My husband and I have been invited to a couple progressive dinners, and it's always tricky to have a warm course if you aren't the first course.  Being lovers of the slow cooker, we decided to experiment.  We started working on slow cooking baking pastas and found it was a very easy meal, especially suitable for winter weather.

In this Instructable, you'll learn how to bake pasta in a slow cooker which not only saves effort (and stress) but also electricity, and it can be transported and set to warm at any event with an outlet - pack an extension cord just in case.  We will show how we do this for shells, lasagna, and manicotti.

As a bonus for the college kids, you might be able to do this in your dorm room if your college allows crock pots or slow cookers!

And it's so easy!!

Step 1: Ingredients

There are 6 ingredients for a basic dish:
  • Dry Noodles
  • Pasta Sauce (with a passata-like consistency)
  • Provolone
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Ricotta
You can get fancier and add extra herbs, spices, and fillings such as cooked sausage or spinach.  You want to make sure not to introduce too much extra moisture from additional ingredients because the slow cooker's lid ensures that very little water escapes.  You'll probably want to strain other ingredients before adding.  Our examples will just use cheese and pasta sauce.
<p>Looks so good! :)</p>
O.M.G. Crock pot lasagna?!?!?! I am definitely going to try this, maybe with a meat a veggie layer or two. <br>When a friend of mine first made lasagna, she didn't realize that she needed to precook the noodles. It came out a little crunchy on the edges, but perfect in the center. She just added an extra 1/2 cup of sauce. <br>She would have loved this idea.
Please share your results! <br> <br>I think we're full converts to the slow cooker lasagna now, but when we made it in the oven, we would half-cook the noodles (i.e., if the package said 10 minutes, we did 5 minutes). With this method we don't have to precook because the slow cooker keeps the moisture in, and it still comes out perfectly cooked and wonderful firm. <br> <br>Enjoy!
I've learned that if I use a slightly more liquid sauce, I can make lasagna in the oven using dry noodles. Make sure you cover the pan tightly with foil except for the last ten minutes or so. Perfectly cooked noodles, and nicely browned top.
<p>I'm a little (aka a lot) late in replying, and I'm sure we've been doing oven lasagna wrong. Probably the best thing about the slow cooker is how little electricity it uses compared to the oven and the fudge factor where if you leave it a little too long, ehhhhh.... not a big deal. :P</p><p>But whatever works for you, do it!!! :D</p>
This sounds De-Lish! Thanks
Thanks for the comment!
This is yummy.. Can we do this in any other cooker btw? i only have a pressure cooker.
We have no idea what would happen in a pressure cooker, but we request pictures if you try it. <br> <br>In case it helps, you can find barely used slow cookers at Goodwill and other thrift stores for $5-$10, and I've seen them at garage sales and estate sales for even cheaper. A brand new one costs about $15-$20 depending on where you go and the size you buy. We have 3 slow cookers, and I'm tempted to buy at least one more. Possibly two. :P
Ha-ha ok I will try and let you know =D
Try your local free cycle group. I was able to give a too big for one person one away just before Thanksgiving and avert someone's disaster.
Regarding stuffing shells or manicotti...the easiest way and least amount of mess has 2 options. First if you have an electric cookie gun that has an attachment end for decorating tips filling the shells is a snap - just use the end for the tips with out the tip! <br> <br>For the manicotti, use crepes instead of the pre-made shells. Yea this takes a bit longer because you have to make the crepes, but in the end it's a time saver when it comes to clean up. JMHO
Even cheaper and easier, put the filling in a zip-lock baggie, and snip one corner off to form a pastry bag. Presto, stuffed shell filling with no messy hands, no waste and easy clean-up.
I love this. :)
This will be very useful for my daughter's two working parents, two young children family. The two year old just loves noodles. Thank you.
This will be very useful for my daughter's two working parents, two young children family. The two year old just loves noodles. Thank you.
This is such a good idea! Thank you for taking the time to share it. When I stuff manicotti I put the cheese mixture in a gallon size zip lock bag, cut off a corner at the bottom side and squeeze the cheese mixture right into the tube like a pastry bag. Fast, no mess.
Ziplock bags are great for this sort of stuff. I've used them for cake decorating.
Thank you! <br> <br>I had considered using a piping bag, but this cheese mixture is quite firm. It's quite easy to, as Hannah Hart says, &quot;use the utensils God gave you&quot;. :P
SO much delicious PASTA!
The embarrassing thing is that there are only a couple containers of the lasagna left. <br> <br>DESTROYED IT! lol

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