Have you ever wondered can you cook pasta in a crock pot? Here are the answers to all of your questions!
Cooking pasta in a crock pot can help save lots of time and make dinner prep one step easier!
Slow cooker recipes are all about convenience.
Just throw it all in and you have dinner ready with minimal work!
Everyone and their mother (literally) has a crock pot.
Or if you’re me, you have two!
Crock pots are a universal favorite way to make easy and delicious dinners without having to slave over the stove for hours.
One gray area that a lot of people wonder what types of foods cook well in a crock pot.
Crock pots are not just for cooking your favorite chili recipe in!
Pasta is often one of those foods that is tricky to work with when using a slow cooker.
You don’t want to end up with mushy noodles as texture with pasta is everything.
Today I’m sharing my best tips for how to cook pasta in your crock pot!
Can you cook pasta in a crock pot?
Yes you can!
This is a commonly asked question and one that can lead to a lot of confusion.
You can absolutely cook pasta in your crock pot, and there is no need to cook it on the stove when you intend to use it in a slow cooker recipe.
If the dish you are making uses pasta as an ingredient that is great!
No need to worry about firing up the stove, just keep reading!
How to cook pasta in a crock pot
Here are my top tips for cooking pasta in a crock pot.
Remember that every recipe and pasta is different, so not every cook time can apply to each type of pasta!
Add pasta in raw (no need to cook at all or rinse it).
Follow recipe specific instructions for optimal pasta texture.
Know your types of pasta – which ones cook fast, which ones can sustain a longer cook time (for example, ziti can handle longer cook time than macaroni noodles).
Check pasta often for doneness towards the end of cook time to avoid mushiness.
Cooking pasta in the crock pot can save so much time!
Crock Pot Pasta Recipes
Here are several recipes with pasta that I have cooked in a crock pot.
Crock pot baked ziti
Crock pot baked ziti is one of my go to recipes to feed a crowd.
It is easy, it only takes a few minutes to prep, and is packed with so much flavor.
Not to mention your house smells AMAZING while it cooks.
Made this for a pot luck last night and it was awesome! Thankful for a little leftovers today!! Now it’s all gone 🙁 Thank you! Five stars for easy and delicious!! – Beverly
Can you put raw pasta in a slow cooker?
When making crock pot baked ziti, there is no need to cook the noodles first.
All you need to do is arrange the layers of noodles, sauce, and ricotta mixture and it’s time to start cooking!
The noodles will cook in the sauce, and the recipe allows for enough sauce to ensure that your noodles get cooked without being dry.
I love how simple this recipe is.
Every time I make it people devour it!
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best!
Tips for avoiding squishy noodles
The key to avoiding squishy penne noodles is to check the slow cooker baked ziti very closely towards the end of cook time.
In my experience, right around 2 ½ hours on high yields a perfectly cooked but not too squishy pasta.
The number one complaint of crock pot pasta is that it gets too soft, but this can be avoided if you do not cook it too long.
The texture of crock pot pasta is naturally different than what you would get by cooking it on the stove, but you don’t have to compromise all of your texture.
Make sure to cook just long enough to where everything is done but the noodles have not turned to mush.
Watch your ziti very closely towards the end and you will have perfectly cooked pasta without hardly any work.
I’m a big fan of making ziti in my crock pot!
This would also be a great dish to take to a potluck or feed a crowd for a family get together.
Slow Cooker Chili Mac
Next up: my favorite way to cook elbow noodles in a slow cooker!
Chili mac is a delicious fall favorite full of comforting cheesy goodness.
Seriously this is so good and has become a staple at our house. It’s perfect for busy nights where I need a no-fuss dinner and some comfort food. Even all of my picky kids eat it with zero complaints. – Cassandra
Chili mac is so simple to make in the crock pot.
Traditional chili mac uses macaroni noodles, which will get soft very quickly if you are not careful.
tips for cooking elbow noodles in the slow cooker
The best method for making chili mac in the slow cooker is to cook all of the ingredients for the chili part first.
Once the chili is done cooking, it’s time to add the macaroni noodles.
The chili will be boiling hot, so the macaroni noodles will cook quickly.
You will only need to leave them in the slow cooker for 20 or 30 minutes and they will be cooked!
That is it!
Much longer and they will turn to mush.
Again, cook time is very important here, so check for doneness often and stir frequently.
The noodles will increase in volume very rapidly and will cook faster than you think.
Keep stirring and checking once you hit that 15 or 20 minute mark – they should be very close!
These are just two ways in which you can easily cook pasta in the crock pot.
All types of pasta vary in cook time, so the most important thing you can do is to check often for doneness to avoid any overly soft noodles.
From pasta soup in the crock pot to baked ziti in the crock pot, there are so many ways that you can enjoy pasta in your favorite crock pot recipes!
Do you have any favorite crock pot pasta recipes? I want to know!
Thursday 12th of March 2020
Can I put raw mince, pasta and and a jar of sauce in the pot tocook all in one. Lazy cook x thank you
Wednesday 26th of February 2020
Can this be cooked on low for a longer amount of time?
Friday 8th of November 2019
Can I make simple spaghetti in a crock pot, and then serve it plain with olive oil and parmesan after cooked? I just bought an Intant Pot and am not sure if I need all the choices on it.
Tuesday 3rd of March 2020
Put pasta, water and salt in the Instant Pot. Make sure the water is completely covering the pasta. If the pasta doesn't fit in a pot (like spaghetti), break it in half so it fits. Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to Sealing position. Press the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button and set the time to 1 minute (or 2 minutes if you like softer pasta) Add another minute if pasta is still not soft enough to your liking.
Sunday 13th of October 2019
I make mac and cheese in crock pot and put my raw macaroni in and my 1/1 and 1/2 and butter and all my cheese and seasonings and cook for 3 hours and it is perfect!
Tuesday 20th of December 2022
@Annie clisbee, Annie, your mom's recipe is the same that I grow up with. I'm thinking that you've been unsuccessful because it may be too dry. Try stirring in a few tablespoons of milk before baking and you'll get a creamer mac and cheese. Hope this helps.
Thursday 17th of November 2022
@Kathy Swan, hi how much macaroni are you using for you gor the amount of butter
Saturday 7th of March 2020
Would you please share measurements/quantity of each ingredient. My mother's Mac and cheese started with a white sauce added cheese then folded in to already cooked elbows, poured into buttered casserole dish, topped with buttered bread crumbs and baked. I'm 69 and have never succcessfully made her recipe! I want to try your method. I'm tired of Stouffer's
Saturday 24th of August 2019
I am making macaroni and cheese. Put everything in Crock Pot but noodles. Cook noodles for last half hour. Right? How long for milk and cheese to be ready?
Saturday 21st of December 2019
Saturday 24th of August 2019
I can't say since I do not know what recipe you are using. Just be sure to check your noodles frequently as they can cook much faster in some recipes!