The beauty of the Crockpot is that, more often than not, you can just toss everything in and walk away.
These Italian slow cooker recipes are no exception, and all you’ll need is to flip the switch and let it do its magic.
Even the pasta cooks right in the pot for most of them, and we all know slow cooking is the best way to make your meat super tender.
So whether you’re looking for a rich pasta sauce or full-blown lasagna, this list has you covered.
Who doesn’t love creamy alfredo sauce with al dente pasta and roasted chicken? It’s about as close to perfect as food gets if you ask me!
And it’s even better when it’s a Crockpot chicken breast recipe!
You’ll sear the meat before you add it to the pot. That’s highly recommended for maximum flavor.
That then cooks with heavy cream, chicken broth, butter, and garlic until tender, and then you’ll add the pasta right at the end, so it doesn’t overcook.
Have you ever cooked lasagna in the oven only to have the edges burned and the middle still cold?
Slow cookers use evenly distributed heat, so everything cooks at the same time.
You’ll use no-boil lasagna noodles for this, which go in raw and crunchy. Just break them up to fit them into the corners.
When I make sauce on the stove, I usually leave it cooking for at least an hour. Maybe two if I forget about it.
I think it’s best when it simmers slowly so all the ingredients can marry.
So, it only makes sense that the slow cooker is the perfect appliance!
Not only will it cook your sauce to perfection, but you also won’t need to worry about red splatter marks on your backsplash.
Ragu is similar to bolognese sauce, with the biggest difference being the former is thicker and uses red wine to make it extra decadent.
Ragu is supposed to be very meaty, and this recipe more than delivers! Instead of ground beef, you’ll use beef brisket or round roast.
After a few hours in the pot, it will absolutely melt in your mouth.
I still remember trying to stuff pasta shells and struggling to get the spoon inside.
Then when I saw someone using a piping bag, I had a serious facepalm moment. Of course!
What’s great about this dish is that you can so easily make it ahead. Stuff the shells and then keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Since the slow cooker will heat everything evenly, you won’t need to worry about the ones in the middle being cold.
Soup is the Crockpot’s best friend.
There’s nothing better than throwing a whole bunch of ingredients into the pot with broth and coming back to a comforting bowl of goodness.
Minestrone is especially delicious, thanks to the little pasta bites, white beans, and oodles of herbs.
I prefer to think of this as pizza-pasta, but you can call it whatever you like.
As you might’ve guessed, it’s the perfect blend of hearty pasta and yummy pizza flavors.
Basically, you’ll use marinara and pasta and then load it up with lots of cheese and plenty of pepperoni.
I preferred it without the ground meat, but that’s my personal preference.
I think it would work if you’re recreating a meat-feast-style pizza, but then I’d also add sausage.
If you’re looking for a classic sloppy Joe that’s maybe a little lighter, you’ll have to try this turkey version.
I love ground turkey (and chicken) because they’re wonderfully lean and super tasty.
Not to mention you can hardly tell what meat it is when you’ll mix it with bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, rosemary, and fresh cracked pepper.
I have a dangerous weakness for polenta. When it’s made with cream and cheese, I just can’t get enough.
As with rice, you’ll want to cook the polenta in stock first and then add the cream at the end.
I always use lots of freshly grated Parmesan for this (and I mean lots). But you could also use cheddar, gouda, or even Monterey Jack if you want it spicy.
Pasta is great. It’s cheap, easy to cook, and a pretty safe dinner option no matter who you’re cooking for.
But if you like your comfort food with extra comfort, you have to try making your next pasta meal with three-cheese tortellini.
You can even get spinach and cheese tortellini which I like to use for added, sneaky nutrients.
If you’ve never tried spaghetti squash before, you’re really missing out.
Not only can it easily step in as a low-carb pasta alternative, but it’s also super delicious.
When cooked, you can shred the flesh like you would a cut of pork. As it comes away from the rind, it looks just like thin noodles.
I typically make it in the oven with lots of butter and garlic, but you get a whole meal in one go with this recipe.
I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy these mushrooms came out.
Although, I have to admit, seeing just three ingredients on the list made me skeptical.
Especially since one of those ingredients happens to be Italian dressing mix.
My mind immediately went to something tangy and loaded with vinegar.
Luckily, this only contains a beautiful medley of herbs and spices that make these mushrooms to die for.
Remember those three-cheese ravioli I talked about before? Well, they’re not just meant for simple pasta.
If you use them in place of lasagna sheets, you get the pasta and the cheese layer all in one.
And the best part is that they go in frozen. So there’s no need to thaw or cook them before layering them in the slow cooker.
After years of eating tangy, overly acidic tomato soups, I’m a little bit picky and almost always choose to make it myself.
After all, tomato soup can be incredible when you make it right. But when you make it wrong, it’s like slurping watered-down ketchup.
If you want to take this to another level, try roasting fresh tomatoes with onion and garlic. It adds a fantastic depth of flavor.
One thing I love about pasta is how versatile it is.
You can easily add all kinds of veggies to the mix and even swap out meat for a vegan alternative without changing the whole recipe.
In this case, you could use ground “beef” tofu, and to keep it low-carb, try using cauliflower rice instead of white.
When you add the zucchini, if you chop it small enough, it will more or less melt into the sauce. Or, keep it big for a nice added crunch.
I first had this at Olive Garden years and years ago, and I often think about how good it was.
It’s nice and filling, thanks to the potatoes, and I love the use of sausage, which has so much more flavor than plain old ground meat.
When you start this cooking, take the cream out and leave it on the counter.
That way, when you come to add it to the pot, it will be warmer and shouldn’t curdle.
Meatballs are a massive favorite in my house, no matter how they come. Of course, I’m partial to BBQ glazed, but we also adore sweet chili.
Still, I have to say that these are way more versatile.
You can use them with pasta or in a sub for lunch and even cut them up and put them on pizza.
And again, you can easily make these with lean turkey instead of beef or pork since you’ll probably be drowning them in sauce anyway, right?
This hunter’s stew is rich, deeply flavorful, and full of home comforts.
I always used to be made with rabbit, hence the name cacciatore, which means “hunter” in Italian.
Now it’s most commonly served with slow-cooked chicken.
Onions and bell peppers are a must, and I like the earthy taste you get from adding mushrooms, but feel free to make this your own.
Although this slow cooker risotto isn’t as creamy as the kind you slave over on the stove-top, it more than makes up for it with how easy it is to make.
It does need to start on the stove, though, as toasting the rice is the best way to make sure it comes out perfectly every time.
And if you’re worried about it being less creamy, don’t be. That’s what the goat cheese is for!
Farro looks like thick rice, but I think it has a closer texture to pasta when cooked.
It’s chewy, slightly nutty, and full of whole-grain goodness like protein and fiber.
Gram for gram, farro has a lot more going for it than rice, pasta, and even quinoa, though it is a whole grain and therefore not gluten-free.
Still, as a side dish, it’s delicious. For this recipe, you’ll add it to a slow cooker with onion, tomatoes, and water.
Then, when it’s cooked, you’ll mix it with Parmesan cheese.
Between the tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, anchovies, and red pepper flakes, this dish packs quite a punch.
It’s acidic and salty, but not too much, and I love how the anchovies just melt into the sauce.
To balance the briny taste, you’ll add sugar, and I also added a fair amount of cracked pepper. Just remember it doesn’t need extra salt!
The one complaint I often have when I eat eggplant parm is that the eggplant is overcooked and mushy.
When that happens, the whole dish just becomes soft and wet.
That’s why I like this version so much. When you add those fantastic thick portabellos to the mix, there’s a layer of meatiness in every bite.
It’s safe to say that we’ve seen the last of the warm weather this year. So, it’s officially soups and stew season.
And is there anything more comforting and indulgent than a hearty beef stew?
Red wine is used for flavor, depth, and color, but if you’re not a wine lover, there’s no need to go out and buy a bottle just for this.
Use a good-quality beef broth instead. Something nice and dark should do the trick.
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