Bake lasagna in your solar oven for an energy-free dinner option. Here are simple tricks for baking lasagna – or any casserole – in your solar oven.
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Solar Oven Lasagna Recipe
I’m not going to give you a recipe for this solar oven lasagna because you can use your favorite one with absolutely no changes. If you don’t have a recipe, try this one from the Sun Oven blog for Solar Pesto Lasagna. Here’s one for burrito lasagna!
The one in these pictures was a vegetarian lasagna with various greens we’d thinned from the garden. I think I had beet, onion and spinach greens in this lasagna and they were yummy.
Solar Oven Lasagna Tips
Regardless of which recipe you use, here are a few ideas for making your slow cooker solar oven experience a little easier.
Ingredients for Solar Oven Lasagna:
- Go rummage in the yard and see what you can toss into your lasagna to make it even more interesting. We added lambs quarter and thinned beet seedlings because that’s what we pulled from the yard that day. Any time you thin out baby plants at the seedling stage, make sure you either eat them right away or toss them into salad.
- We used a rice lasagna noodles trying to keep it gluten free but since the lasagna was in the solar oven for so long they just disintegrated. Next time, I think we’ll just go ahead and use a quality wheat noodle.
- Bottling your own spaghetti sauce will make any lasagna you make that much healthier. Click here to learn how.
- If you’re a cheese maker, or would like to be, making mozzarella is a fun place to start. It’s one of the easier cheeses to make. If you’d like to go all out, make your own ricotta, too. Use the highest quality dairy you can find. Click here to learn to make mozzarella.
Equipment for Solar Oven Lasagna:
Quite obviously, you’ll need a solar oven. To learn about various brands, please visit these articles:
- From Learning and Yearning, a review of the Sunflair Solar Oven.
- From Homestead Honey, an explanation of how she bakes in her Sun Oven brand.
We use the S.O.S. brand and are happy with it. Honestly, there’s something to admire in each brand, and there are drawbacks to each. I think I should own one of each and use them all each time I cook. I cook for seven people, so having only one solar oven is not enough for a full meal.
Other Equipment Thoughts:
- Instead of an aluminum pan, put your lasagna in glass dish. Here are some thoughts on healthy cookware, please click here.
- If you don’t want to use aluminum foil, you can cover your casserole dish with a silicone mat. Whatever you use should be heat-proof.
- If you don’t have a glass casserole dish, use whatever will fit inside your solar oven. Be sure to measure your dish BEFORE you load up your lasagna!
Baking the Lasagna
- As always, remember to preheat your solar oven. With something as thick as a casserole, which is what a lasagna is, you really need to remember that part.
- Your lasagna will need to cook about two hours. Test it for doneness after an hour and then again in another half hour. You don’t want to over bake if you can help it. Cheese is the one unforgiving thing in the solar oven if you over cook it.
- Pre-cook your meat. If you try to leave the lasagna in the solar oven long enough to cook the meat, you’ll turn your top cheese to rubber. Like I said, cheese is the only unforgiving foodstuff that I’ve found in the solar oven. If it’s on top and you leave your dish in the oven too long, it gets petulant and rubbery.
Mess and Measuring in the Solar Oven
- Like I said, pre-measure your pan BEFORE you fill it with your lasagna layers to make sure that it fits inside your solar oven. Remember height, as well as width and length. On my S.O.S. the lid slopes down. More times than I can say I’ve walked out to my oven and put in my pan, only to discover that the sides are too tall and the lid won’t latch. Argh. Reason number 57 that I need to figure out how to build my own. I love my S.O.S., don’t get me wrong – that just really bugs.
- Lasagna is messy and no matter how careful I am to not overfill the pan, some stuff always bubbles out. The cheese especially does this and it’s sticky. Put a silicone mat underneath your pan to catch as many of those leaks as you can.
- In winter, I’ve had a casserole take four hours to cook all the way through. In summer, this lasagna took about two hours to get all melty and steaming. Yum.
- Do NOT forget your hot mitts when you go to get this out and figure your apron will work just as well. Ask me how I know.
Sides and More!
If you have two solar ovens, don’t forget to make breadsticks or rolls in the other one! If you’d rather just make loaves of bread, here’s a recipe and method from My Food Storage Cookbook – please click here.
Just for kicks and if you’re not in the mood for lasagna, here’s her pizza recipe for the solar oven – please click here.
If you’d like to explore a few more off-grid cooking methods, try this article to learn about two others – one might surprise you!
So, there you have it! What’s your favorite way to use your solar oven as a slow cooker? My new favorite is dehydrating fruit – read about that here!
If pizza is more your thing, be sure to check out my friend Teri’s book below – a favorite read at our house! We’re gathering materials to make our own pizza oven for complete off-grid baking!