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September 18, 2008

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

As we progress on Jamison's gluten free journey we often come back to pre-Celiac favorites such as pasta. We finally found some spaghetti noodles that are very good in terms of gluten free products, but at first I wasn't able to find any gluten free lasagna noodles in stores locally. Finally however My Organic Market started carrying a rice lasagna noodle from DeBoles that really is comparable to a version made with wheat! With this discovery lasagna was back on the menu!

Jamison and Alexis LOVE pasta. Seriously, they could eat it at every meal! While I like pasta too, I would tend to be this way more with Mexican food than Italian, but that is neither here nor there. This past weekend Alexis and Jamison both had asked for lasagna and I had fully intended to make it for them, but we had a crazy/busy weekend (which I might add hasn't seemed to stop!) so it just never happened.

On Saturday the day slowly got away from us as we did things that needed to be done and ran errands. Soon it was time for dinner and there wasn't time to put together lasagna so I bumped it to Sunday. On Sunday I ended up spending the majority of the day lesson planning and getting things ready for this week's classes. Dinner time rolled around and again no time for lasagna. On Monday I was determined we were actually going to have lasagna for dinner even if I had to get creative!

For a while now I've wanted to try to make lasagna in the slow cooker, but I just had never gotten around to actually trying it out. When Alexis and I ventured back down stairs from the school room for lunch on Monday I decided this would be the perfect time to test out my theory!

What I ended up making was gluten and dairy free, but given it was for Jamison it did have ground beef, but you could just as easily make it a vegetable version as well. The lasagna turned out perfectly! If you haven't tried this method I highly recommend giving it a whirl...I think you'd be impressed!

What You'll Need:
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles (Note: You can use any type of lasagna noodle that you want if gluten is not an issue for you. If I were making this for Alexis and I alone I would use whole wheat.)
A large jar of spaghetti sauce (Note: Again this is up to you. Jamison is extremely picky as I've mentioned before so I use Ragu Traditional Organic sauce, but any type of sauce will work. I like some of the other organic sauces that are heavy on garlic and/or mushrooms.)
Rice mozzarella, shredded (Note: I used a block of this type of cheese. Again had I been making this for Alexis and I would have used regular mozzarella, some Parmesan and perhaps some goat cheese. What you use is up to you.)
1 pound beef, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with non-stick spray or brush it with olive oil. I didn't do this, but next time I will. It wasn't a huge issue, but there was some sticking.

Next you use your basic layering process that you would use for regular lasagna. I didn't get a picture of the layering of the noodles, but just put a layer of noodles in the bottom of your slow cooker. Don't worry if they aren't whole or anything, just make sure the bottom is covered and if you have to break them up that's ok too!

Next add a layer of ground beef:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Second Layer

(Note: You could also use ground turkey or if you wanted a completely meat free option you could add in textured vegetable or soy protein. You could also add onions, mushrooms and peppers if you liked.)

Next add a layer of sauce:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Third Layer

If you wanted to get really creative you could make your own sauce using tomato sauce, some garlic, oregano, basil, etc.

Next top with a little cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Fourth Layer

Now keep repeating that process until you run out of sauce.

Next completely cover the top generously with cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Ready to Cook

Now place the lid on and cook for 3-4 hours on low and voilà you have lasagna for dinner!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Dinner is served!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Notes: I was really surprised how fast this cooked on low so watch it and make sure it doesn't go too far!

Posted by Dianne at September 18, 2008 7:09 AM

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did you pre-cook the noodles?

Posted by: katherine at September 18, 2008 10:07 AM

Wow, slow cooker lasagna! I have a slow cooker and rarely use it. Mostly because so many "slow" cooker recipes only cook for 3-5 hours. When I leave the house in the morning I'm not home again for 8 or 9 hours.

Your husband has to eat glutten free? I know how hard it is to cook for someone on a special diet. One of the Twins had life threatening food allergies. He was allergic to so much. I'm thankful he has out grown all of it!

Posted by: Ingrid at September 18, 2008 10:08 AM

No. Just put them in straight out of the package.

Posted by: Dianne at September 18, 2008 12:09 PM

Hi Ingrid!

Jamison has Celiacs disease. We found out almost a year ago. Before that he was misdiagnosed with IBS, so we cut out dairy for him then. He has been able to add back in dairy as of late, but he still likes the rice mozzarella so we stuck with it. Unfortunately he is an extremely picky eater on top of all of this so it makes things interesting to say the least! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at September 18, 2008 12:32 PM

That is a really cool idea! I use my slow cooker for a few things, but not often enough.

Posted by: Di at September 18, 2008 2:39 PM

I would have never believed yummy lasagna could come from a slow cooker. Yummy and easy!

Posted by: Karen at September 18, 2008 5:33 PM

Oh wow! I am totally going to have to do this! I hate cooking lasagna noodles!

Posted by: Allie at September 20, 2008 4:18 PM

Most likely we'll be doing this again this weekend. It was a big hit here! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at September 24, 2008 2:42 PM

Do you cook the lasagna noodles before you put them in the slow cooker?

Posted by: Karen at November 12, 2008 3:18 PM

No, I just put them in straight out of the box.

Posted by: Dianne at November 12, 2008 3:23 PM

What a fantastic idea. We have been using the hell out of the slow cooker-crock pot-thingy, but I tend to make roast with taters and carrots or salsa chicken or something meaty. I will definitely try this one. Loooooove the crockpot, throw it in, turn it on and fake like you worked hard.

Glad to learn about the GF lasagna noodles too. Just learned I can't eat the delicious wheat too, so am trying GF products and some of them REALLY suck.

Gonna look at your GF french bread recipe...have not had luck getting bread to rise AT ALL. Like a long, skinny rock. I miss my hot gooey cinnamon rolls right out of the oven. sniff.

Posted by: StuffCooksWant at January 28, 2009 3:23 PM

I LOVE my slow cooker! I use it all the time, especially in the summer when I don't want to heat up the house, though I hope to get a grill to use some this summer too!

A lot of the gf bread leaves a lot to be desired, but I've been able to play around with some gf flours and come up with some things that Jamison likes, which is saying a lot given he's the pickiest person on the planet! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at January 29, 2009 8:11 PM

My husband has wheat, gluten, and dairy issues. So cooking for the whole family is really hard, I'm sure you know that. Our kids race Motocross so we go away every weekend in our RV and cooking one meal in there is really hard. I came across your recipe and thought I can do that.

For the cheese I used toufu and goat cheese. I put every thing in the crock went out to see my kids race came back 3 1/2 hrs later.
The RV smelled great, the lasagna looked beautiful.

My kids and a their friend had 2 plate fulls each! When my husband and I were eating I told him it had toufu in it, he thought it was great. We are not toufu eaters but you never would know it was not my husbands italian grandmas lasagna!

My kids still don't know it was in there and they may never know.

I am making this for Easter, we all can't wait to have it again.


Posted by: genie at April 6, 2009 4:15 PM

Glad you enjoyed it! This is a big favorite around here. My husband is the one who has gluten issues, but my daughter and I like this lasagna version too!

Posted by: Dianne at April 6, 2009 6:37 PM

Luv the idea of using a slow cooker for this. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: TheRoosterChick at October 8, 2009 4:03 PM

Luv the idea of using a slow cooker for this. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: TheRoosterChick at October 8, 2009 4:08 PM

Where do you get gluten free lasagna noodles? Thanks.

Posted by: sherry at January 12, 2012 8:08 PM

Hi Sherry! I find them at my local grocery store, but you can also find them on Amazon.com if you can't find them at your store: http://www.amazon.com/Boles-Pasta-Lasagna-10-Ounce-Boxes/dp/B000F0JOV6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1326466062&sr=8-2

Hope you can find them!


Posted by: Dianne at January 13, 2012 9:48 AM

Thanks for the inspiration!
I made a version of this tonight. Layered GF lasagna noodles, ground beef and sauted onions, rice mozzarella, sauce. I added layers of thin sliced (the long way) zucchini. Cooked on low for about 4 hours (at high altitude in Denver). It was delicious!!
Never thought lasagna would be that easy!!

Thank you!

Posted by: Kelsey at January 27, 2015 8:04 PM

Glad you liked it!

Posted by: Dianne at January 29, 2015 2:01 PM

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