Cooking noodles in a Crock-Pot can be a little tricky, because they can get mushy if they're overcooked. It's still doable, though, and you can use your slow cooker for dishes like our Healthy Homestyle Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup, vegetable and noodle casseroles, and spaghetti noodle dishes.
Cooking Noodles in a Crock-Pot
If you're cooking noodles in a Crock-Pot, here are a few different techniques you can try to keep them from getting mushy:
- Cook the noodles ahead of time: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension recommends cooking the noodles ahead of time before you add them to the slow cooker. This method requires you to boil the pasta or noodles until they are slightly tender and then add them to the slow cooker.
- Cook the noodles separately: As an alternative to cooking the noodles ahead of time, PennState Extension suggests cooking them separately and adding them to the dish when you serve it. If you prefer this method, you can throw everything except the noodles into the slow cooker and let it cook. In the last hour, cook your noodles or rice separately and then add it to the dish when it's done.
- Add the noodles in last: The third option, suggested by the University of Iowa, is to cook everything except the noodles in the slow cooker, then add the noodles and cook the whole dish on the high heat setting for a short period of time.
Read more: Instant Curry Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup
Crock-Pot Spaghetti Noodles Recipe
If you've been looking for a recipe to try, Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) offers an easy Crock-Pot spaghetti noodles recipe.
You will need:
- 1 pound of lean ground meat
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 4-ounce can of sliced mushrooms
- 3 cups of tomato juice
- 1 1/2 cups of uncooked spaghetti
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, adjusted to taste
- 1 teaspoon of salt, adjusted to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, adjusted to taste
Here's what you need to do:
- Brown the meat and onions: Chop the onions. Then cook the ground meat and onions in a skillet until they are brown.
- Add the ingredients to the slow cooker: Drain the liquid from the mushrooms and put all the ingredients except the spaghetti in the slow cooker. Stir until everything is well combined. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and let it cook. You can keep it on the low-heat setting for six to eight hours or on the high-heat setting for three to five hours.
- Add the spaghetti: Break the spaghetti noodles into 4- to 5-inch pieces. In the last hour of cooking, turn the heat on the slow cooker up to high and add the spaghetti noodles.
MSU Extension recommends serving the Crock-Pot spaghetti noodle dish with a salad, like our Citrus Greens Salad. According to the USDA, a spaghetti dish with tomato sauce and meat has approximately 332 calories, 42.7 grams of carbs, 14.3 grams of protein and 11.1 grams of fat per cup.
Read more: Cincinnati-Style Chili and Noodle Bowl
- Texas A&M Agrilife Extension: “Cheesy Chicken Pasta”
- PennState Extension: “The Benefits of Slow Cooker Meals”
- University of Iowa: Student Wellness: “Chicken Noodle Soup”
- Michigan State University Extension: “Quick, Healthy Meals”
- USDA FoodData Central: “Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce and Meatballs or Spaghetti With Meat Sauce or Spaghetti With Meat Sauce and Meatballs”