Slow Cooker Pepperoni Lasagne and Cheesy Bread

When my children were in high school, I loved having their friends over for supper before Friday night football games. Everyone’s favorite dish was a cross between lasagna and pepperoni pizza cooked in a slow cooker. Cleanup was a breeze using a disposable plastic liner!

We ate outside on long tables covered with red gingham tablecloths. After the teens had “filled up” on lasagna, salad, and cheesy bread, they would roast marshmallows over a fire pit for s’mores.  There were lots of laughs on those Friday nights and I’m happy to say lifelong friendships were formed!

Slow Cooker Pepperoni Lasagne 15 Servings

1 plastic disposable slow cooker liner
1 pound ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-28 oz. jars marinara sauce
6 oz. package pepperoni slices
10 oz. cooked, extra wide, egg noodles
16 oz. ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Season ground chuck with salt and pepper. Brown meat with onions and garlic. Add 1 ½ jars marinara sauce to meat mixture. Reserve ½ a jar to go on top of assembled lasagna. Line a 6-quart slow cooker with a disposable plastic liner.  

This lasagna has 3 layers. Each layer consists of ⅓ of each of the following ingredients: meat sauce, pepperoni, noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. After lasagna is assembled, top with reserved ½ jar of marinara sauce. Cover with slow cooker lid. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Serves 15 hungry teenagers.

Tip: Each time you remove the lid and peek add an additional 20 minutes to the cooking time! Every time my kids would pass by the slow cooker they would look inside and take a whiff. I finally put a yellow sticky note on the lid threatening to do bodily harm to anyone who opened it!

 Cheesy Bread

1 loaf French or Italian read
dried minced onions
squeeze margarine ( I used Parkay)
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Using a ruler, slice bread on every inch mark, without cutting all the way through the bottom crust of bread. In every slice, spread margarine on one side, sprinkle with
1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes until hot. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 loaf of bread. Tip: To prevent bottom of bread from sticking to the foil, put a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the bread inside regular aluminum foil.

Previously published in The News and Neighbor

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