Easy Slow Cooker Meals :: Lasagna + Enchiladas

This summer I have had some fun playing with our crock pot.  I usually associate slow cooked meals with the winter but being able to cook something not in the oven is a big deal when it is 100 degrees outside.  So when we are not barbecuing over the summer, we are slow cooking.
For these two meals there requires some stove top cooking which I do in the morning when it is still relatively cool and I can open a window.  We do not have an oven fan in our kitchen so it gets pretty warm whenever I cook anything.  This also allows me to be busy at home or outside while our food cooks so that I can make the most of these long summer days.  Food is ready to eat whenever my husband gets home and all the planning and cooking has been done for hours. 
lasagna
1. I like to hide lots of veggies in everything {one time I made lasagna without extra veggies and my husband said, “this is really good!  what did you do differently?  wait, there aren’t any veggies in this, huh?”}.  For onions I use my pampered chef chopper to get it cut up nice and small very quickly.
2. I cook the meat {usually ground turkey} with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions…whatever I have around.
3. The key to making this super easy is to not cook the lasagna noodles {I buy whole wheat}.  The trick is to add enough water to your dish so that the noodles will cook as the whole meal cooks {thanks to my MIL who taught me this!}.  You can do this when you cook it in the oven as well.  For the slow cooker {since it is taller than the usual lasagna dish cooked in the oven} I added about 2 cups of water.  I just add enough to where I see the water is just almost covering the top layer.  The longer it cooks, the better the water is absorbed…no extra juices lying around! 
enchilada
For the enchiladas, it is a similar system.  Layer and cook.  I use the following ingredients:
-Flour tortillas
-Enchilada sauce {from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook—my favorite go-to cookbook, uses canned tomatoes, onions, and spices so I don’t have to add more veggies!}
-Black beans
-Ground turkey
-Cheese

*You always want to make sure your dry layers {i.e. lasagna noodles/tortillas} each are topped with sauce.  This guarantees they because deliciously soft and infused with flavor!
What do you make in the crock pot?

10 comments:

  1. YUM! can you share the enchilada sauce recipie? I can never find a good sauce!!

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  2. YUM! I've never done lasagna in the slow cooker. I've got to try it soon! Last week, I dumped in three frozen chicken breasts, a can of rotel, a cup and a half of frozen corn and a can of drained black beans and a package of cream cheese. I let it cook on low for 7 hours, then shredded the chicken and layered it with a scoop of the mixture in the crock pop over tortilla chips and added some shredded cheddar for nachos. It was super good and really easy (and would probably be good rolled into a tortilla, too).

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  3. I always thought the slow cooker would make my house hot but really it does seem like it would keep the house cooler than the oven! I'll be busting it out for sure this week!!

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  4. wow, these look yummy and easy! Thanks for sharing! I think I need to try both of these. We do not have an outside "vent" for our oven either...so it gets hot in here as well. Thank goodness for ceiling fans! And lots of AC!

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  5. I want a slow cooker. someone gave us one, and I didnt know how to use it so I donated it :(

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  6. These BOTH look Delish!
    I am so making these, I love the crockpot, dinner without hassle, I LOVE it!

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  7. I love your blog, so happy and fun and positive. This recipe looks amazing, I LOVE lasagna! I'm a new follower, would you follow me?
    xx, Maria
    www.avenuemaria.blogspot.com

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  8. Sounds delicious - I use my crock pot year round!

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  9. I haven't tried either of those in the crock pot. They look delicious though!! Have you seen that site 365 days of crock pot cooking? I'm sure it will come up if you google.

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  10. Confused.... I don't see the actual recipe (ingedients and instructions) all I really see is pictures and tips on making the food... I am really disappointed I needed a good enchilada recipe :(

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