Recipe – Vegetarian Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow Cooker Thursday

It’s slow cooker Thursday!
See other great recipes at Diary of a SAHM

I cooked a lasagna on Monday using this recipe from Vegetarian Times Magazine – I think it was last month’s issue. This link will get you to their site and more slow cooker recipes for oatmeal, vindaloo, and a chocolate pear cake too!

I’m going to repeat the recipe here for your convenience, but you really need to go check out the site. There are so many free recipes that are super tasty! I am going to also include in this post a second recipe with the modifications I’m going to make the next time I make it.

This recipe makes a crockpot full of food. I think you could serve 12 people, we served 6 (with some seconds) and still had lunches for 2 days for 2 people. If you don’t have any tempeh, you could a Lightlife’s Gimme Lean or a previously frozen block of tofu (not silken!) thawed and crumbled, even some chopped up Boca burger or Boca sausage would work just fine.

What the heck is tempeh anyhow?

Tempeh has a meatier texture that most people love, and it mellows the flavor if you boil or marinate it before adding it to your dish. In the lasagna below, you don’t have to do either. It’s really a great first tempeh dish to try.

I’ve been using a lot of tempeh lately, and I know some of you haven’t used it before. It looks kinda scary when you first open the package, but remember it is just a fermented soy food – one with a great texture. If you use tofu often, you will be surprised with tempeh’s sturdiness, and the fact it does have more flavor on it’s own. I still prefer to have it mixed in with sauce or a marinade.

Vegetarian Times Magazine’s Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna
Serves 8

“Many people don’t know that the crock inside a slow cooker is ovenproof and you can transfer a dish like lasagna into the oven (up to 400°F) for 10 minutes to brown the top,” says Golino. Just be sure the pot is hot, to avoid drastic temperature changes that can cause it to crack.

1 medium onion,quartered
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tbs. dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, peeled, plus 1 clove minced (1 tsp.), divided
1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, cut into chunks
1 28-oz. can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for oiling slow cooker
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
8 oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 16-oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
1 16-oz. container low-fat ricotta cheese, divided
1 cup grated Swiss cheese, divided

  1. Place onion, basil, oregano, and 2 whole garlic cloves in food processor; pulse 6 times, or until onion and garlic are chopped. Add tempeh, and pulse until tempeh is ground. Add tomatoes, oil, salt, and pepper; pulse until chunky sauce forms
  2. Combine spinach and minced garlic in bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat bottom and sides of 4-quart slow cooker with oil. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce over bottom, and cover with layer of lasagna noodles, breaking them in pieces to fit around edges. Spread 3/4 cup spinach mixture over top. Place 1 layer roasted red peppers over spinach, and top with 3/4 cup ricotta. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce over ricotta. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup Swiss cheese. Repeat, layering noodles, spinach, peppers, ricotta, Swiss cheese, and tomato sauce. Top with 1 more layer noodles and remaining spinach, tomato sauce, ricotta, and Swiss cheese.
  4. Cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Let stand uncovered 10 minutes before serving.

PER SERVING: 322 CAL; 22 G PROT; 14 G TOTAL FAT (5.5 G SAT. FAT); 32 G CARB; 31 MG CHOL; 762 MG SOD; 6 G FIBER; 8 G SUGARS

Spinach Lasagna GeekPoet’s Redo – Not tested yet

Be warned that this is not a tested recipe , but the one I will follow the next time I make it. Use at your own risk – or just put whatever you like in it.

Ok, so why would I do anything differently anyhow? First off, I can never leave good enough alone. Your family would probably be happy with the recipe above. And certainly no one would expect that soy products were being slipped in. Perfect for kids and picky spouses.

The comments I received from my loyal and brave testers prompted me to think of a way to incorporate more noodles, and possibly a way that the noodles would not be as soft. Three layers of noodles really doesn’t seem like enough pasta for a whole slow cooker of stuff. I’m not even sure if the delicate balance of not too much liquid and mushy to not dried out and icky can be done cooking noodles in a Crockpot all day.

It might end up being a weekend slow cooker dish so I can cook it for only 5 or 5 hours, but during the week what I cook goes for about 8 – 9 hours. If any of you have tips about this I would love to hear them!

Serves 8

  • 1 medium onion,quartered
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (or 8 cubes Trader Joe’s frozen basil)
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, plus 1 clove minced (1 tsp.), divided (can also use Trader Joe’s frozen garlic 1 cube = 1 clove)
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, cut into large cubes
  • 1 28-oz. can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes (or tomatoes with basil)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for oiling slow cooker
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 16-oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach
  • 16 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 16-oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 16-oz. container low-fat ricotta cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese, divided
  1. Place onion, basil, oregano, and 2 whole garlic cloves in food processor; pulse 6 times, or until onion and garlic are chopped. Add tempeh, and pulse until tempeh is ground. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oil, salt, and pepper; pulse until chunky sauce forms. Put in a large bowl and fold in ricotta.
  2. Combine spinach and minced garlic in bowl, and season with pepper.
  3. Coat bottom and sides of 4-quart slow cooker with oil.
  4. Spread .5 cup of the tempeh tomato mixture to cover bottom of slow cooker, and cover with layer of lasagna noodles, breaking them in pieces to fit around edges.
  5. Spread a thin layer spinach mixture over top
  6. Place 1 layer roasted red peppers over spinach
  7. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over red peppers.
  8. Cover with layer of lasagna noodles, breaking them in pieces to fit around edges.
  9. Spread 1 cup tempeh tomato mixture.
  10. Cover with layer of lasagna noodles, breaking them in pieces to fit around edges.
  11. Repeat, alternating layers with spinach, red peppers and mozzarella, with ones of the tempeh tomato mixture until the slow cooker is almost full or you have made 6-8 thin layers.
  12. Top with 1 more layer noodles and remaining tempeh tomato mixture and mozzarella cheese.
  13. Cook 8 hours on low. Let stand uncovered 10 minutes before serving.

To make it vegan, just mash some soft tofu or better yet use this recipe for a more proper tasting tofu ricotta. Almond cheese makes a great mozzarella cheese substitute.

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4 Responses

  1. This looks interesting.. thanks for sharing!

    M J

  2. bwhahaha on the proceed at your own risk…

    thank you for the tempehexplanation.
    xox
    steph

  3. Looks great, thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing.

    Renee’
    http://rmboys2.wordpress.com/

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