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LASAGNA ROLLS (with spinach… shh!)

 I love trying (easy) new recipes! What caught my eye about this lasagna is how simple it is (and it provided a big ol’ dose of spinach for my picky kiddos!). A handful of ingredients, and no meat is necessary! I made it for Sunday dinner the other week, and it was a hit. Definitely adding these to my repertoire:) Thanks for the inspiration, Pinterest! 

Spinach Lasagna Rolls
(Original recipe found here.)
9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package (I salted this water generously- I think it enhances the flavor)
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese (I used light)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasonings
salt and pepper
32 oz. tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)
9 tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 chicken breast, cooked (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Make sure you drain the spinach well. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, Italian seasonings, chicken (optional), and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry by patting them with a paper towel. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over a noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.
To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.
 

CROCKPOT CHICKEN & VEGETABLE ALFREDO LASAGNA

 Summer officially began just a few weeks ago and already we’ve had more 100+ degree days than I can count. Days like this I just want to order dinner in! However, for the sake of not massacring our budget, I instead have been looking for some oven-less meals that feed the family healthy food.

I’ve seen several recipes for crockpot lasagna, but to be honest, most had mixed reviews. Not only that, but I wanted an Alfredo lasagna where I could add in some veggies from the garden. So after reading a ton of different recipes and comments, I came up with this easy recipe and oh my heavens~ it’s a winner!! It’s so delicious and the noodles and vegetables were cooked perfectly. It’s not dry and has wonderful flavor. It came together really quickly and I have a meal’s worth of leftovers, which is a bonus! My kids and husband were all raving about it, so it will certainly go into our normal rotation of meals.

Crock Pot Chicken & Vegetable Alfredo Lasagna
Serves 10-12 people
Recipe is made up of 3 parts, which you layer inside your crockpot:


Noodles & Veggies-

  • 1 9-oz box No Boil Lasagna Noodles {I used Barilla Flat Lasagna Noodles}
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 1 tomato, diced

Cheese Mixture-

  • 1 16-oz container cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided in half {half goes on top of the lasagna}
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided in half {half goes on top of the lasagna}
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • salt & pepper

Sauce mixture-

  • 1 15-oz jar Alfredo sauce {I used Bertolli}
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp onion powder {I opted for powder over real onion because I worried the onion wouldn’t have enough time in the crockpot to sufficiently cook/ soften and give off flavor.}
  • 2 cups diced, cooked chicken {I used 1/2 a rotisserie chicken}

Slice vegetables and dice chicken. Combine ingredients for both the sauce mixture and cheese mixture. Arrange everything close to your crock pot much like I have in the picture below.

To layer your lasagna, the noodles will be divided into 3 portions. You can set them into 3 groups now to make it easier when putting it all together. The sauce mixture will also be divided into thirds. The cheese mixture will just be divided in half, as will your vegetables. It’s okay to overlap the noodles- just try and cover as much as the crockpot as you can. I usually layed out a few, then broke others into pieces to fill in the gaps. 

Here is how I layered my lasagna: {start at the bottom, since that’s what will go in first!}

TOP
Remaining 1/3 of sauce mixture
remaining 1/3 noodles
remaining 1/2 of cheese mixture
remaining 1/2 of vegetables
1/3 sauce mixture
1/3 noodles
1/2 vegetables
1/2 cheese mixture
1/3 noodles 
1/3 Sauce mixture
BOTTOM

Once you have everything layered in your crockpot, turn the heat onto low, put the lid on and cook it for 3 hours.

Once 3 hours have passed, take a fork and make sure the top layer of noodles are all submerged in the dish and they aren’t drying out. {Push it down a little if you need to.} Add the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses to the top of the lasagna. Replace lid and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

Turn crockpot off and let sit for about 20 minutes or so before serving. {This allows the lasagna to soak up more liquid and helps the pieces hold together better. You can see also that I was able to cut and serve the portions we needed for dinner and the rest of the lasagna held together really well inside the crockpot!

Cut and serve- ENJOY!

I was prepared for a not-so-pretty lasagna, but was actually amazed at how well it held together. Here are 2 large pieces leftover that I plan to serve for another meal.