Crock It! Chevre and Pumpkin Lasagna

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Fall is officially here and what better way to bring back our Crock It! series than with a pumpkin recipe! I love pumpkin in just about anything except a pie– I have texture issues. It’s actually a great vegetable–something I experienced for the first time while traveling in New Zealand. This recipe uses pumpkin as a squash to create a vegetarian lasagna. I am not a vegetarian lasagna kind of girl and this was totally new for me, but the combination of flavors sounded so good, I just had to try the recipe.

Chevre and Pumpkin Lasagna (from Andrew Schloss’ Art of the Slow Cooker)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large onions, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 4 cloves garlic minced  and divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 1 15-oz. can 100% pumpkin puree (I used fresh pumpkin puree)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions and cooled in cold water
  • 8 oz. fresh chevre (goat cheese), broken into small pieces

What’s Next:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook slowly until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. (3 onions is a lot of onions and it took me longer than 10 minutes to brown them)
  • Add 3/4 of the garlic (3 cloves), 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, sage, thyme, and flour and stir until the onions are thoroughly coated.
  • Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  • Add the broth and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in the vinegar and half the parsley and set aside.
  • Mix the pumpkin, eggs, breadcrumbs, pine nuts, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and the remaining parsley, and garlic, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Coat the interior of the crock of a 5-6 quart slow cooker with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Spoon 1/4 of the onion mixture over the bottom of the crock,
  • Top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture, 1/3 of the chevre and 1/3 of the remaining onion mixture.
  • Top with 3 more lasagna noodles, half of the remaining pumpkin, half of the remaining chevre and half the remaining onion mixture.
  • Top with 3 more noodles, the remaining pumpkin, the remaining chevre, and the remaining onion mixture.
  • Cover with the 3 remaining noodles.
  • Cover the crock with 2 kitchen towels and the lid.
  • Cook for 3-4 hours on low.
  • When the lasagna is done, the edges will be browned and the center will be barely set.
  • Top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and cover until melted, about 1 minute.
  • Remove the crock from the cooker and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Notes from my experience:

  • The flavors in this recipe are delicious!
  • A round 3-quart slow cooker will not work here- you need an oval 5-6 quart one because of the shape and length of the noodles.
  • The original recipe (from Andrew Schloss’ Art of the Slow Cooker) says that prep time is 30 minutes. It took me 2 hours, and I had already made my pumpkin puree ahead of time. So, unless you also cook your noodles ahead of time as well, plan for a decent amount of time to prep.
  • This was my first time working with lasagna noodles (I usually use the no-bake ones). Once the noodles were cooked, I  just piled them on a plate. Big mistake. I eventually laid them flat on a plate and sprayed a little cooking spray between the layers which I alternated in direction. See photo.
  • My final word of advice: DO NOT under any circumstances leave out the two kitchen towels that go under the lid of your slow cooker. I have made this mistake with other recipes from the same book, and it totally changes the consistency of the food. The towels soak up the steam created by the slow cooker therefore enabling the edges to brown. If you forget the towels, the edges will not brown.
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4 COMMENTS

  1. Evan, you are absolutely correct. I have permission from Chronicle books to use this recipe on the site and you will see that typically I give credit to the chefs who create the recipes I use. This was an oversight and I will amend the story. Thank you for noticing. That said, it is a fabulous cookbook with many different and interesting recipes. While I was only able to use a few for the site, I have made many more personally and they have all been good. This is one of my favorites and I bet butternut squash is delicious here.

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