UACES Facebook Fill the Freezer - Freezer to Slow Cooker
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Our next Made at Home series with Becca Stackhouse from the University of Georgia will help you fill your freezer with good, nutritious options for meals at home!

Fill the Freezer - Freezer to Slow Cooker

by Katie Cullum, Becca Stackhouse (UGA Extension)

How would you like to walk in the door after a long day at work, and dinner is ready?  You can by using your slow cooker! But you don't want to pay a small fortune on those frozen bags, OR gets tons of extra sodium in the process.  You can fill your freezer with healthy slow cooker meals at a fraction of the cost that you'd pay for those sodium/fat-laden meals at the store!  We'll help you.

Let's learn more about using your slow cooker! Check out the video to learn more about basics of slow cooking, food safety, benefits, a True/False quiz, and of course the fabulous recipe demo.  See below for the recipe!

Easy Lasagna in the Slow Cooker

  • ½ lb. ground beef or ground turkey, lean or extra lean 
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, unsalted, do not drain 
  • 1 cup water 
  • ½ teaspoon parsley 
  • ½ teaspoon oregano 
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning 
  • 8 oz. lasagna noodles (may use rice noodles to make gluten-free) *not needed until day of cooking 
  • 12 oz. cottage cheese, fat free, *not needed until day of cooking 
  • 2 cups  mozzarella cheese, reduced fat, shredded and divided, *not needed until day of cooking 
  1. Label your freezer container with the name, cooking instructions, and use by date (3 months from today). 
  2. Brown ground beef or turkey.  Drain and return to skillet. (*The safe internal temperature for cooked ground beef is 160° Fahrenheit. Turkey is 165° Fahrenheit.) 
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, water, parsley, oregano, and Italian seasoning. 
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Cool and transfer to plastic freezer container or freezer bag. Freeze. 

To use in slow cooker: The day before cooking, move container to refrigerator to thaw. Layer dry noodles, meat & tomato mixture, cottage cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on Low for about 6 hours.  

To use on stovetop: The day before cooking, move container to refrigerator to thaw. Bring to a boil and add uncooked pasta.  Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir in cottage cheese. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 1½ cups of mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand for 5 minutes to melt cheese. 

Nutrition Information per serving:  calories 370; total fat 11g; saturated fat 6g; sodium 440mg; total carbohydrates 35g; fiber 2g; protein 32g 

Makes 6 servings. Add in onions, spinach, or broccoli to add more vegetables.  Serve with fruit or a green salad. 


Food Safety

Slow Cooker - Convenient and Energy Efficient from Carla Due (Miller County)

Unleash the Magic of Your Slow Cooker from Carla Due (Miller County) - includes recipes!

Slow Cookers and Food Safety from the University of Minnesota Extension

Check out the others in this series!