My mom makes a fantastic lasagna. It has been my favorite since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (a little kid, that is!). We make it often, though we do make a slightly different version. Usually we bake it in the oven, but this time we decided to make the lasagna in smaller pans and ‘bake’ them in the Char-Broil Big Easy. The results were amazing. Fantastic mini lasagna, hot and bubbly in no-time, ready to devour!
The technique for making mini lasagna on the Big Easy is al most the same as how we make big baking pans of lasagna. The difference is that the noodles have to be cut to fit the miniature pans. We found that the best approach was to cut an inch off the end of the noodles, then cut them in half. They fit perfectly!
We used a bunk bed basket to make 4 mini lasagnas at a time. They cooked evenly and quickly.
We used these disposable aluminum pans. Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and kept in the freezer.
1poundfresh buffalo mozzarella torn into chunks, or use shredded
For the meat sauce
Crumble the meats into a large pot or Dutch oven and brown over medium high heat. Drain fat if desired.
Add the onion and cook until softened.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add in all of the sauce ingredients.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, 1-2 hours.
Continue cooking with lid off for another hour, adding a bit more water if the sauce is too thick.
For the lasagna
Cook noodles per package instructions. Drain well.
Cut 1" off of each noodle end then cut each in half in the middle.
First, spread a little sauce out on the bottom of each pan.
Then, layer the ingredients in the following order. Try to divide the ingredients evenly between each layer, but you don't have to be picky about it.
Repeat for 3 total layers.
Fire up your Big Easy. You can cook 2 lasagnas at a time in the basket that comes with the Big Easy. With a bunk bed basket you can cook 4 at a time.Place loaf pans into the Big Easy basket (and bunk bed, if using). Place in the Big Easy and cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
Cook the remaining 4 pans while the first pans rest. Alternately, keep them in the oven on low or warm until the final pans are done.
As much as I prefer cooking outdoors, I still love cooking dishes inside in a slow cooker, specially on days when the weather is a bit questionable. Preparation is almost always simple, even though the final results can be quite fantastic. I went into making this slow cooker ravioli lasagna thinking it’d be ‘ok’. I came out thinking ‘wow, that was excellent’.
All the flavors of a great lasagna, but done so easily with very little effort. The sauce was nice and tasty, the ravioli cooked up perfectly, and of course, there was ooey-gooey cheese. You can substitute frozen raviolis if you like. Nothing beats the taste of fresh ravioli in this slow cooker ravioli lasagna. Even though this is a quick not-much-from-scratch dish, there’s no reason to not add some fresh ingredients. Fresh ravioli can be found in a tiny fridge in the pasta aisle in our local grocery store.
It’s possible that I added a few pinches of red pepper flake to this lasagna because, well, I like a little kick in everything I make. I left it out of the recipe below.
This is an adaptation of my mom’s lasagna, my favorite thing to eat as a kid. I could not stop eating this then, and I cannot stop eating it now.
Is it authentic? Nah. Is it stick-to-your-ribs good? Oh yeah. It also freezes great, which is good because this makes a big ole batch.
My only complaint about this lasagna is that in all my years I have NEVER been able to let it rest long enough to firm up all pretty like for a picture. I have tried and tried, and I just end up cutting off a big ole piece before it gets set up. So, that’s why it sags in the picture. It’s a good sag, though.