My first couple of experiments didn't turn out great. I cooked a roast and the texture turned out wonderful (meat was falling apart), but it wasn't very flavorful because I added too much water. Next I tried an easy cheesy chicken recipe. Again, the chicken was done and not dry, but it was way too salty!
The third time must be the charm because I finally found something that tasted amazing: Lasagna! I will say that this does take some time to prepare and it does make several dirty dishes, but the taste was really (shockingly) great! Also makes plenty so you have enough for leftovers.
*EDITED TO ADD* My good friend Michelle suggested browning the meat and preparing the cheese mixture the night before to save time. I think this is a great idea and I will be doing it myself next time. Also, the recipe I modified did not call for cooking the lasagna noodles, but I was afraid to put them uncooked in the crockpot. It is possible the recipe would still work with uncooked noodles.
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 jar Classico Four Cheese Sauce (or pasta sauce of your choice)
1 cup water
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 pkg lasagna noodles (only need to use about 9 noodles or less depending on layers)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (can buy in a pkg)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (just use what comes in a jar, don't have to grate yourself)
1 8 oz. pkg Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- Cook about 9 lasagna noodles in rapid boiling water and add salt to the water so noodles are less sticky. Boils about 10 minutes. Lay noodles out on wax paper.
- Add 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1 tsp. onion powder to ground beef. Mix, brown, and drain.
- Mix 1 jar of Classico Four Cheese sauce (or sauce of your choice), 1 cup of water, 6 oz. can of tomato paste, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. dried oregano, and 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning together with the browned beef to make the meat sauce. Let simmer for a minute or two.
- Soften the 8 oz. pkg of Philadelphia cream cheese either in microwave or by setting out for a little. Mix together pkg of softened cream cheese with 3 cups of shredded Mozzarella and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. This mixture will not be smooth, it will be chunky. This is okay because it will all melt in the crockpot later.
- Put one layer of meat sauce on bottom of crockpot. Put two to three noodles on top of meat sauce. Put cheese mixture over noodles (again, it will be chunky, just make sure the chunks cover the general noodle area and they will melt). Repeat layers: meat sauce, noodles, cheese. Should end by covering with remaining meat sauce. (I think I only had two layers and then meat sauce on top, but my crockpot is huge)
- Cook on low for four hours. Cook on high for another 40 minutes. Don't lift the lid until ready to serve.