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November 28, 2011

Crockpot Cheesy Ravioli Lasagna

This recipe for crockpot lasagna received quite a bit of negative feedback in the responses, but I decided to be brave and try it anyway. You need A LOT of liquid, more than the original recipe calls for, in my opinion. And it cooks quite quickly....I really can't imagine what a disaster this would have been if I'd let it go for 8 hours. Also, when it's done, it's done. It's not like most crockpot recipes where you can just let it hang around in the pot until you get to it.

It's a recipe to try if you're feeling daring. There are so many variables to consider - the thickness of the sauce you choose, the quality of your noodles, how your crockpot functions. It's yummy....IF you can figure out how to best deal with those variables.

Photo of the crockpot lasagna as made by the original poster
My lasagna turned out delicious, though I definitely made some changes. (Most notably, I used raviolis instead of lasagna noodles because that's what I had on hand. The boil-in-water time was the same for both, so I decided it would work.) Here's my version:

Crockpot Cheesy Ravioli Lasagna
1 26-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce combined with 2 cups water
10 ounces dry cheese-filled ravioli
1 cup cottage cheese* combined with 1 whisked egg
8 ounces ground beef, browned
4 ounces shredded mozzarella

Put one third of the sauce in the bottom of the crockpot. Then add half the ravioli, pushing it down so that the noodles are all lightly coated with sauce. Spread half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles, then add half the meat. Pour in another one third of the sauce, then layer in the rest of the ravioli, the cottage cheese mixture, and the meat. Top with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Cook on high for 30 minutes then on low for about 2  1/2 hours.

* I think most cottage cheese brands are very different in texture from ricotta and make the dish too rich tasting. The only one I have found that works is Michigan brand (and it is usually substantially cheaper than ricotta). The website for it even says that it is a very dry cottage cheese and is an excellent replacement for ricotta in recipes. Most cooks, though, seem to be willing to substitute any cottage cheese. Depends on your taste, I guess!

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