the Farmers' Market next week...

linda said...

I am going to try this recipe soon..

Hill upon hill said...

What an amazing blog, I am so glad I found it. Brilliant. I will put you on my sidebar....

SaraK said...

I am so trying this recipe this week! It sounds fabulous! Thanks, as always.

supa said...

hi! i read in a newsletter that you were featured in a tampa tribune article. congratulations!

you are really making me want to bust out the crockpot again. i'll have to try some of these recipes after we move.

Sharon said...

I made this yesterday with a couple of changes! My daughter is allergic to ricotta cheese, so I left that out. I only used eggplant (not squash). It turned out delicious, but I added ditalini pasta to it for a heartier dish....this was WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing it!
Sharon

katrina said...

i caint wait to try this! it looks so good... i was just wondering about how many servings it has because it seems like a lot of food going in to it! thanks
katrina

Heather said...

what could i substitute for the spinach and mushrooms?

Amie said...

hmmm...I might be able to make this/eat this on the atkins diet...cool!

Wheat-free DB said...

That sounds yummy and pretty healthful! One question: I'm sort of a fungaphobe (well, not really phobic, but not a mushroom fan at all), so do I need to substitute something else for the mushrooms, or can I just leave them out altogether? What would be similar in moisture content?

Crockpot Lady said...

wheatfree, I wouldn't worry too much about just omitting the fungi all together---you could always put in zucchini or bell pepper if you wanted added veggies, but there is enough going on in there that your lasagna won't dry out.

xxo
steph

Lindsay said...

Sounds awesome!!! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing :)

mamarosa said...

Hello,
I made the Vegetarian No Noodle Lasagna and it is cooking as I am typing, but my question was has anyone figured out how much calories and fat content that is in this dish. Just wanted to know since I am counting calories. Thanks, Blessing, Rosemarie

pgwwcs said...

Tried this tonight and we were very pleased! Is there a way to keep it from standing in juices? What would happen if I kept the lid open a touch?

Brown-Eyes said...

Thanks for posting this ...DH & I are more of the meat & potatoes type, but this sounded delish so I tried it for our dinner tonight..We both really liked it..DH said he was looking forward to it on a monthly basis...again, thanks! :-) Brown-Eyes

SaraK said...

I made this today and it got rave reviews, but I think I had the same experience as pgwwcs. It cooked all day while I was at work, but was sitting in the liquid when it was done. It was still really, really delicious, but is there something to do to prevent that?

Crockpot Lady said...

pgwwcs and sarak,
mine was pretty juicy, too. You could most certainly vent the lid with a toothpick, chopstick or wooden spoon while it cooks, or you could take the lid off for the last hour of cooking and see if the condensation dissipates a little.

after dinner, the liquid seemed to have been absorbed, and my leftovers weren't soggy. weird.

I'm sorry I don't know a for-sure answer; this was the first time I have made this dish.

xox
steph

petunia said...

I made this tonight --
First I really don't know how big my crock pot is and so I just did the layers until it was filled. I am not too big on eggplant so I took the skin off and tried not to think about it - after all- the egg plant doesn't have much taste and it takes on the flavor of everything else - very good!
I didn't even add the 2 tbs water and it was SO juicy! My mom suggested mixing some cornstarch liquid into the sauce before putting it all together - I haven't tried it but it may work...
I also away from home so long - I put it on at 7 and it's done by 3 and stays warm until 6....it makes everything REALLY cooked but it was all delicious and it was a hit (invited my parents to be guinea pigs). The only thing that wasn't great was the way the cheese stayed all together from the top -- but it was browned and I love browned cheese....
I have gotten all my favorite crock pot recipes from your site.
I am waiting for an artichoke....

petunia said...

Oh yea - It was nice to have it all ready in the pot from the night before and just start it in the morning (love those kinds of CP recipes!)

Petunia Bloom said...

I just made this recipe and had some friends over to help it eat. It was WONDERFUL. It is a ton of food. In fact I made the recipe exactly like the recipe called for, but I couldn't fit in all the summer squash in. The flavor was very very good. Our husbands didn't even realize that it was a healthy veggie dish...hahaha We told them after they finished their portions. I will definitely make it again.

Jenn Schofield said...

I made this today and was a little concerned because it was so juicy...but it had really good flavor. I don't really care for eggplant, so next time I'm going to leave it out. Now to see how well it freezes!

Gadget Diva said...

I'm not sure what I did wrong, but my casserole ended up being overcooked and inedible. I probably should've kept an eye on it, but I figured "fix it and forget about it." I cooked it for 8 hours, which was clearly way too long.

Matt and Emily Foster said...

I have a smaller (3 1/2 qt) crockpot,so I scaled back the proportions. I did not add the extra water. I did use Japanese eggplant and it didn't work as well, becaise there's so much skin. Next time I will remove the skin. I cooked it for only 5 hours on low (I figured that worked well for an 8 hour recipe of a 6 qt crockpot) and that was WAY too long. My cheese on top was a burned mess. Maybe my crockpot cooks too hot? Oh well. It was still edible, just not great. Maybe next time I will add the cheese on top later?

ezbake said...

I tried this in my 5 quart pot, with only 1/2 lb mushrooms and frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry. Cooked for 6 hours. It was a little soupy, but nothing a turkey baster couldn't fix! Thanks for sharing this.

Sarah said...

This was super tasty and a great way to use up eggplants and spinach. Yum, yum, yum. The meal was much hardier than I would have thought - it really filled me up. I am not an eggplant fan but after this dish I am thinking about changing my mind! I used "Rosa Bianco" eggplants instead of the traditional big purple ones. They worked fine. I will definitely make this again, but will leave out the ricotta and maybe forgo the cheese slices on top (they burned). Perfect after 7 hours on low!

Thank you so much for such a great blog! My poor CrockPots are really putting in overtime these days!

Miriam said...

This is the first recipe I've tried from here that I won't repeat without some changes.

Hope that doesn't sound grumpy- I really like everything else I've made so far!!

In my cooker the eggplant just would NOT soften up. And the cheese did that lovely burnt cheese globby thing (it's not really lovely- it looked like a Star Trek alien).

Next time I will:
*either leave out or SUPER thinly slice or slightly pre-brown the eggplant
*add the top layer of cheese (maybe with some nice shredded parmesan and oregano) for just the last hour

Thanks for all the great recipes!

Pam said...

Made this today and think I've corrected the problem of too much liquid.

After slicing the eggplant and squash I salted them on both sides, let them drain on a rack over the sink for 30 minutes and patted them dry with paper towels before using them. I also omitted the 2 T of water from the original recipe.

(Oh dear, how are you got to put up with all of us "tweaking" you recipes for all of 2009? And even scarier ... how can WE all keep up with all the tweaks and approved messages?!)

bluebirdjohnson7 said...

Was very good! I added 1# ground beef to it. Of the 9 who tried it, almost all of them liked it (1 didn't try it). They liked the flavor, just not the eggplant so next time I will use zucchini instead. And I will layer the shredded cheese along with the other ingredients and omit the sliced cheese. I have been wanting to make lasagna in my crock pot for a long time. Thanks! :)

GabbyRM said...

Can't wait to try this tomorrow. Heard great things about it from my sister. Reading the comments helps a lot.

Jenny C. said...

I can't wait to make this! I have been pining for some lasagne lately! haven't had the heart to make it because my husband is gluten-free and he couldn't have any, unless I made it with the super-expensive GF noodles. This recipe will be perfect to quench my craving and also include my husband's GF needs!

Queen of Everything said...

Sigh. Seven hours on low was WAY too long for my crockpot. It was so beautiful going in but inedible at the end of the day. I'll try it again when I am home for more of the day.

Jersey Cook said...

I added chopped fresh Italian parsley and basil (along with an egg) to the ricotta to add some flavor (and because that's how my mom makes lasagna).

Even though it was soupy,this was very delicious! What a nice way to use up a huge zucchini from the garden!

Embee said...

I made this tonight and I'm really not sure where I went wrong -- I had so much water in my pot that it essentially submerged the whole meal. I salted and drained the eggplant and squash as one commenter suggested, omitted the extra water, and even propped open the lid for the last 2 hours of cooking, and I ended up with more of a layered soup than a lasagna. It's still tasty (I'm about to help myself to seconds) and was a great introduction to eggplant for me, but it definitely didn't turn out the way I'd hoped! Next time I make this, I think I'll skip the pasta sauce and try a seasoned tomato paste instead; that might help with the water issues.

Cait said...

Maybe I should comment here and say that we make this ALL the time. We LOVE this dish, even though we're not vegetarians (especially the Man, he was very cautious about it until his first bite!)

Tabatha Atwood said...

i should have read all the comments- first recipe i really disliked- soupy mess

Unknown said...

We made this today and enjoyed it but it was too soupy after 8 hours on low. We'll continue to make it but will serve it over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes from now on. OR we'll try to vent the lid at the end.

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