Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crock Pot Pizza Pasta



I wanted to do a pasta recipe, but wanted something other than the usual ziti or lasagna. Then I remembered a pizza casserole I did a few years ago and thought, why not try it in a crock pot? So, here it is. I'm really pleased with how it turned out! It's delicious and hearty and it feeds a crowd. Hope you like it!

1 lb. rigatoni (uncooked)
2 26 oz jars tomato sauce (or your own marinara sauce)
1 tbs. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage, (removed from casing)
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced pepperoni

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain excess fat. Remove from pan and set aside. Do the same thing with the sausage, making sure to break it up into small pieces. Meanwhile, mix the sauce, uncooked pasta, and oregano in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Spray the inside of a large crock pot with cooking spray.
Now make layers using half of each ingredient and then repeat using the other half. Layer in this order: Pasta, beef, sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheese. Place slices of pepperoni on the top and sprinkle with a little more oregano. Cook on low for about 6 hours.

Tips:
I've heard from a few people that cooking this on low for 5 hours was too long, and the result was burnt pasta. I'm sorry for that! I guess the best thing to do is to check on it after a few hours (if you can) the first time you make it, and be sure to use plenty of sauce.
I only add pepperoni to the top layer because it makes the entire casserole a little too spicy for me if I include it on both layers. If you're all about spicy, then go for it! Add as much as you like!
Be generous with the sauce because the uncooked pasta really absorbs a lot. If you want, you could even add a little extra layer of sauce between the meat and the vegetables.
Feel free to change the ingredients to include whichever pizza toppings you like.
You can make this a low carb dish by omitting the pasta completely and by choosing tomato sauce that has less sugar added.

50 comments:

Laura Lindsey Photography said...

How many will this serve?

Joey said...

I'm guessing this will easily serve five or six people, depending on how hungry your eaters are!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this recipe Joey:) Easy to throw together and very delicious. My husband and I have a couple days worth of meals:) Thanks again:)

Anna said...

I know it says uncooked pasta,but most other recipes say to cook the pasta. Is that a typo?

Joey said...

Nope, that's not a typo. Yes, it uses uncooked pasta, right out of the box. The sauce will cook the pasta in the crock pot. Easy!!

Alejandra said...

I made this tonight for dinner and it was a hit! i was wondering.. what do you think I could add to make it more spicy? I saw that you (Joey) had posted that you leave out one layer of pepperoni to keep it from being too spicy... maybe its just the people I eat with (we eat a lot of VERY spicy ethnic food) but it seemed kind of bland to us.. would you suggest maybe cutting up jalapenos? or any other suggestion?

Joey said...

Yes you can absolutely turn up the spice by including the first layer of pepperoni, and also by adding any diced hot peppers. You could also add some crushed red pepper flakes or a few dashes of Tabasco to the sauce before you layer it. SO glad it was a hit!

Anonymous said...

Joey,

Can you use spaghetti sauce instead of the regular tomato sauce? I'm not much of a cook and am unsure how that would affect the taste.

Thanks
Kris

Joey said...

Yes, you can absolutely use any kind of spaghetti sauce. the thing that makes it taste more like pizza sauce than just regular spaghetti sauce is the oregano. Just add a little extra and you'll be good to go!
Thanx!

Whitney said...

I used pizza sauce! Simple as that if your trying to make it taste like pizza! I also used whole wheat fettuccine noodles! Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

My mother used to make this recipe back in the early 1990's shortly after she acquired a nice big ceramic crock pot.
We never used the spicy italian sausage, like you she doesn't care for something being too spicy. We did however, add the extra layer of pepperoni to the casserole, and mom did partially cook her pasta in tomato broth before adding to crockpot.

I am going to try your recipe as is, and use the tip for using extra sauce, cause I like sauce cooked pasta, but I still love a saucy pasta! :)

Sara said...

I am making this this week, hope it turns out good.

I mentioned the recipe with a link on my blog, hope you dont mind

http://sarasimply.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/weekly-menu-1113-through-1120/

Thanks for the easy crock pot meal!

Anonymous said...

In the crockpot!!! Yes, I know it's late, but I work 2nd shift...I'm used to it. Been in the pot for about 30 min. and Alreadyt smells Great! Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

what size jar or can on the sauce?

Joey said...

I believe the jar size is 26 oz. It really doesn't have to be exact. Just use your favorite sauce, and as long as you're in the same ballpark, I'm sure it'll turn out fine! Thanx!!

Anonymous said...

I make crock pot lasagna and with uncooked noodles. That's the beauty of a crock pot...it will cook the pasta since alot of moisture. Definatley will give this a try.

Kristi said...

I am going to try this tomorrow. I love my crock pot and cook as much as possible in it. The kids will love this idea. Can't wait to go shopping and get the ingredients for it. <3

Von said...

So yummy!! I love how you put something into the crock pot that looks kinda weird (the layering) but then when it's done, it's so good & blends together sooo well! I served this to a group of friends that came over for a hockey game (GO KINGS GO!)& everyone LOVED it! They're mainly guys & always give me a hard time about being addicted to Pinterest, but that stopped once they tried this & learned I found it from Pinterest! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe! Making again this weekend for my family :)

Anonymous said...

Be careful, this was my first time trying this recipe, my crockpot has been on low for 5 hours, and dinner is burnt :(

Anonymous said...

Dont forget that they now make crock pot liners for easier clean up! Im going to try to make this in a hotel room this fall. I can't wait!!

Toodie said...

Oh goodness, this looks yummy! I think hubby will like this too so I'm putting it on next week's menu. Thank you!

monique said...

i added olives and did high for half the time...i'm impatient. soo good! but next time will make the time for low, my pasta was slightly soggy. =/ defintely trying again tho. thanks a bunch!

Anonymous said...

Do you think I could make this totally vegetarian? Or do you need the meat to make more moisture?

Joey said...

Yes of course you could make this vegetarian! Just use any pizza topping you like, such as mushrooms, peppers, sauteed onions, even spinach, zucchini, eggplant, or broccoli. It all works!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joey! I'm excited to try this!!!

Anonymous said...

do you have to use italian sausage, can you substitute it?

Joey said...

You can use any kind of sausage (or any other pizza toppings) you like!

Corine said...

Getting ready to try this recipe for the first time. Was wondering, do you think any unused portions could be frozen and reheated for another day?

Joey said...

To be honest, I've never thought about it, but I don't see why not! Seems to me it would freeze beautifully!

Corine said...

Thanks!

Lilouwyn said...

Came across this amazing idea on Pinterest and used it as inspiration for a white pizza version. I posted a link to your recipe on my blog as well as my reinterpretation of it. You can check it out here if you like - http://lilouwyn.blogspot.com/2012/10/white-pizza-pasta.html

Anonymous said...

Can it cook on high for half of the amount of time?

Anonymous said...

Do you layer the cheese or just put it on top?

Joey said...

Yes, layer the cheese, just like you layer everything else. Do some of each topping, then cheese. Then another layer of each topping, then cheese again. As I said, I only do pepperoni on the top layer because it becomes more spicy than I'd like if if add it to both layers. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone put their burger and sausage in raw to cook with the rest of the ingredients, or do you always brown first?

Joey said...

I always brown it first so that I can drain any excess grease. If you just put it in raw, it'll cook, but it might end up being too greasy, especially if you add pepperoni.

The Saving Sisters said...

I was so excited to get home to eat this last night, but after five hours the dish was burned and the pasta had turned to mush. I don't know if it's just my crockpot, but like somebody else previously suggested, watch your time (which for me kinda defeats the purpose of a Crockpot meal). Sorry it was pretty inedible for us :(

Joey said...

Oh No! I'm so sorry your dinner was burnt! I've never had a problem cooking this recipe on low for 5 hours. Perhaps some crock pots cook hotter (or cooler) than others?? I've added an extra bit at the end of the recipe to warn against burning. I hope you'll give it another try!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say mine turned out terribly. Some of the pasta was crunchy and some mushy. I will make again, but not in a crockpot. I think it would turn out better just cooking everything separately and mix together, top with cheese and bake. More work, but better pasta.

LAWat said...

Hi, My mnom made her version of this recipe clear back in the 70's for my brothers football banquet! Every year the 'boys' looked for the crockpot with that pizza stuff in it. She always precooked her pasta we use small shells and the cheese and sauce get in the middle, now I fix it every year for both of our family reunions and my husbands work potluck! We leave out the sausage but it works all ways. Since every thing is precooked it holds well in the crockpot with out burning by putting on warm before the occasion and then turning it up to make it hot before its time to eat.I add the cheese at the last minute and sorta stir around...really goes far and usually I bring home an empty crockpot!! (the liners are a god send) YUM!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw the recipe calls for 2 jars of sauce. And in the comments you state the jar size is 26 ounces. Is that total for 2 13 oz jars or 2 26 oz jars?

Joey said...

It's 2 26oz jars. yes, i know that's a lot, but it really needs the extra sauce to cook the pasta!

Eshana Powell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Disgruntled Dialyzor said...

I made this tonight, I cut the recipe in half and it cooked in 2.5 hours in low in my 2 quart crock pot. It was super tasty and blew away another crock pot lasagna recipe I tried.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever used gluten free pasta in this dish? Wondering if it will need more sauce and/or more cooking time...like the full 5 hrs. :)

Joey said...

I've never tried gluten free pasta... the only thing I can say is to give it a try and see how it goes! Oh, and be sure to let me know! Thanx!!

Anonymous said...

Not gonna lie...love this recipe! We are a spicy family, so I did add the pepper flakes. Made it once for the family, Gone. Made it for a pot luck, Gone. Stopped by tonight to brush up on the details, making this week for a work thing. Can't wait! I do suggest covering the uncooked noodles with sauce and add extra sauce. It is "cooking" not baking, so find what works for your kitchen. Taste the pasta after awhile, find out if it is ready. Everything else is precooked so no worries there. Pile on the pepperoni and cheese...sure to please. I also don't use the crock pot anymore without Crockpot Liners! Simply the best kitchen idea in recent years!

Tanya Jones said...

You could also set your crock pot to warm & cook up to 10 hours. It works with my lasagna recipe. The steam cooks the noodles.

Anonymous said...

Didn't read all the posts but sweem like sauce should be first layer to keep pasta from dring out on the bottom.stagru

Anonymous said...

Didn't read all the posts but sweem like sauce should be first layer to keep pasta from dring out on the bottom.stagru