Crock Pot Low Carb Lasagna

This Crock Pot Low Carb Lasagna is the recipe that almost got away. It took me FIVE attempts to perfect, but I can safely say that it was completely worth every tear I shed (and less-than-lady-like word I uttered) into my slow cooker. Not only is this no-noodle lasagna absolutely delicious, but it’s become a reader favorite and one of the most popular recipes on my site.

Crock Pot Low Carb Lasagna — Easy, CHEESY, and your slow cooker does all the work! Made with zucchini and eggplant instead of noodles — You’ll never miss the pasta! @wellplated

Cheesy, saucy, low-carb, and protein-packed, this crock pot veggie lasagna is the most comforting, crowd-pleasing way to serve vegetables that I’ve found. I originally shared the recipe last summer, and I’m updating it today with a step-by-step video, as well as taking a trip down memory lane to revisit how this recipe came to be and why I refused to give up on it.

After seeing a few “no noodle” lasagna recipes floating around the web, and I became enchanted with the idea of creating a crock pot version that I could set in my slow cooker and forget. In place of pasta, the veggie lasagnas I saw used thin, sheet-like slices of zucchini or eggplant. The idea seemed simple, perfect, and like a recipe even veggie-skeptics could enjoy.

Fast forward five recipe attempts later, and here we are. The best, most foolproof, no-noodle, low-carb lasagna recipe you will ever (and I mean EVER) find!

Easy Crock Pot Vegetarian Lasagna. The BEST way to get your veggies and our whole family loved it! No noodles — just zucchini, eggplant, and cheesy goodness — Low carb, high protein, and you’ll never miss the pasta! @wellplated

The issue with my first four low-carb lasagna attempts was that, no matter what I trick I tried—salting and draining the zucchini, reducing the amount of sauce, mixing eggs with the filling, leaving the crock pot uncovered during the last hour of cooking—the zucchini lasagna sheets still let off so much liquid that the crock pot veggie lasagna came out soupy. It tasted lovely, but I had a conspicuous amount of discarded water at the bottom of my slow cooker. Not okay.

My final solution, and the recipe I posted here, is to either grill or broil the zucchini and eggplant slices first to remove as much excess water as possible. I tried my very hardest to eliminate this step (all of the first runs of the recipe didn’t include the additional effort), but I am afraid it simply must be done.

If you prefer to skip grilling or broiling the zucchini and eggplant, you can simply omit this part of the directions and discard the extra liquid—which is exactly how we ate attempts #1-#4.

 

Low Carb Lasagna, made in the crock pot! No noodles — this slow cooker recipe uses zucchini and eggplant. So much flavor and cheesy goodness, you’ll never miss the pasta! @wellplated

In addition to the zucchini and eggplant “noodles,” I layered this low-carb lasagna with sweet bell peppers, red onions, and a generous amount of cheese.

My final no-noodle lasagna recipe note is to spend a few extra dollars to purchase a good-quality pasta sauce (or to use homemade). Because this crock pot veggie lasagna recipe uses few ingredients, the taste of the sauce stands out, so you want to be sure it has excellent flavor. My favorite of the different sauces I tried was roasted garlic—rustic and zesty!

This Low Carb Crock Pot Vegetarian Lasagna is our family’s new favorite. Loaded with CHEESY goodness — you’ll never miss the pasta! The slow cooker does all the work and it’s healthy too! @wellplated

Perhaps the ultimate testament to this recipe is that, despite the multiple attempts, I didn’t grow tired of it. This crowd-pleasing veggie lasagna is healthy comfort food, topped with gooey, melty cheese, combined with the flexibility of the crock pot. What’s not to love?

Tools I used to make this recipe:

For a step-by-step of how to make this Crock Pot Low Carb Lasanga recipe, watch this short video:


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Crock Pot Low Carb Lasagna

Crock Pot Low Carb Lasagna made with zucchini and eggplant in place of pasta. Healthy, gluten free, and your slow cooker does all the work!

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 to 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • Kosher salt
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) good-quality store-bought tomato-based pasta sauce (or homemade)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 16 ounces low-fat cottage cheese (do not use skim—I used 1%)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 ounces part-skim shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese, divided (about 2 cups—I used a blend of both cheeses)
  • For serving: Parmesan cheese, freshly chopped herbs such as basil or parsley

Directions:

  1. With a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the eggplant and zucchini length-wise into long, thin (1/4-inch) sections so that they resemble lasagna noodles. Spread the vegetable slices out onto a kitchen towel or layers of paper towels and sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt. Let stand for 15 minutes to allow some of the excess liquid to drain off. Pat dry. Prepare the zucchini and eggplant according to one of the three methods below:
    1. GRILL METHOD: Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium. Lightly coat the grill with canola oil, then grill the eggplant and zucchini strips until cooked and lightly brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    2. BROIL METHOD: Place the top oven rack about 5 inches from the upper heat element. Set the oven to broil at 500 degrees F. Arrange the zucchini and eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. (Do not line the baking sheet pans with wax paper or parchment, as they will burn.) Lightly brush the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flip over the slices and repeat for the other side. Broil for 8 minutes, or until lightly brown, working in multiple batches as needed. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Place the slices on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
    3. NEITHER: Move ahead with the recipe—skip grilling or broiling the zucchini completely. The lasagna will have a lot of excess liquid around the veggie slices in the slow cooker (even after salting them in step 1), but if this doesn’t bother you, you can scoop out the noodles and discard it.
  2. Lightly coat a 6-quart crock pot with nonstick spray. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the crock pot—the layer will seem very thin. In a small bowl, beat the cottage cheese together with the eggs.
  3. Create the first veggie lasagna layer in the crock pot as follows: 1 layer of eggplant “noodles”; one-third of the cottage cheese (about 2/3 cup); one-third of the bell peppers and onions; one-third of the mozzarella; 1/2 cup tomato sauce.
  4. Create the second veggie lasagna layer, this time using zucchini: 1 layer of zucchini “noodles”; one-third of the cottage cheese; one-third of the bell peppers and onions; one-third of the mozzarella; 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
  5. Create the final layer: 1 layer of eggplant “noodles”; remaining cottage cheese; remaining bell peppers and onions; 1 layer of zucchini noodles; 1/2 cup tomato sauce; remaining mozzarella.
  6. Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, until the eggplant is tender. To test, insert a long, thin knife into the lasagna and ensure the eggplant feels tender. Re-cover, turn off the slow cooker, and let stand until any remaining liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Note: if you did not grill or broil the vegetables first, you will have a lot of remaining liquid.) To serve, slice and scoop desired portions, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs as desired.
  • Depending upon the size of jarred tomato sauce you can find, you may have some leftover. Most jars come in a 24-ounce size, so you will have some sauce remaining. The extra sauce is great for reheating leftovers (top with a bit before microwaving), or if you like a saucier lasagna, you can heat it separately on the side and spoon it over individual servings.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheat gently in the microwave. Top with a little leftover sauce if you have it available.
  • I have not tried cooking this recipe on low heat, but I estimate it would take about 4 to 5 hours covered, depending upon your crockpot.
  • I also have not tried making this recipe in the oven instead of a slow cooker but would anticipate that it could be assembled in a 9×13-inch baking dish, then baked, covered, at 350 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Uncover the pan for the last 10 minutes of baking. I would recommend grilling or broiling the noodles first.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 6) without extra toppings

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 273
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 88mg
  • Sodium: 963mg
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Protein: 23g

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