Deliciously Skinny, Crock-Pot Lasagna




This simple lasagna is so dreamy good. I really hope you give it a try. It’s my new favorite way to make lasagna. Wonderful for Sunday night dinner or busy weeknights. Loaded with protein, each slice has 273 calories, 9 grams of fat and 7 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints. Such a satisfying portion, serve with a side salad or some veggies and you’ll be stuffed!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Crock-Pot Time: 3-3½ hours on low heat and 1½-2 hours on high heat


Ingredients

1 pound extra lean ground beef, see shopping tips

1 cup onions, diced

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings

⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper

A little black pepper

1 (15 ounce) carton light ricotta cheese

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 large egg

3 cups jarred pasta sauce. Buy 2 jars (24 oz each). I like Classico Tomato Basil. You’ll have some leftover sauce. See shopping tips below 

6 lasagna noodles (4 ounces)

¼ cup water


Ingredients for Topping:

½ cup jarred pasta sauce

1 cup light Mozzarella cheese, shredded


Instructions

1. In a large nonstick pan, brown ground beef with onions over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Be sure to break up beef into a crumble as it cooks. Remove from heat.  Pour into a colander in the sink to drain the excess fat. Add back to pan and stir in Italian seasonings, crushed red pepper and black pepper. 

2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, spinach and egg. Mix well.

3. To assemble lasagna: Spread 1 cup of pasta sauce in bottom of crock-pot. Top with half of noodles, breaking and overlapping as necessary to fit. Add half of  beef mixture and spread all around. Next, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce and add ¼ cup water. Spread half of the cheese/spinach mixture over pasta sauce. Top with remaining 3 noodles. Top with remaining beef. Spread remaining cheese/spinach mixture. Finally top with 1 cup pasta sauce. Spread evenly over top.

4. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3-3½ hours and 1½-2 hours on high heat until hot and lasagna noodles are soft.  Once ready, top with ½ cup pasta sauce and 1 cup shredded cheese. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.

5. To serve: Cut lasagna into 8 portions. Remove each slice from crock-pot using a spatula. Leftovers freeze great!

Makes 8 servings


Shopping Tips
Most supermarkets sell extra lean ground beef. I used the 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes I use a grass fed 94% lean ground beef  I buy at my local supermarket. You could also use ground turkey, if desired.

This recipe uses a total of 3½ cups jarred pasta sauce. I like Classico, Prego or Ragu. This recipe is so flexible. Use your favorite sauce that’s 1-2 grams of fat per serving. You’ll have some extra sauce. You can freeze it and use it later. 


Prep Tip

You don’t need to use no-cook lasagna. Regular, uncooked  lasagna noodles work just fine. The small amount of water is added to the crock-pot to help the lasagna noodles cook.


Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints
 7
 (using light ricotta cheese)
Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints 6 (using fat-free ricotta cheese)
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 7

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving
273 calories, 9g fat, 4g sat. fat, 73mg chol, 27g protein, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 495mg sod, 8g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
249 calories, 4g sat. fat, 25g protein, 7g sugar

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