Vegetable Patch Lasagna

Janice Newell Bissex, R.D., and Liz Weiss, R.D.

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Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), shredded on the large holes of a box grater

1 medium carrot (about 8 ounces), peeled, and shredded on the large holes of a box grater

1 3.5-ounce carton shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese

1/3 cup 1% milk

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1 9-ounce box dried, no-boil lasagna noodles

1 26-ounce jar marinara sauce

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Lasagna works just as well in a slow cooker as it does in the oven—and doing it this way means you can prep this hearty, healthy dish and leave it (no worrying that you’ve got errands to run while the oven is on!). The veggies here are usually kid-pleasers, but you can substitute any you know your kids will like (especially when they’re smothered with sauce and cheese—low fat, of course!).


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together cooked vegetables, ricotta, milk, and Parmesan cheese until well combined. Set aside.

Lightly coat bottom and sides of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with a few drops of canola or olive oil. Pour tomato sauce into slow cooker bowl, and top with one fourth of the noodles. Cover as much sauce as possible by breaking some noodles into pieces (it’s okay if they overlap a bit).

Spoon ½ cup pasta sauce over the noodles, then top with one third of the ricotta mixture (about 1 cup), and ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat two more times with one fourth of the noodles, ½ cup sauce, 1 cup ricotta mixture, and ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

For the final layer, cover with the remaining noodles, 1 cup sauce, and remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover and cook on low until noodles absorb sauce and are tender, about 2½ hours. Turn off slow cooker and let noodles absorb any remaining sauce, about 15 minutes.

Per Serving:

Calories: 370

Carbohydrates: 42 g

Fat: 13 g

Protein: 22 g

Fiber: 4 g

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

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