With over 1 million pins, enjoy this addictive slow cooker beef and cheese pasta that is cooked long and slow to bring out the best cheesy meat sauce!
Here’s a really simple meal to throw together that’s pretty kid-friendly too. This slow cooker beef and cheese pasta boasts lots of melty mozzarella cheese strings and a rich meat pasta sauce that has plenty of time to marry the flavors long and slow.
It’s a big enough meal for eight servings so there are plenty of leftovers to go around, although there usually aren’t much leftovers with this one. Though not your conventional pasta sauce, the addition of sugar to balance out the tartness of tomato sauce and other seasonings to make it extra beefy makes this an addictive combination. And with that, let’s get started.
SLOW COOKER BEEF AND CHEESE PASTA RECIPE TIPS
‣ Pasta – I cooked the pasta till al dente and tossed it in the slow cooker 30 minutes before the end. You will end up with soggy pasta if you add uncooked or cooked pasta in the beginning. And no one likes soggy pasta!
‣ Ground beef – If you’re not using lean ground beef, brown it over the stovetop before adding it to the slow cooker. Too much fat will dilute the sauce.
If you have super-lean ground beef, you can skip this step. I would brown anything below 93% lean/7 % fat, then drain away all that fat.
‣ Spinach – I used frozen spinach but if you want to use fresh instead, toss it in once it’s all done cooking and mix. The residual heat will be enough to cook them. It’s the same reason I tossed in the cooked frozen spinach last.
Cooking spinach for too long will make it tough and leathery. There’s no such thing as undercooking spinach since you can eat it raw anyway, but there is such a thing as overcooking it!
‣ Marinara sauce – The marinara sauce is mildly sweetened to balance out the tartness from tomatoes. I’ve also added some beef bouillon cubes and Worcestershire sauce to enhance the beef flavor.
It’s like adding in the flavor of 2 cups of beef broth, only you don’t have to cook it down. Do a taste test and see if you need to add more of the other seasonings to tweak things to your taste.
And that’s about it. As I said, this one is a really simple meal to throw together if you’re craving meaty pasta and happen to like cheese. Because who doesn’t like cheese!
For appetizers, the classic homemade garlic bread or these Parmesan garlic knots pair really well. Enjoy, happy cooking and let me know how you liked it or what substitutions you made in the comments below!
MORE PASTA RECIPES TO TRY
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Easy Vegetable Pasta
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
- Pizza Pasta Casserole
- Pepperoni and Olive Penne Pasta
- Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Easy Ravioli Lasagna