One evening, right when I was about to whip up some pasta, my trusty stove decided to take a break. Yep, just like that. With hungry mouths to feed and no stove to rely on, I glanced over at my crock pot and thought, “Why not?”
Turns out, cooking plain pasta in a crock pot isn’t as wild as it sounds. If you’re up for trying something you haven’t tried before, stick around.
Is It Okay to Use A Crock Pot?
There is a lot of confusion going around about the thing. I don’t understand why that’s happening though. It’s totally fine to cook plain pasta in a crock pot. I do it most of the time to get a well-cooked taste.
You can go with a slow cooker recipe and try it without cooking it on a stove. It’s absolutely okay and the results are really delicious. So, if you don’t have a separate pot, this can be used for a perfect taste.
Step by Step Cooking Process!
Choose your Favorite Pasta
There are quite a lot of types for pasta available that you can try. My favorite is wheat-based variant. I like the same kind for noodles as well. These are really easy to make and needs less time too. So, I prefer going for these types whenever I am in a hurry.
You can try it if you like the flavor of wheat. Most of the time, wheat-based variant is ideal to make in a crockpot.
Avoid using egg-based one. It has a tendency to lose their shape when cooked slowly. So, you will get sticky end results which might not be appetizing to eat. You can still cook them with high temperature.
Other types you can make in a crockpot is elbow macaroni and rotini. In short, use a heavy stapes and you’ll be good to go.
Related post: How long does Pasta Last in the Fridge?
Sauce Making (Optional)
We are talking about plain pasta, I know. But I can tell, some readers will want to have an easy sauce recipe along with it to mix it later. So, I am not going to disappoint them.
You can cook your sauce in the crockpot for about six hours. Go for low-heat of course. If you can’t wait and have a rush to finish it off, then use the high settings. Let it cook in the crock pot for at least three hours that way.
It’s not going to taste as fine as the low-temperature version. But for a rush, this will still feel good.
Now, what you can do next is simply keep the sauce aside and mix it later after you finish. Also, you can directly insert it and cook. If you choose to go for the second option then let it come near boiling before putting pasta inside.
How Should You Make It?
Fill the crockpot with two and a half cups of water. You can also add tomato juice instead of water. I like to put some seasoning and herbs with my plain pasta. I like the flavor it creates. You can try it as well, I’m sure it’s going to be delicious.
Use some salt and black pepper. Now insert around four oz. of pasta in it. Let it boil well. After an hour you will figure out that it has become soft and tender. If you are using spaghetti or long variant, it might need some more time.
Once you think the tenderness is right amount, it’s done! You can simply use a spoon to press over it to check softness.
Once you follow every step above, turn off the crock pot. You can now enjoy pasta plain or mix it with the sauce I suggested above. Spoon it down into a plate and put some herbs to serve instantly.
Crock Pot Pasta Recipes
Crockpot pasta recipes are perfect for busy weeknights when you want a delicious and easy meal without a lot of fuss. Here are some of the best crockpot pasta recipes to try:
- Slow Cooker Lasagna This classic Italian dish is a family favorite, and making it in a slow cooker couldn’t be easier. Layer lasagna noodles, meat sauce, and cheese in your crockpot, and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with a side salad and garlic bread for a complete meal.
- Crockpot Mac and Cheese This creamy and cheesy dish is always a hit with kids and adults alike. Simply combine cooked pasta, milk, cheese, and seasonings in your crockpot and cook on low for 2-3 hours. You can add in cooked bacon or vegetables to customize the recipe to your liking.
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs This classic Italian dish is a staple in many households, and making it in a slow cooker makes it even easier. Simply combine cooked meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and seasonings in your crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with spaghetti noodles and a side salad.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo This creamy and comforting dish is perfect for a cozy night in. Simply combine cooked chicken, Alfredo sauce, and seasonings in your crockpot, and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Serve with cooked fettuccine noodles and steamed vegetables.
- Crockpot Chili Mac This hearty and flavorful dish combines two classic comfort foods: chili and mac and cheese. Simply combine cooked ground beef, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, and macaroni in your crockpot, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Top with shredded cheese and diced onions before serving.
- Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce This rich and meaty sauce is perfect for topping spaghetti. Simply combine ground beef, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings in your crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with your favorite and include a side salad.
- Crockpot Chicken Parmesan This classic Italian dish is easy to make in a slow cooker. Simply layer cooked chicken, spaghetti sauce, and cheese in your crockpot, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with cooked spaghetti noodles and a side salad.
These crockpot pasta recipes are easy to make and are perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. Try one of these recipes today and enjoy a delicious and hassle-free meal.
Can I cook frozen pasta in a crockpot?
It is not recommended to cook frozen pasta in a crockpot as it may not cook evenly and may result in a mushy texture. It is best to thaw frozen pasta before cooking it in a crockpot.
How much water should I use to cook pasta ?
A good rule of thumb is to use about 4 cups of water for every pound of pasta. You can adjust the amount of water depending on the type you are using and how much sauce you plan to add.
Can I add vegetables to my pasta while cooking it in a crockpot?
Yes, you can add vegetables while cooking it in a crockpot. Just make sure to add them at the right time as some vegetables may require more time to cook than others. You can also sauté the vegetables separately before adding them to the crockpot.
Can I cook pasta and sauce together in a crockpot?
Yes, you can cook pasta and sauce together in a crockpot. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid and cooking time as the pasta will absorb some of the liquid as it cooks.
How long should I cook pasta?
The cooking time for pasta in a crockpot can vary depending on the type, the amount of liquid used, and the temperature setting of the crockpot. Generally, it takes about 2-4 hours on low heat or 1-2 hours on high heat to cook in a crockpot.
Can I use whole wheat pasta in a crockpot?
Yes, you can use whole wheat pasta in a crockpot. Just keep in mind that it may require a longer cooking time and more liquid than regular pasta. How do I prevent it from sticking together while cooking it in a crockpot? To prevent pasta from sticking together while cooking it in a crockpot, make sure to use enough water or sauce to cover it completely.
Can I use a crockpot liner to cook pasta in a crockpot?
Yes, you can use a crockpot liner to cook pasta in a crockpot. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure that the liner is safe for use with food. Also, keep in mind that using a liner may affect the texture and taste of the pasta.
Who would’ve thought that a crock pot, typically reserved for slow-cooked stews and soups, could come to the rescue for a pasta dish? I certainly did it for me.
Remember, sometimes thinking outside the box (or in this case, outside the stove) can lead to delightful and surprising results. So, the next time you’re in a pinch or just feeling adventurous, give the pot pasta a go.