Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Casserole

These last few weeks I have been making good use of my slow cooker. We have had afternoon swim lessons which prevent me from making dinner. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try some new recipes in the slow cooker and build my recipe file. I was suspect at this recipe and worried that I would end up with a pot of dried spaghetti with sauce. Luckily, this was not the case. When I opened the slow cooker, I had a wonderful and delicious perfectly baked spaghetti casserole. My only complaint about this recipe is that it takes a little stove prep time ahead, about 20 minutes. I always think the beauty of the slow cooker is just tossing in the ingredients and setting it to work. A note about the cheese sauce, don't worry if its really thick and not spreadable it is supposed to be that way. I was concerned because sauce to me connotes something you can pour. This "sauce" ends up making a lasagna type filling for this dish rather than a cheese sauce. Overall, a great recipe and my first pasta dish in the crock pot.

Slow Cooker Favorites:
Pork Chops with Apples and Sauerkraut
Tortilla Soup
Tex Mex Chicken and Beans

Spaghetti Casserole

1 1/2 pounds ground round
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (26 oz) jar tomato and basil pasta sauce (I used Newman's Own)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces
3 cups (12 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook ground round and onion in large skillet, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain meat, and return to skillet. Stir pasta sauce into beef mixture.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly 8 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and pepper.

Spoon one-third of meat mixture into lightly greased 5 quart slow cooker. Spread half of broken spaghetti over meat, pour half of white sauce over noodles, and sprinkle with 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Repeat layers once. Spread remaining meat mixture over cheese. Top with remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese.

Cover and cook on Low 4 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Makes 6-8 servings.

Source: Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook, Oxmoor House, 2006.


Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Wow, this is very interesting. I didn't know you could cook pasta in slow cooker.
Looks very good and I bet the family loved it.

madebymel said...

I really need to use my slow cooker more. It is so convenient! This looks like a great recipe and very easy, even with the prep work.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

This sounds very good. I don't have a crock pot or slow cooker but my sister-in-law has loaned me one for our little pied de terre where we'll be this winter and I'm collecting recipes for it. I'll have to give this a try.