Someone the other day asked me about cleaning my oven, and I said to them, “Clean it? I thought we were supposed to just season it.” So cleaning the crockpot is much simpler, too.
Joking aside, This is one of my favorite new dishes ever. Why? Because it’s just so versatile. From the dinner table to a camping trip, to your work lunch box, you’re going to make this one of your new, favorite, easy, go-to dishes.
This recipe combines ease of preparation with the added bonus of cleanup, since there’s no need for washing big casserole pans and covers (if you keep your cheese covered to prevent excess browning). You can even (as I did) use that leftover meatloaf to get double duty out of your dishes.
- You can sub out the cottage cheese with ricotta, but the cottage cheese is lower in calories and carbs.
- Pizza sauce is a delicious, thin liquid, so it makes the best red sauce when you’re limiting sugar intake. Check labels for no added sugar. My favorite sauces are the store brands, like WalMart’s Great Value brand; not only are they the cheapest, but they typically don’t have added sugar.
- I shred the entire zucchini (save for the ends) skin on.
- Don’t have fresh spinach? You can use drained frozen or canned, but spread more thinly since the leaves are obviously smaller/shriveled.
- Want to add pepperoni or even more fresh veggies to your lasagna? Add the pepperoni with the meat, and the fresh veggies with the zucchini/spinach layers. I added mushroom and green peppers to this batch to keep it simple.
- Want a lasagna noodle to replace the zucchini and the spinach layers? Try this recipe for delicious and easy cauliflower noodles.
- There will be some liquid in the bottom of the crockpot. This is normal, due to juices. If you wring out the shredded zucchini, this will help slightly. Otherwise, the juices pretty much solidify by the next day.
- This dish sets up really well, especially after refrigeration, so consider packing a wedge for your lunch.
- I used my Stow and Go crockpot which also makes this dish easy to transport.
- Looking for an easy camping recipe? Line your dutch oven with tinfoil, layer in the ingredients, and you’re good to go.
1 lb. hamburger
1 jar pizza sauce
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp parsley
1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 8-10″ long)
3 cups fresh spinach
2 cups cottage cheese
3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Brown hamburger in skillet and drain. Wipe 6 quart crockpot with oil. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce in bottom of crockpot. Spread 1/2 of hamburger over the sauce. Stir remaining pizza sauce into hamburger, along with garlic powder and parsley. Layer half of the zucchini and spinach over hamburger. Top with 1/2 of the cottage cheese, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with 1 c. of Mozzarella cheese. Top with 1/2 of hamburger mixture, spreading evenly. Then top with veggies and the rest of the cottage cheese. Sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle Parmesan on top. Cook on low 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges.
Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: Calories: 145, Carbohydrates: 4.75, Fiber: .75, Net Carbohydrates: 4, Protein: 13g, Fat: 8g