Can a lasagna be made in the slow cooker, or will that cause the pasta to become unpleasant?
My wife and I tried a slow-cooker lasagnga recipe and it was a disaster, probably for the reasons that Darin mentioned. Perhaps we didn't follow the recipe correctly, but either way, we weren't pleased with the results. I remember it being fairly slimy and certainly not resembling what we expected for a lasagna recipe.
Though we love our Crockpot for lots of different recipes, I would advise preparing lasagna in a more traditional way.
I have never tried it but the extended cooking of a slow cooker, combined with the concentrated and trapped moisture would surely turn the pasta into a gummy paste.
No-boil noodles are just a marketing ploy. You can assemble lasagna with regular uncooked lasagna noodles and bake it for 1 hour (350F) covered with foil waxed paper/parchment paper and foil and then uncover and scatter cheese across the top and bake for another 15 minutes.
Just make sure you have a layer of sauce in contact with the noodles and they'll absorb the moisture during cooking.
You can also assemble and freeze it this way too.
5I assume "noodles" means the lasagne pasta? To this brit, noodles are long thin things. :) Aug 1, 2010 at 15:46
Yes, the pasta strips used for lasagna. Aug 1, 2010 at 16:40
@cinque: Thanks for the vote of confidence! One note on your comment about fresh lasagna pasta. I'm my explanation of making lasagna without cooking it, I'm referring to the standard dried lasagna noodles. I have never done it with fresh pasta in the same manner and am concerned that it would end up pasty and gummy. The dried noodles can absorb a lot more of the liquid from the sauce and meat and therefore still have a nice texture. If you do try it with fresh pasta sheets be sure to let us know how it turns out. Aug 1, 2010 at 17:43
Some claim it can be done (e.g., Crockpot Lasagna)
However, I tried it once and was not happy with the pasta. Of course, I did not repeat the experiment to determine if that was my own fault; it probably was.
My neighbor does it quite frequently, and it comes out fine if you use a pasta that doesn't get overly soft when cooked. (I think she uses Barilla, and not the 'no cook' type, although she doesn't cook them first).
You do have to brown the ground beef and sweat any vegetables in advance, though, so it's not one of those 'throw everything into a pot and forget about it' slow cooker recipes.
I know many of her slow cooker recipes she got from the Fix It and Forget It cookbook, but I don't know for sure that it was one of them.
maybe that was the problem when we tried it. We definately prefer the "throw everything into a pot and forget about" method when working with the slow-cooker. Jul 30, 2010 at 20:21