Slow Cooker Sunday: Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

I love lasagna; I just don’t like all the work that goes into it. It can be time consuming and making sure the noodles don’t tear while boiling them always deters me from making it. But those road blocks are gone since I found a winning recipe to make in my slow cooker.

To begin, over medium-high heat I sautéed mushrooms in olive oil for a few minutes and then added in baby spinach and continued sautéing until the mushrooms were tender and the spinach had wilted.

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Next I added in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt. Once the mixture began to boil I lowered the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.

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Meanwhile I combined ricotta cheese, shredded parmesan cheese and pepper in a small bowl.

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After spraying the inside of my slow cooker with cooking spray I spread 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of it. I then layered 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce…

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And topped it with another 3/4 cups of the sauce, the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

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I then topped the cheese with another 3/4 cup of the sauce and the remaining 3 lasagna noodles and finally the remaining sauce.

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After covering it and cooking it on low for 5 hours I topped it with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, covered it once again and let it stand for an additional 5 minutes until the cheeses had melted.

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And while it was delicious, unfortunately it didn’t stay together when I tried to cut it out of the slow cooker. Oh well! Taste wins over plating sometimes!

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Slow Cooker Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients:

No Stick Cooking Spray

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 8oz. package fresh sliced mushrooms

1 6oz. package baby spinach leaves

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 dry lasagna noodles, uncooked

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

 

Directions:

Spray the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with the cooking spray. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the spinach cook a few more minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the spinach has wilted, stirring occasionally. Stir in the undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

Combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer 3 lasagna shells over it, breaking the shells to hit. Top with 3/4 cup of sauce, ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with an additional 3/4 cup of sauce and remaining 3 lasagna noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until noodles are tender. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until the cheeses have melted.

Recipe from Hunts

Quesadilla Casserole

I was running out of ideas of what to make for dinner – I’m a much more creative baker than cook – so I turned to one of the McCormick Recipe Creations I had in my cabinet and opted for a Quesadilla Casserole. The ingredients were basic, it seemed super quick and most importantly it sounded delicious.

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To start I gathered all of my ingredients together.

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Up first I chopped the onion and cooked it with the ground beef until it was browned.

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After draining the beef and onion mixture I added in two cans of tomato sauce, a can of black beans (drained and rinsed), a can of corn (undrained), and a can of chopped green chiles (undrained).

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After mixing that together I then added in all of the spices: chili powder, ground cumin, minced garlic and oregano leaves.

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I brought the mixture to a boil and then lowered the heat from medium-high to low and let it simmer for five minutes.

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Now it was time to assemble the casserole. I began by spreading 1/2 cup of the beef mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish which I sprayed with a non-stick baking spray.

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I then topped that with three 8-inch flour tortillas.

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To complete the first layer of the casserole I topped the tortillas with half of the remaining beef mixture and then one cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

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I made the second layer by repeating the tortilla, beef & cheese order.

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I baked the casserole in a 350 degrees pre-heated oven for 15 minutes and then let it rest for 5 minutes before digging in. It was a hit… This recipe is definitely a keeper and thankfully uses spices that I currently have in my cabinet so there’s no need for the recipe packet next time.

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Quesadilla Casserole

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. oregano leaves

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (8 3/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained

1 can (4 1/2 oz.) chopped green chiles, undrained

6 flour tortillas (8-inch)

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp. red pepper (optional)

1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chiles; mix well. Stir in all of the spices except red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste, if desired.

2. Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on bottom of 13x9x2- inch baking dish sprayed with no-stick cooking spray. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture and cheese.

3. Bake in preheated 350F oven 15 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.