Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna

Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna is a healthier version of the labor intensive traditional lasagna, but takes only a fraction of the time to make and has all the robust Italian flavor you love.
Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna

If you don't like the heat, get out the crock pot! Well, that's not exactly how the saying goes, but it certainly does apply during the summer months!

Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna

Lasagna is a family favorite in my home. Everyone loves the cheesy, noodly goodness, especially when full of flavorful Italian sausage. 

Making traditional layered lasagna takes a great deal of time, effort and a crazy amount of pots and pans to prepare. Because of that, lasagna became something that I would only make on weekends, or when company was coming over.

Move over traditional lasagna, this Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna can be served even on a busy weeknight. It has all the great flavors you love from a traditional lasagna, but with a lot less work...and a lot less mess.

Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna

One of the other things I love about lasagna is that it's excellent when reheated as a leftover. Somehow the flavors deepen and intensify making it even tastier the next day. If you're not feeding a big family, don't shy away from this recipe. This Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna freezes exceptionally well, making it perfect for another two or even three meals, down the road. Talk about a delicious time saver!!

Serves: 8-10         Prep Time:  15 minutes        Cook Time: 8 hours on low - 6 hours on high

2 lbs ground Italian sausage
1½  teaspoons dried basil, divided
1½  teaspoons dried oregano, divided
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 cans (29 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
1 box whole grain lasagna noodles, uncooked (regular lasagna noodles also work)
1 carton (24 ounce) cottage cheese, divided
1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese, divided
 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
Fresh basil leaves for garnish (if desired)

- Brown the sausage in a large skillet with ½ teaspoon dried basil and ½ teaspoon dried oregano. Cool slightly.

-Cover the bottom of the crock pot with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Break approximately 4-5 lasagna noodles and place in a layer in the crock pot. Top the noodles with half of the cottage cheese, half of the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 cup of Parmesan, half of the remaining dried basil, oregano and half of the garlic powder. Top the cheese and seasonings with half of the browned sausage and top with a liberal layer of tomato sauce.

-Continue with additional layers (just as before) with the remaining ingredients (layer order really doesn't matter), but make sure to end with a liberal layer of sauce and the remaining Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, basil and garlic powder. Cover and cook for the desired amount of time (8 hours on low, or 6 hours on high).

-Cool slightly and serve with fresh basil as garnish, if desired.

Whole Grain Crock Pot Sausage Lasagna

The only thing you won't have with this lasagna is the nice square, layered slices of a traditional baked lasagna that looks so pretty on a plate.  The thing is, it's very rare that my traditional lasagna ever serves up as pretty as what you see in a magazine or cookbook because we're all usually too impatient (and hungry) to wait for it to set up after it comes out of the oven anyway.  LOL

Feel free to layer in fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) spinach, if desired. And if you feel like making it for a meatless meal, omitting the Italian sausage is certainly a good option. This crock pot lasagna is totally customizable to your preferences and families tastes. Don't be afraid to play with the recipe and make it your own. The method will remain the same and the cook times won't vary. Just remember always to cook the meat prior to adding it to the cooker.

Julia Child Quote Apron

I hope you liked the recipe I've shared with you today, and also the apron. They're both some of my favorites! I wish I could cook for you, but the best I can do is share my recipes. However, I can paint for you, and love doing it. If there is anything you're interested in (from aprons, to tea towels, to glassware items), please don't hesitate to contact me or visit my shop on Esty. Custom orders are always welcome and always encouraged.

Kudos Kitchen by Reneé ~ Where food, art, and fun collide on a regular basis!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

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