I recently discovered that the disgusting bottled so-called “Alfredo” sauce can be used in the slow cooker with good results. Of course other ingredients must be added to change the taste, but the sauce is non-dairy (unlike real Alfredo) and doesn’t curdle in the slow cooker; it’s also thinner than cream soups, which helps when adding it to dishes that need extra moisture. The following Easy Chicken & Vegetable Lasagna is a good example, and it is so yummy, no one will be the wiser. In fact, this dish is extra quick to assemble, and very easy since it uses several convenience products: no boil lasagna sheets, canned chicken or turkey, bottled spaghetti sauce, and bottled “Alfredo” sauce. The end result displays the colors of the Italian flag, and contains several delicious and nutritious vegetables that are used often in Italian cooking.
Of course, you can substitute homemade spaghetti sauce if you happen to have it around, and leftover cooked chicken or turkey rather than the canned; the option is there. You can also substitute frozen spinach for the fresh, and dehydrated onions for the freshly chopped ones. This dish is very versatile and easy to adapt to the ingredients you have on hand. Unfortunately, convenience products contain preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients, but sometimes the time savings is worth it. In this case, it is, and this just may become a family favorite. If there’s no time in the morning to assemble this dish, it can be done the night before and refrigerated. Then in the morning, simply take the crock from the refrigerator, place it in the slow cooker, set it to low, and let it cook all day. Because of the moisture in the vegetables, this lasagna has a lot of moisture. By tilting the lid slightly, the excess moisture will evaporate.
A large slow cooker with a rectangular or oblong crock is ideal for this dish, however, if your slow cooker is large and oval, that will work too. Busy cooks can never have too many slow cookers, and the new multi-cookers are a dream come true, especially since many of them have rectangular or oblong inserts that accommodate casseroles and desserts that would normally be made in a 9” x 13” baking pan. If you are looking for a good slow cooker, and can’t find one on sale in your area (warehouse stores are a good source, as well as discount stores), you can purchase one from Amazon, which offers dozens of models and most come with free shipping.
2 28 oz. cans spaghetti sauce
1 9-12 ounce package No Boil Lasagna sheets
16 ounces ricotta cheese
2 10 oz. packages fresh spinach, or 2 10 ounce packages frozen spinach
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound zucchini, sliced (about 2 medium)
1 14.5 oz. jar Alfredo Sauce
2 13 oz. cans Chicken, or turkey, or 3 cups sliced or chopped cooked chicken or turkey
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Spread a little spaghetti sauce over the bottom of a 6-8 quart rectangle or oblong slow cooker (or a 6-8 quart oval slow cooker).
- Cover the bottom with 1/3 of the lasagna sheets, breaking them if necessary to cover.
- Spread 1/2 of the ricotta cheese over the pasta.
- Spread 1 package fresh spinach over the ricotta; top with half of the mushrooms, 1/2 of the onion, and 1/2 of the zucchini.
- Pour half of the Alfredo sauce over; top with one can of the chicken (1 1/2 cups cooked chicken if using leftover).
- Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce from the jar over the chicken and sprinkle with two cups of the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with half of the remaining lasagna sheets and repeat the layer, using only half of the remaining jar of spaghetti sauce.
- Arrange the remaining lasagna sheets over, spread the remaining sauce over the pasta, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
- Cover, set the slow cooker to low, and let cook 5-7 hours or until bubbly. If you happen to be around, after 2 hours, tilt the lid slightly to evaporate excess liquid. If it isn't convenient, the dish will still be wonderful, albeit a little soupy.
- Remove the lid, let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes, then serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 172
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 48% Protein 20% Carb. 32%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 19 g
Saturated Fat 10 g
Cholesterol 69 mg
Sodium 1085 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 18 g
Vitamin A 77% Vitamin C 46% Calcium 0% Iron 14%