Crockpot Zucchini Lasagna

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I love lasagna.  And there’s an Olive Garden on my way home from work.  And when I get off at 7:00pm and haven’t planned for dinner… where do you think we go?
Well, I recently got curious and looked up just how many calories I was eating when we go there, and YIKES!  The Lasagna Classico has 960 calories!  And that’s not counting the bread sticks, dipping sauce, salad dressing, etc that we end up getting.
So after seeing several veggie lasagna pins on Pintrest, I decided to try it myself, but use my Crockpot to test how easily and quickly I could have this waiting on me for dinner when I get off work.

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The good news is it turned out amazing!  Very delicious, and even Kevin approved.  The bad news is it was a little more prep work that I will probably be willing to do before work in the mornings.  However, this recipe makes 6 servings, so you can cook it once on the weekend, and have several lunches/dinners for the week.  You also could prep many of the ingredients beforehand, like browning the ground turkey, and keep them in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to build your lasagna.

You’ll Need:

2 lbs Ground Turkey

3 medium Zucchini

2.5 cups Pasta Sauce

1 pint Canned Tomatoes (I used home canned)

Two 15 oz containers Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese

1 Egg

2 cups Part-Skim Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Oregano, Basil, and Garlic

7 Quart Capacity Slow Cooker

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In a cast-iron skillet, brown ground turkey.

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While the ground turkey is cooking, slice your zucchini lengthwise.  You can use a vegetable peeler for thinner layers, but I cut mine a little thicker using a knife.  It does not matter if you get a few weird sized chunks, or uneven slices.  They’ll actually come in handy when you start layering in the slow cooker.

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Once the turkey is browned, add your canned tomatoes, letting some of the moisture cook off.  I used home canned tomatoes, so if you buy canned from the store you may not have as much moisture as I did.

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Add pasta sauce and oregano, basil, and garlic to taste.

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Allow the meat sauce to simmer on medium-low to reduce some of the moisture.

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Prepare your ricotta filling by mixing the two containers of part-skim ricotta cheese and one whole egg in mixing bowl.  Set aside.

Now you can begin building your lasagna!  If you like, you can use a liner in your crockpot to help with clean up (these are a lifesaver for us!)

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In a 7 quart capacity or larger slow cooker, start with a thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom to prevent burning.

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Then add a layer of sliced zucchini, and top with a thin layer of the ricotta mixture.

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Add a layer of meat sauce, followed by a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

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Continue building your layers until you have used all your ingredients.  Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

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Cook on high for about 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.  Turn off your slow cooker and allow the lasagna to sit for about one hour.  This allows for some of the excess moisture to be absorbed, and helps prevent your layers from falling apart.

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This was a very tasty, and healthier alternative to going out for lasagna on busy nights.

According to the myfitnesspal My Recipes feature, this recipe has about 585 calories, 35.4 g fat, 21.6 g carbs, and 53.6 g protein.  For a comparison, Olive Garden’s Lasgana Classico has 960 calories, 58 g fat, 54 g carbs, and 56 g protein according to myfitnesspal.  Keep in mind that these values may vary depending on the brands of ingredients you use.

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