Get ready for the meal that your family will request over and over again! With a little prep work the night before you can come home to a deliciously “baked” pasta meal that is perfectly cooked and creamy cheesy delicious. This pasta has something for everyone. A rich and hearty meat sauce made with your favorite marinara and a creamy delicious alfredo layer. Not to mention the cheesy layer on top!
The key here is to pick a pasta that will have some little pockets to hold some of the sauce so that you will bite into lots of surprise flavor. I used a pipe rigate but any tube shaped pasta would work perfectly.
There is a small amount of prep work involved that you can easily do the night before. Then in the morning you can just add it all to your crock and go. If you are going to need to be gone for the day and a not so handy in the kitchen family member will be in charge of dinner just get this all prepped for them and they can still serve a fabulous meal!
Start by boiling your pasta noodles. You don’t want to cook them all the way since they will be cooking in the crock. You want them just shy of al dente which means cutting the cooking time short by about 2 minutes. You want them soft enough that you can poke a fork through them but not quite soft enough to eat yet.
While that’s going then you can brown up your ground beef. Once those two things are done let them cool a bit and then you can assemble two large bags with the layers. In the first bag add 2/3 of the pasta along with the red sauce, beef and a little cheese. In the second the rest of the pasta and alfredo sacue and cheese. Make sure these get all mixed up, have a little extra grated cheese ready and you are good to go for a quick morning meal assembly!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound pasta (I used Pipe Rigate)
- 26 ounces jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup jarred alfredo sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella or Italian blend)
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
- Fresh tomatoes and parsley for garnish optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions except for shortening the cooking time by about 1-2 minutes so that it cooks to just shy of al dente and drain
- Brown ground beef in skillet over medium high heat until fully cooked. Drain any grease.
- Let the noodles and beef cool slightly if making ahead
- Mix together 2/3 of the pasta, spaghetti sauce, spinach and ground beef and 1/2 cup shredded cheese and if making ahead place is large zippered baggie
- Mix the remaining 1/3 of the pasta with the alfredo and place in another baggie
- To assemble spray crock with non-stick spray
- Place the pasta with spaghetti sauce mixture in the crock as the bottom layer
- Top with the alfredo pasta
- Top everything with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese and Parmesan cheese
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-7
- Garnish with tomatoes and parsley if desired
I made this in my 5 quart crock and cooked on high for about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Then I left it on to keep warm for about 1 1/2 hours.
Love pasta in the crock? How about Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Pasta:
Or how about Slow Cooker Spaghetti Lasagna: