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Crock Pot Million Dollar Pasta (+Video)

Crock Pot Million Dollar Pasta has layers of sauce, pasta, beef and a delicious cream sauce all topped with melty, gooey mozzarella cheese!

A SIMPLE, FLAVORFUL CROCK POT MEAL

A yummy, creamy, flavorful sauce with tender pasta all topped with a gooey, melty cheese? Yes, please! For me, pasta is the perfect leftover food. So I don’t mind if I have a lot leftover. This recipe is made all in one pot and it also takes your traditional pasta and sauce meal to something just a bit more special!

Crock Pot Million Dollar Pasta on a white plate with fork.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Do I need to boil the pasta first?

No. For this recipe you are not going to cook the pasta beforehand. They will go in dry.

What is the best sauce to use?

My personal favorite spaghetti sauce is Rao’s Roasted Garlic. But it can be pretty pricey since you need two jars for this recipe. I’ve used the Walmart brand (as you see below.) I’ve used the Aldi brand as well and they all work fine. You can use any of your favorite marinara/spaghetti sauce that you enjoy.

Is there a substitute for ricotta cheese?

Cottage cheese is my go-to as a substitute for ricotta cheese. It’s a more budget-friendly choice and you honestly don’t taste any real difference in this recipe.

Do I have to use ground beef?

Of course not. You can leave it out if you don’t want a meaty pasta. You can switch it out for ground Italian sausage, ground turkey, etc.

How do I store leftovers?

Pasta makes for fantastic leftovers! Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.

a spoon scooping up a serving of million dollar pasta out of the crock pot.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • ground beef
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream
  • ricotta cheese
  • garlic
  • spaghetti sauce
  • water,
  • cavatappi, cellentini or macaroni pasta
  • mozzarella cheese
ground beef, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, pasta noodles, cream cheese, garlic.

HOW TO MAKE CROCK POT MILLION DOLLAR PASTA:

Brown and crumble ground beef (season with salt and pepper.) Drain excess grease and set aside.

browning ground beef in a skillet.

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, ricotta cheese, minced garlic and parsley.

sour cream, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, garlic, parsley.

In the bottom of a 6 quart (or larger) oval slow cooker, add half a jar of spaghetti sauce. Evenly layer half the box of the cavatappi pasta on top of sauce. Pour remaining jar of spaghetti sauce over noodles. Pour on half a jar of water.

pasta sauce, pasta noodles, water in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.

Then layer half the cooked ground beef mixture over top.

cooked ground beef added to crock pot along with cavatappi noodles and spaghetti sauce.

Dollop the entire cream cheese mixture evenly as possible over the beef layer. Do not stir.

cream cheese, ricotta cheese mixture dolloped on top of pasta sauce and cavatappi pasta in crock pot.

Evenly layer the rest of the cavatappi pasta on top of the cream cheese layer.

corkscrew pasta layered on top of creamy layer.

Top with remaining jar spaghetti sauce. Pour another half jar of water on top of spaghetti sauce. Finally, layer the rest of the cooked ground beef on top. Cover and cook on low for about 3-4 hours. After cooking, gently stir mixture. Then layer with 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover for an additional 15-20 minutes (until cheese is melted.)

Million Dollar Pasta recipe topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Then dig in!

a fork holding up a serving of pasta with gooey cheese.

WANT MORE SCRUMPTIOUS RECIPES?

Crockpot Million Dollar Pasta recipe

Crock Pot Million Dollar Pasta (+Video)

Crock Pot Million Dollar Pasta has layers of sauce, pasta, beef and a delicious cream sauce all topped with melty, gooey mozzarella cheese!
4.88 from 281 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Brown and crumble ground beef (season with salt and pepper.) Drain excess grease and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, ricotta cheese, minced garlic and parsley.
  • In the bottom of a 6 quart (or larger) oval slow cooker, add half a jar of spaghetti sauce.
  • Evenly layer half the box of the cavatappi pasta on top of sauce.
  • Pour remaining jar of spaghetti sauce over noodles.
  • Pour on half a jar of water.
  • Then layer half the cooked ground beef mixture over top.
  • Dollop the entire cream cheese mixture evenly as possible over the beef layer. Do not stir.
  • Evenly layer the rest of the cavatappi pasta on top of the cream cheese layer.
  • Top evenly with remaining jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Pour another half jar of water on top of spaghetti sauce.
  • Finally, layer the rest of the cooked ground beef on top.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 3-4 hours.
  • Stir mixture and make sure pasta is fully cooked. If not, cover and allow to cook for another hour. Then evenly layer the top with 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover for an additional 15-20 minutes (until cheese is melted.) Sprinkle with a little dried parsley for color (optional).)

Video

Notes

  • Use as much or as little cheese as you like. If two cups on top is too much for you, just cut back on the amount used.
  • Ground Italian sausage can be for the ground beef.
  • Use any corkscrew style pasta or similar size pasta that you enjoy or can find. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 979kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 49g | Sodium: 1843mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 14g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Originally published: October 2016
Updated & republished: June 2019

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Recipe Rating




196 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was really good. I know every slow Coker is different and I think mine cooks a bit more on the hotter side so I really paid attention to the pasta and it didn’t need that long to cook. I wouldn’t just throw it in and come back a few hours later. LOL Turned out great!

  2. I do not want to add any meat and concerned about the amount of water for the recipe might make it too soupy. Do I need to cut back on the water since I am not including 2 pounds of cooked meat to absorb some of the water?

    1. That’s a good question and I really don’t know. The water really doesn’t do much for the meat, it’s for the pasta, but honestly, I’ve never tried it. The only way to know sometimes is to experiment and I don’t like to guess unless I’ve actually tried it myself – especially since ingredients are so costly these days. I don’t want anyone upset they wasted ingredients because I steered them wrong.

  3. 5 stars
    I substituted the water with chicken broth for a little more flavor, and I added some Italian herbs and added both cottage cheese and ricotta. Delicious!!

  4. 5 stars
    We really enjoyed this. I think the key is not to let it overcook to the point that it might get mushy. Turned out good for us though!

  5. 5 stars
    I prepped this last night and plugged it in at the end of lunch on my break from work. Hoping it comes out okay. I am nervous about the noodles sitting overnight in the fridge but fingers crossed it’ll be good. I did let the ground beef cool for about 10-15 min before I layered it in. I did not want it to warm up the cheese since it was going in the fridge overnight. Here’s hoping!

  6. Can you use this as a meal prep and make the ingredients in advance to cook in the crock pot later?

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! Super easy to put together and make and taste sooooogood, my family inhaled it!

  8. 5 stars
    I haven’t made this yet but will this weekend. Personally, I use Bertoli jarred sauce… the olive oil and garlic is close to home made. Surprisingly , Publix own brand of pasta sauce is quite good as well. Classico is good in a pinch… their spicy tomato basil is a winner. Just thought I would throw out these ideas to your cooking fans, of which I am one! By the way, I am Italian heritage. I think I can recommend a good sauce!

    1. Great tips Doris! Love hearing what everyone enjoys! My new favorite is Rao’s. The garlic is amazing and has fresh ingredients. Nothing weird in there. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive – gah!! Thanks so much for being here and commenting!! 🙂

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