Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Crock Pot Pasta

By Ken Kudra

It is totally possible to cook delicious pasta in the crock pot. You just need to learn a few tricks to get it just right. In fact, there are many different approaches you can take with pasta in crock pot recipes, depending on what you are making.

Cooking Pasta as a Separate Step

In some recipes, it is recommended to cook your pasta completely before adding it to your recipe. Alternatively, your crock pot contents might be served on a bed of noodles. You may find this works well with stroganoff, roasted meats with sauces, and other similar recipes.

Other recipes may suggest that you cook your pasta until it is just a little tender before adding it to the crock pot. The pasta finishes in the pot with the rest of your meal for the last half hour or so. This approach works well with dishes like casseroles, chicken Alfredo, and similar recipes. Because the noodles finish up in with the sauce, they will soak up the flavors and seasonings that have been cooking all day.

Making the pasta separately is more work than just using the crock pot. However, taking the time to boil your water and cook the pasta just right gives you perfect noodles when you need them. This technique is not appropriate for all recipes, however.

Tossing it in the Pot

Some recipes that you find for the crock pot call for uncooked pasta. They mean less work for you, though in most cases the pasta is still added in towards the end. This technique works well for homemade chicken noodle soup, ramen or goulash. Standard types of pasta should be added to your crock pot about half an hour to an hour before serving. If you are making a ramen soup, the thin noodles only take about 10 to 15 minutes to cook if your crock pot is on the high setting.

Finally, there are some recipes that tell you to put the pasta in right at the start. Lasagna is one crock pot dish that must have the noodles put in immediately. Macaroni and cheese is another. If you make this dish, do not expect to leave it cooking all day, however. Most mac and cheese recipes for the crock pot are done in 90 minutes to 2 hours, tops. Stuffed pasta shells and baked ziti are other pasta dishes for the crock pot that must have the pasta added at the beginning. Watch the clock when making this type of dish so your noodles do not get overdone. It will be mushy and shapeless if it cooks too long.

So, pasta can easily be made in the crock pot. You just have to know which approach to take for the best results. Pasta is delicate, and should not be overcooked. Sometimes it takes two or three times to perfect a new recipe.

With a little practice, you will be making wonderful pasta for your family with your handy crock pot. You will be enjoying comforting, hot pasta that tastes terrific and your family will love. - 29857

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