1. SLOW COOKER LASAGNA
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
¼ cup beef broth
32 oz (4 cups) marinara pasta sauce
¼ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp granulated sugar
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and divided
9 regular uncooked lasagna noodles (NOT "oven ready")
15 oz reduced fat ricotta cheese
16 oz low-fat cottage cheese
1 large egg
1 lb (4 cups) mozzarella cheese, grated, divided
½ cup water
What You'll Need:
6 Quart Slow Cooker
In a large deep pan over medium heat, combine ground beef and onion. Cook, breaking up meat with a spatula until no longer pink (5 min). Add garlic and sauté 1 to 2 mins. Add ¼ cup red wine and simmer until nearly evaporated (5 min).
Add 3 cups marinara, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, ¼ tsp thyme, ½ tsp sugar and 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. Mix well, cover and simmer 5 min while you stir together cheese sauce:
In a medium bowl, combine: 15 oz ricotta, 16 oz cottage cheese (un-drained), 1 large egg, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 2 Tbsp parsley. Mix well.
Lightly oil slow cooker. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom then top with 3 noodles, breaking them to fit. Top with ⅓ of the Meat Sauce, sprinkle with ¼ of your mozzarella cheese, then spread the top with ½ of your ricotta cheese mixture and repeat until you have 3 layers of noodles. Top the third layer of noodles with remaining meat sauce, ½ cup mozzarella and pour ½ cup water around the edges, allowing some of it to go down the side of the dish into the lasagna.
Cover and cook on LOW* 3½ to 4 hours** (you can use a paper-towel to soak up any excess oil that rises to the top if desired) then top with reserved mozzarella, cover and cook 10 mins or until cheese melts. Let the lasagna rest 15 mins before serving for easier serving.
Important: Do not cook on high!
*Cook 3½ hours on low if slow cooking right away and 4 hours on low if slow cooking after having the lasagna assembled and refrigerated overnight.
2. OVERNIGHT SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
1 (20 ounce) package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
1 lb. Italian sausage (casings removed), browned and drained
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
12 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
Place half of the hash browns, sausage, onion, peppers, and cheese in the prepared slow cooker.
Repeat layers, ending with cheese on top.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Pour egg mixture into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.
3. SLOW COOKER HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 pounds)
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup honey
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, sliced thin, divided (white parts for cooking, green for serving)
1 tablespoon cornstrach
sesame seeds for garnish, if desired
Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.
In a medium bowl whisk together soy sauce, honey, hoisin, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and the white parts only of the scallions.
Pour the sauce mixture ontop of the chicken and cook for 2-3 hours on low. (Cooking time depends on the thickness of your chicken. My chicken breasts were pretty small and took 2½ hours.)
Remove the chicken from the liquid and place on a plate or cutting board. Allow the chicken to rest for a couple of minutes and then shred with two forks or slice it up with a knife.
Meanwhile take 3 tablespoons of the liquid out of the slow cooker and pour into a small bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth and clump free. Slowly add this mixture to the liquid in the slow cooker and whisk until thickened.
Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and toss to coat it with the sauce.
Serve immediately with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish.
4. ULTIMATE SLOW COOKER POT ROAST
1 chuck roast (3-4 pounds)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoons corn starch
SEASONING MIX :
2 tablespoons McCormick's Spicy steak seasoning
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Combine together seasoning mix in a small bowl. Set aside.
Coat both sides of meat with olive oil. Sprinkle on a third of the seasoning mix onto each side.
Sear both sides of the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer roast to slow cooker.
Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle on a little olive oil to coat vegetables. Sprinkle on the remaining seasoning mix. Add the vegetables to the same skillet that was used to sear the meat. Sauté for about five minutes - stirring occasionally.
Transfer the vegetables to the top of the roast in the slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth. Cover with lid.
Cook on low for 9 hours or on high for 6 hours.
Using a turkey baster, retrieve most of the cooking juices from the slow cooker. Transfer juices to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop. Whisk together the cornstarch with a little water. Blend into the pan juices while whisking. Bring back to a simmer until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Transfer the roast and vegetables to a large platter. Ladle the gravy over. Serve immediately.