Slow Cooker Penne Pasta is a delicious one pot meal! It is easy to make and is the perfect meal for busy weeknights, potlucks, or family gatherings.This recipe makes a lot! It will feed at least 10-12 people-if not more, depending on serving size! it is perfect for leftovers, or freeze and reheat! You can also cut this recipe in half to make a smaller amount!
1 1/2lbs.ground beef, cooked/browned and drained(you can also use sausage or chicken)
1lb. (16. oz.)Penne Pasta, uncooked(rigatoni, bow-tie, or rotini also work great)
2cupsmozzarella cheese, shredded, divided(or more if you like more)
Easy Spaghetti Sauce
2(29 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2(14.5 oz.)cans, beef broth
2tspdried basil leaves
1tsp ground oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Creamy Cheesy Mixture
1/2cup ricotta cheese
4oz.cream cheese, softened(1/2 block of cream cheese)
1/2tsp garlic powder
Mix all of the spaghetti sauce ingredients together in a large bowl. Add your browned/cooked ground beef or other meat to the sauce and mix well. Set aside.
In another medium sized bowl, mix all of the Creamy Cheesy Mixture ingredients together-don't forget the salt and garlic powder! Set aside.
In the bottom of your slow cooker, pour half of the spaghetti sauce with meat. Then take half of the box of pasta and add it to the spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker. Stir the uncooked pasta into the meaty sauce to make sure the noodles aren't clumped together in one spot.
Take half of your creamy cheesy mixture and drop small amounts of the mixture all over the pasta and spaghetti sauce. Top with half of your shredded mozzarella cheese.
Repeat again using the rest of the spaghetti sauce with meat, the uncooked pasta and the creamy cheesy mixture, ending with the last of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cook on high for 2-2 1/2 hours (check at the 2 hour mark) and on low for 3-4 hours (check at the 3 hour mark). Let it cook until the pasta is done to your liking (I like mine a little undercooked).
OPTIONAL: I like to take my crock (remove it from the slow cooker) and place it in my oven on broil (at 475°) for a few minutes to get the cheese a little crispy on top. I usually will add a little bit of extra mozzarella cheese on top before broiling.
I use my 6 quart slow cooker and it fills it up. You will have a lot of pasta! This easily feeds my family of 5, giving those that want it, seconds and still having leftovers. I would guess that this will easily feed 12 people if not more! It really is perfect for large groups and potlucks! You could also easily half this recipe and cook it in a smaller slow cooker!Leftovers will keep in your fridge for up to 3 days, and in your freezer for up to 6 months. For leftovers I reheat it in the microwave. If frozen, I let it thaw then heat it in the slow cooker or stove top! It will also heat nicely at 375 degrees in your oven for reheating as well.You can easily half this entire recipe and put it in a smaller slow cooker!