Pesto Lasagna


This is the first pasta I ever made in my slow cooker as well as the first receipe I made from Stephanie Odea’s book, “Cook It Fast, Make It Slow”. This dish is definitely what made me realize I had a love for the slow cooker. I have made lasagna in the oven many times and it was always good but it was a pain. This is so very easy, just throw the ingredients in and let it cook itself. You don’t have to cook the noodles or anything! How great is that?  I made this dish for our housewarming party and I had so many requests for the recipe.  Many people were shocked that it was gluten-free. If you are not allergic to gluten than just buy regular lasagna noodles.  In the next few days I will be doing a post on my favorite gluten-free products. It can get very confusing for people with gluten allergies to go grocery shopping. Which pasta sauce is gluten-free, which pesto, which brand of cheese? These are just a few of the questions I will be answering for you all. I want to take the confusion out of going grocery shopping and cooking. This should be fun, even with celiac disease!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (26-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 (10-ounce) box lasagna noodles (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Noodles)
  • 1 (11-ounce) container pesto
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag baby  spinach
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:  Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Start by putting approximately 1/4 or so of the pasta sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker.  Top the sauce with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles.  Smear a bit of pesto and ricotta cheese onto the noodles.  Add a handful of baby spinach, and top with a layer of Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.  Repeat the layers, starting with the pasta sauce.  When you have run out of ingredients push everything down with your hands lightly. Put the water into the empty pasta sauce and shake.  Pour the saucy liquid evenly over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for about 3-4 hours.  The top layer will brown and begin to pull away from, the sides.  Uncover and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Little Debbie’s Tip:  The lasagna will look very watery when you are done adding all the ingredients so don’t think you did anything wrong.  After the lasagna cooks for a couple of hours the water will disappear.

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