Using a slow cooker is a foolproof way to make lasagna because the noodles stay moist and cook evenly, which can be a challenge when the dish is prepared in the oven. In this meatless version, fresh eggplant and cauliflower balance the richness of three types of cheese.
Slow-Cooker Eggplant and Cauliflower Lasagna
3 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/4 cups (18 oz./560 g) ricotta cheese
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) whole milk
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) purchased or homemade tomato sauce
1 lb. (500 g) lasagna noodles
1 lb. (500 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 6 cups)
6 oz. (180 g) Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a slow cooker.
2. In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the eggplant and cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
3. In a bowl, stir together the ricotta and milk until smooth. Stir in the chopped basil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover with a single layer of lasagna noodles. Spread one-third of the ricotta mixture on top, then top with one-third of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with one-fourth each of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat the layering of noodles, ricotta, vegetables, mozzarella and Parmesan two more times. Cover with the remaining noodles, then top with the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.
5. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the vegetables are tender, about 3 hours. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil leaves and serve warm. Serves 8.
Discover new ways to plan easy meals with the magic of the slow cooker in our Slow Cooker Cookbook.