Sunday, October 10, 2010

Slow cooker lasagne recipe - and it's healthy too!

If anyone can make lasagne look pretty in
a photo, I need to hear from you. And yes,
I already thought of adding parsley. 
Yes, lasagne really does work in the slow-cooker. In fact, you can adapt most lasagne recipes to the slow-cooker. (Shhhh, it's a secret!). I've done vegetarian all-spinach or roasted vegetable lasagnes in it and they all work well.

I had this one ready at 12.30 pm, went out for the afternoon and came back to a ready-cooked meal at 7.30 pm. We even had dessert cooking in the other slow cooker.

See what you make of this recipe. It's quite a healthy version of the old classic.

Ingredients for 5:

500g / 1lb beef mince / ground beef
500g / 6 cups frozen leaf spinach
100g/1 cup rolled oats (or increase meat by another 100g)
440g jar (or 2 cups) basic pasta sauce
100ml water or red wine
1 tsp each oregano, basil and rosemary
650g / 2 cups cottage cheese
125 g/ 1 cup mozarella, grated
1 egg
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
lasagne noodles - the number needed will depend on your slow cooker
75 g/ 1/4 cup grated cheddar
salt and pepper to taste


Brown your beef in a frying pan/skillet. Add the oats and stir in well until they have absorbed some of the beef juices. Tip in the pasta sauce and water/wine and allow meat mixture to bubble away while you do everything else. Defrost your spinach in the microwave or wash and briefly wilt your fresh spinach if you go for that. One it's ready, squeeze out any excess moisture but don't go mad over it. Mix the cottage cheese, mozzarella, egg and nutmeg in a bowl. Season your meat mixture well with the herbs and some salt and pepper and check for taste.

Now layer up your lasagne in the following order, from the bottom. A thin layer of meat, lasagne noodles, broken to fit, spinach, cheese, meat, noodles, repeat spinach, cheese, meat noodles, then top with a final layer of meat, then cheese. Sprinkle the grated cheddar over the top of everything.

Cook on Low for 6-9 hours or High for 3-5.


Overall this was great. My daughter had some at 6 hours and we had some at 8 and it was superb for texture on both occasions, although we got some totally welcome crispiness around the edges. The spinach layer worked well and I was pleased at the overall healthiness of using cottage cheese instead of ricotta or maybe a bechamel sauce. I thought the cheesey layers could have been thicker so would expand on those next time. The major failing of this was my Bolognese layer which was acceptable but really lacked oomph. I'd used a very cheap pasta sauce and it showed. I think next time I'll use the wine, a better sauce with more flavour to it and probably a beef stock cube too. If you have a great Bolognese recipe or a favourite lasagne using a different meat mixture, I'd suggest you use it instead of this version, although padding out the mince with oats is a handy and healthy way to save a few pennies.


  1. Are lasagne noodles the same as lasagne sheets? I can find the latter in tesco and sainsbury but haven't ever come across lasagne noodles.

  2. mmmm... this looks great! I am always looking for ways to use my slow cooker more often!

  3. Yes, Jessica, lasagne noodles and sheets are the same thing. Just make sure you don't get the kind you need to pre-cook. (Most are fine but the tesco value ones I think need pre-cooking).
    Thanks for your comment, Marie. I love your recipes and look forward to trying some more out.

  4. This looks great! I'm hoping it might work with gluten free lasagne too!

  5. Should do Simoney. I know Crockpotlady did a gluten free version. Do you know that blog? It's a US one and she is all gluten-free. Here's the link:
    It WILL be going on mu blog roll. Steph is a legend!

  6. Hi Gently Eccentric Mum, I made this recently and it's fab! Thank you, such a great one for the family. I made industrial quantities so had enough for 3 meals (I froze 2). I'm not a spinach fan so instead I just mixed finely chopped carrots, courgettes and celery into the tomato sauce. Lovely! (I've put a link on a recent blog post to this recipe :-) )

  7. Ooh, they sound like great additions, Anna! Glad you liked it.