Monday, August 8

Good Eating Monday: Slow Cooker Tex Mex Lasagna!

Ever buy those little recipe booklets at the grocery store? Sometimes they're recipes for quick meals or cakes or that sort of thing. That's where today's recipe comes from. One of those little recipe booklets from the grocery store: a collection of Slow Cooker recipes by Betty Crocker.
Of the recipes I've tried from it, this one is, by far, the BEST!
It makes a large quantity of Mexican-flavored, cheesy-goodness!
I'll give you the base recipe, but you can make yours more spicy by choosing hotter Salsa or Taco seasoning or add minced onions & chopped green peppers to the meat when browning it and so on.
The photo is a batch of Tex Mex Lasagna in my own slow cooker I made this past Sunday.
(I had 2 odd lasagna noodles left over I just plopped on top, I think working them into the layers would be better.)

Tex Mex Lasagna

1 lb lean (at least 80% ) ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken)

1 can (15oz) Pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 package low-sodium Taco seasoning mix
1 jar (16 oz) Thick & Chunky Salsa
1 small (8oz) can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1 jar (16oz) Alfredo pasta sauce
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or Mexican Cheese)
1 box Lasagna noodles (16 noodles are required)

1)  In a skillet: cook ground meat over med-high heat stirring constantly until brown; drain any grease. Stir in Pinto beans & Taco seasoning mix.

2)  Prepare slow-cooker by spraying with an oil spray and setting on low to warm it up. Spread 3/4 cup of Salsa over bottom of slow cooker. Then stir remaining Salsa along with the 8 oz can of tomato sauce into the meat mixture.

3)  In a small bowl: mix Alfredo sauce with 3 cups of shredded cheese, reserving last cup for later.

4)  Layering: Layer 4 Lasagna noodles over Salsa on bottom of Slow Cooker, breaking as necessary to fit. Top with half of Alfredo-cheese mix, spreading evenly. Top with 4 more noodles. Top with 1/2 of meat sauce from skillet, spreading evenly. Top with 4 noodles and remaining Aflredo-cheese sauce. Top with final 4 noodles, then rest of meat sauce. 

5) Cover; cook on low setting 4 to 5 hours. (I used 5 hours and that seemed perfect.) 

6)  At end of cooking time, remove lid and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over top. Replace cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Turn off slow-cooker. Uncover and let stand 10 minutes before serving. I found it helpful to run a knife through it "cutting" it roughly into portions, which made it easier to scoop out--it's deep dish Lasagna!
Makes approx 8 servings--with room for seconds.
Be sure to put out extra Salsa & sour cream!
I served mine with salad & garlic bread. It was yum!
I only served 5 people and there was enough for seconds for everyone PLUS I still two servings leftover for Hubby and me the next day for dinner. 
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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