Crock Pot Pasta
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Crock Pot Pasta

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 10 mins
This healthy crock pot pasta tastes like traditional baked pasta but is made entirely in a slow cooker, even the noodles! Cheesy, comforting, and SO yummy.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces sliced cremini baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion — or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper — cored and diced
  • 5 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach — about 4 ounces
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese — (1 container)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese — divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese — about 1 1/4 ounces
  • 2 jars good-quality red pasta sauce — (24-ounce jars) divided
  • 16 ounces uncooked whole wheat ziti — or penne noodles, or swap a similar short, hollow noodle—see notes if not using whole wheat
  • Chopped fresh basil — or parsley, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms and onions, and sauté until they're beginning to brown and soften, about 6 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring and cooking until spinach wilts and the garlic smells fragrant, 1 to 2 additional minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, salt, and pepper, until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan.
  3. Generously coat the inside of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom, then top with half of the pasta noodles. Pour 2 cups sauce over the top and spread it into an even layer with the back of a spoon or spatula. Dollop half of the ricotta mixture on top, then sprinkle with half of the sautéed vegetables.
  4. Repeat the layers: remaining noodles, 2 cups of sauce, remaining ricotta, and remaining vegetables. Pour the remaining sauce on top and spread evenly. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1 to 2 hours. Check at the 3 (on low) or 1 (on high) hour mark to ensure the pasta does not over cook. To check for doneness, use a fork to pull a "test" noodle from the center of the slow cooker. Once it is tender, the pasta is done.
  5. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover, turn the heat to high, and cook until the cheese is melted, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm, topped with chopped fresh basil or parsley.

Recipe Notes

  • I have only tested this recipe with whole wheat pasta noodles. If you use white, please note that the cooking time may vary. I would suggest checking the pasta early, as white noodles can cook more quickly than whole wheat ones.
  • TO STORE: Store cooked leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • TO FREEZE: Place cooked crockpot pasta in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • TO REHEAT: Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat servings gently in the microwave, splashed with a bit of chicken or vegetable broth, water, or extra sauce to keep it from drying out. You could also try reheating it in a casserole dish, covered, in a 350 degree F oven until warmed through.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crock Pot Pasta, Easy Crock Pot Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 546, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Potassium: 848mg, Carbohydrates: 69g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 32g, Vitamin A: 3485%, Vitamin C: 34%, Calcium: 570%, Iron: 3%

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