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Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna Recipe

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Savor the Simplicity: Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna Recipe

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Are you searching for a hassle-free yet delicious meal that will leave your family asking for seconds? Look no further than this Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna – a comforting and flavorful twist on the classic Italian dish that requires minimal effort and delivers maximum flavor. Made with layers of frozen ravioli, savory ground beef, gooey mozzarella cheese, and zesty marinara sauce, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your household. Join me as we explore the world of slow cooking and create a meal that’s as satisfying to make as it is to eat.

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Equipment:

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  • Slow Cooker – 5 quart or larger

Ingredients:

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  • 25 oz. frozen ravioli – DO NOT THAW (I use 5 cheese)
  • 1 lb. ground beef (can use mild sausage)
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried leaf oregano (not ground)
  • 24 oz. marinara sauce (I use Rao’s)
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)

Instructions:

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  1. Prepare the Slow Cooker: Lightly grease the inside of your slow cooker to prevent sticking.
  2. Brown the Ground Beef: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned and no longer pink. Add diced onions and cook until softened. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano. Drain excess fat.
  3. Layer the Ingredients: Begin by spooning a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, add a layer of frozen ravioli, followed by a layer of the cooked ground beef mixture. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, ending with a final layer of marinara sauce on top.
  4. Cook on Low: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or until the ravioli is tender and cooked through.
  5. Add Cheese: Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the cooked ravioli lasagna. Cover and let the cheese melt for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Once the cheese is melted and bubbly, remove the slow cooker insert from the base and let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired. Serve hot and enjoy the deliciousness!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the ground beef and substitute with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers for a vegetarian-friendly version of this ravioli lasagna.
  • Cheese Variety: Experiment with different types of cheese such as ricotta, Parmesan, or provolone to add extra flavor and richness to the dish.
  • Herbaceous Twist: Add fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, or thyme to the marinara sauce for a burst of freshness and aroma.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how to adapt this Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna recipe to suit your dietary preferences:

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  • Low-Carb Ravioli Substitute: Replace traditional frozen ravioli with low-carb alternatives made from almond flour, coconut flour, or zucchini slices for a keto-friendly option.
  • Lean Protein: Use lean ground beef or turkey instead of regular ground beef to reduce the fat content and keep the dish lower in carbs.
  • Sugar-Free Sauce: Choose a marinara sauce that is low in sugar or sugar-free to keep the carb count low while still enjoying the rich flavor of the sauce.

Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna is a game-changer when it comes to easy and delicious weeknight meals. With just a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps, you can create a hearty and satisfying dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or looking to enjoy a cozy dinner at home, this slow cooker recipe is a winner every time. So, dust off your slow cooker, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy a comforting meal that’s as effortless to make as it is delicious to eat.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I use fresh ravioli instead of frozen? A: Yes, you can certainly use fresh ravioli if preferred. Keep in mind that fresh ravioli may cook faster than frozen, so adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent overcooking.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time and freeze it? A: Absolutely! This ravioli lasagna is a great make-ahead meal. Simply assemble the layers in a disposable aluminum pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and follow the cooking instructions as directed.

Q: Can I add vegetables to the lasagna? A: Of course! Feel free to add sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, or chopped spinach to the ground beef mixture for added flavor and nutrition. Just be sure to sauté the vegetables until tender before layering them into the lasagna.

Q: Can I use a different type of cheese? A: Absolutely! While mozzarella cheese is traditional for lasagna, you can experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or even a blend of Italian cheeses for a unique flavor profile.

Q: Can I cook this recipe on high heat instead of low? A: While cooking on low heat allows the flavors to develop and meld together more slowly, you can certainly cook this recipe on high heat if you’re short on time. Simply reduce the cooking time to 2-3 hours on high heat, or until the ravioli is tender and cooked through.

Q: Can I double the recipe to feed a larger crowd? A: Absolutely! Simply double the ingredients and use a larger slow cooker or divide the ingredients between two slow cookers to accommodate a larger crowd. Just be sure not to overfill the slow cooker to prevent uneven cooking.

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With these helpful tips and answers to frequently asked questions, you’re well-equipped to create a delicious and satisfying Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re enjoying it for a family dinner, potluck gathering, or weeknight meal, this dish is sure to impress with its simplicity and flavor. So, fire up your slow cooker, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy the ultimate comfort food experience. Happy cooking!