The slow cooker is my best friend on busy weekdays. However, my one big complaint about this time-saving machine: browning ground meat. This cannot be done in the slow cooker and the raw meat has to be fully cooked in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker. It absolutely makes sense as to why this needs to be done, but that doesn’t make it any easier to justify that extra step that must be done before I head to work in the morning. I think my plan is to brown up a big batch on the weekend, then put it in the freezer in single meal servings. That way I can just pull the cooked meat out of my freezer and add it to my slow cooker when needed.
This meal does not give you the chance to skip that dreaded step, but it is super easy and is a great comfort dish after a long day.
Slow Cooker Turkey Lasagna
1 lb. Ground Turkey
Half diced Onion
2 cloves minced Garlic
1 bottle Marinara Sauce (Pick your favorite! I used a Trader Joe’s brand, mushroom marinara.)
1 box no-cook Lasagna Noodles
1 container Cottage Cheese
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and add onion, cooking for 3-5 minutes. Then, add in garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add in ground turkey and brown. Pour in marinara sauce and sprinkle in basil and oregano.
Next, start the layering process. Start with the sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker, then add noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, noodles. Repeat: noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, noodles, continued and ending with sauce.
Cook on Low for 8 hours.
That is it! So simple, easy ingredients, and an easy clean up. I served this along a bed of mixed greens, drizzles with a Red Wine Vinegar and Olive Oil Vinaigrette.
What are your favorite tricks for using your slow cooker?
Out of curiosity: Does anyone use slow cooker liners? I have been tempted to buy them, but want to make sure they are worth the $!