Divine Lasagna – Kitchen Messes and Mishaps

I love a good casserole and have several that are my “go-to’s”, great during the school year because it lasts me for a few meals and is quick and easy to reheat.  I’ve never made homemade lasagna, why do that when Stoffer’s makes lasagna.  However, I have had some really delicious lasagnas, and when I saw this easy Crockpot Lasagna, I decided to go for it, but with a few changes… 
The recipe called for spinach, but I also had some butternut squash in my freezer that I wanted to add in and I love mushrooms, so decided to add those in too. I made a quick trip to the grocery store and picked up the few things I needed, (if it appears this could be a Kroger sponsored post, it isn’t, but they do have store brand in most everything I needed and I’m a regular buyer of Kroger-brand.). I will post the recipe at the bottom where it’s easy to read all together.  
The process was pretty simple…brown the sausage 

While sausage is browning mix up the mozzarella, ricotta, spinach (thawed, drained and dry) and butternut squash in a bowl.

When sausage is cooked, mix up sausage, spaghetti sauce (I draw the line with Prego brand loyalty over store brand bargain), mushrooms, spices and salt. 

In the midst of this the spaghetti sauce lid slipped out of my hand and splattered on my kitchen rug…this is not part of the recipe. But, this is real life. No cooking show ever shows you the real mess and mishaps in the kitchen. I’m all for life outside the 4 borders of a perfectly filtered photo. Quickly tossed the rug out onto my porch so my dog wouldn’t get into spaghetti sauce and potentially cause another mess and kept going…

Layer in a greased crock pot, sauce, noodles, sauce, cheese mix, noodles, sauce, cheese mix, noodles, last of sauce.


{Here I didn’t realize you were to reserve some sauce, and had used it all. Thankfully on a whim at the store I had picked up a second jar of spaghetti sauce to have in the pantry and had to use a couple of spoonfuls as the last sauce layer. The rug incident had me a little rattled and I was talking to my Mom on the phone about potential stain remover tricks while layering and half reading the recipe.}

Finally, top it with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Put the lid on, set it to low and go on about your afternoon…

Oh, but your sink probably looks like this and that rug stain must be addressed….

The lasagna needs to cook for 3-4 hours, until the noodles are “done”.  As mentioned, I’ve never cooked lasagna, (not to be confused with not knowing how to cook, ha!), and wasn’t sure when/how they would be done, but figured it would be at least 3 hours… 
….so, I got to work on the rug, the dishes, started a new book, (last months book review is here), went for a jog (always clears the mind), took a shower and after 3.5 hours it looked like this around here… 

Dishes washed, sink cleared, dishes all put away…

Stain out, rug dry and one little dog always checking out what is going on… 

Finally, a plate served and it was delicious!  When I was putting away to the fridge I put some into the freezer as well, save it for a day when I need a quick dinner after the rat race of school is back in session and time is limited.  I did really like that this recipe could be made in an afternoon, I know lots of people do, but I don’t like leaving a crock pot on all day at home while I’m away…

I am no food photographer, these are all my own highly sophisticated  iPhone 5 images. 🙂 

So, despite the mess and mishaps, it was a success and definitely a recipe I would make again. Might even roast the butternut squash and just layer it in instead of mixing with the cheese. You can make this your own with additional favorites added in, or simplify it as well taking some out! I would also suggest thawing spinach, squash, anything else earlier in day to make sure drained and dried. I defrosted mine because decided to make this on a whim. Here’s the recipe:

Crock Pot Lasagna 
  • 1 lb sausage browned, grease drained
    (I used sage pork sausage, use any kind you like, or use ground beef!) 
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce 
  • 1 small can mushrooms
    (sliced, buttons, stems & pieces – whatever you like or fresh ones too)
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning 
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small container (15 oz) Ricotta cheese
  • 1 package (2 cups) shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided 
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, drained, dried 
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen cubed butternut squash, thawed, drained, dried
    {maybe roast for a bit in the oven, but point in using crock pot was not to heat up the house with oven on when it’s 100 degrees outside}
    By the way…I’ve found this squash at Target of all places
  • Oven ready lasagna noodles (need 8-10 noodles, depending on crock pot size)
  1. Prep…thaw spinach and squash early, drain and pat dry
  2. Brown/drain sausage
  3. While sausage is browning combine ricotta, 1 cup Mozzarella, dried spinach, dried squash in a bowl and stir it up.
  4. When sausage is browned/drained combine with spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, seasoning, salt, and water in a 2nd bowl and stir to mix it up. 
  5. Grease crock pot bottom and sides
  6. Layers….
    — 1 cup of sauce in the bottom
    — Noodles – break apart to best fit, I used about 2.5 noodles per layer
    — 1 cup of sauce
    — 1/2 of cheese mixture
    — Noodles
    — 1 cup of sauce
    — 1/2 of cheese mixture
    — Noodles
    — Remaining sauce mix – should be about a cup left
    — Remaining cup of mozzarella cheese 
  7. Lid on, crock pot set on “Low” heat setting, cook for 3-4 hours.
    (I cooked about 3.5 and it was definitely all done)

Blessings to you in your kitchen, persevere through trials, mishaps, messes and ultimately enjoy!  As always, keep up with me on Instagram here, Facebook here, or Twitter here. 🙂 #besocial 

Here’s to a great start to the week, 

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