Crock Pot meals are among my favorites, but I often don’t take it out in the summer. Even though it’s too hot to turn on the oven, to me, Crock Pot is synonymous with good winter comfort food. And pot roasts and gooey desserts are kind of the last thing I want in the summer.
But I’m here to tell you there are lighter options when it comes to Crock Pots. Well, kind of. At least in the case of my vegetable lasagna.
Any pasta is gonna be pretty heavy, but I’ve actually found over the years that I very much prefer vegetable lasagna to meat.
No, I’m not suggesting you go vegetarian, but there’s nothing wrong with getting some extra vitamins. And mixed with some marinara sauce and cheese (always the cheese!) it’s hard to beat.
The real star of the recipe is the Mezzetta Peperoncini. Any time we went to the pizza parlor as a kid, I would watch in awe as my mom would eat peperoncinis whole. Who on earth can just eat a pepper whole like that?
I vowed I would never eat them. And for 20 years I really missed out on something great. If you never tried them, give this recipe a shot. They have this really awesome, light, fruity, tangy flavor with just a tiny bit of heat.
And it’s really what takes this recipe from “everyday” to “crave-worthy.” It adds this really refreshing bite – something totally unique to vegetable lasagna (because let’s face it, many of them wind up being bland). Peperoncini also add a bright, colorful aspect to your dish.
If that wasn’t enough, this recipe uses the entire jar. That means no half eaten jar hiding in the fridge for months because you just don’t know what else to do with it.
By the way, there are tons of applications for peperonicini you may not know about. Most commonly, they’re found on pizza, in salads or pasta salads. I personally really love peperoncini on a delicious, melty, cheesy veggie panini. And now this lasagna is at the top of my list!
So what do you think?
Because Mezzetta loves us so much, they’re hosting a national sweepstakes where you can win 52 meal kits from Chef’d! You’ll receive a 10% off coupon just for entering.
So what’s stopping you? It’s free – enter now!
Until next time. X
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Crock Pot Vegetable Lasagna
This crock pot vegetable lasagna makes for an easy dinner with bright, fresh, notes of zucchini, squash and peperoncini.
- 4 c. or 2 jars marinara sauce
- 2 c. water
- 2 zucchini, diced into 1/2” cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 yellow squash, diced into 1/2” cubes
- 1/2 eggplant, diced into 1/2” cubes
- 16 oz. Mezzetta Deli Sliced Peperoncini, drained
- 30 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
- pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
- 16 oz. lasagna noodles (regular, not oven-ready)
- 16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
- non-stick spray
- italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
- In a large saucepan, bring the marinara sauce and 2 c. water to a simmer. Add the zucchini, onion, squash, eggplant and peperoncini and stew, on low, for 5-10 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the ricotta, oregano, parmesan and mozzarella. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spray the inside of a 2.5 qt. casserole crock pot* with non stick spray and spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom. Place the lasagna noodles on top in a single layer. Some overlap is fine.
- Spread about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top, then spoon the vegetable and sauce mixture on top of that. Sprinkle with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat this process two more times, ricotta, vegetables and sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- On the top layer, place lasagna noodles, the remainder of the sauce and vegetables, then mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Garnish with chopped italian parsley (optional) and serve warm.
*I use a 2.5 qt casserole crock pot, but feel free to use any oval ones that are larger, you just have to break the lasagna noodles to fit your vessel.
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