Spicy Turkey Lasagna

This meal was good and incredibly easy. It did and will make a great dish for a Saturday when you have a lot of errands to run and things to do and the idea of slaving over a hot stove just doesn't appeal to you. Getting this ready to go into the crock pot took about 10 minutes and 3 1/2 hours later, voila! Dinner.

If I were to have any complaint about it, I'd say it was a little bland (I'm learning that about recipes...). Next time I'll try to perk it up a bit. It wasn't "spicy" at all. It only calls for 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I'd probably up that to 1/2 or even 3/4 of a teaspoon for next time.

Another thing I'd watch is the type of spaghetti sauce you pick up. Prego didn't have a "chunky pasta sauce with mushrooms and green peppers" that I saw so I picked up "chunky garden." It has carrots in it. A no go for this dish, let me tell you! Additionally, the recipe calls for one 26 oz. jar of sauce. I used two. I don't know if it's because my crock pot is too large for the recipe or what the issue was but one jar just didn't seem enough.

Make sure you allot yourself enough time to thaw & dry the spinach. Also, know your crock pot. Again - I think mine might be too big for some of the recipes I'm trying so I'm finding that I need about an hour less on low than they're calling. This I only cooked for 3 hours and then switched to warm. It was cooked through and if I'd let it keep cooking for another hour and a half, we would have had a burned, dried mess, I think.

Finally, this is a a very pretty dish when cooked. The spinach and spaghetti sauce invite you to try them. It's fun. I'd definitely suggest it for company (three of us ate less than 1/2 of what the recipe made) but only after you've tried it and played with the recipe so it tastes perfect for you. Unless, of course, you're trying to dissuade your guests from coming back for anymore dinners... then, go for it as is!

Spicy Turkey Lasagna

1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red-pepper flakes
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta
2 cups (8 oz. package) shredded Italian-blend cheese
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
12 lasagna noodles (12 oz.), uncooked and broken in half
1 jar (26 oz.) chunky pasta sauce with mushrooms and green pepper
1/2 cup water
grated Parmesan (optional)

1. In nonstick skillet, brown turkey over medium-high, breaking up clumps, until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with oregano, salt and pepper flakes. Remove from heat.

2. In bowl, mix ricotta, cheese blend and spinach.

3. In oval, 5 1/2 quart slow cooker, layer half the noodles, overlapping as necessary. Spoon on half the meat mixture. Pour on half the pasta sauce and half the water. Spread half the cheese mixture on top. Repeat layering.

4. Cover slow cooker; cook on low heat 4 1/2 hours.

5. To serve, cut into 8 equal pieces. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.


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