Home » Slow Cooker Recipes » Crock Pot Million Dollar Pasta (+Video)

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!
4.86 from 252 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crockpot Million Dollar Pasta
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 979kcal

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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 979kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 1843mg | Potassium: 1531mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1555IU | Vitamin C: 16.2mg | Calcium: 500mg | Iron: 6.7mg

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 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




193 Comments

    1. It’s really not necessary. You can certainly check on it halfway through and make sure it’s all cooking evenly. Some slow cookers can run hotter than others so you could always stir it at that point to ensure even cooking. Hope that helps! 🙂

  1. I think my crockpot is smaller than a 6 quart, so can I just go ahead and use half of the ingredients to make sure everything fits? This sounds so yummy with all the cheese in it! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! Is there anyway to make it without the beef for vegetarians? Do I need to adjust the water or pasta sauce quantities? Thanks so much!!

  3. Hello. I love this pasta dish! So yummy! Could I double the recipe? The ingredients doubled and the amount it takes to cook doubled? I’m making this for a huge gathering on Monday and I wanted to know what I needed to do if I just doubled the entire thing?

  4. 5 stars
    At 3 hours this was a bit mushy, could probably have taken it out in 2. Also very creamy. I’ll probably halve the cream cheese and the mozzarella next time. And add way more garlic.

  5. I am trying this recipe tonight. Wanted to know if I can mix Italian sausage and ground beef? Also, kind of scared of the mushy pasta. How can that be prevented? Adding more pasta?

  6. 5 stars
    Oh just eating this now, yum! I was worried because I made a smaller batch in a 2qt crock. It was still very full but not over flowing and I used spaghetti. The spaghetti came out just perfect Al dente even note though it took only about an hour on high setting.

  7. 5 stars
    This came out nice, and made a huge amount of food! I will try to freeze some of the leftovers. I did make the meat mixture with onions, and added a liberal amount of Italian seasoning. Next time, I will add mushrooms to it.

  8. If I want to half this and cook it in the oven how long should I Cook? And what temp? Also, do I stir together before adding cheese after cooking like crockpot or no?

  9. Brandie, You have great recipes and I thank you. This is one we didn’t like. I used Penne Pasta, a lb. of ground beef and a lb. of Italian sausage. In browning the meat, I added sliced fresh mushrooms and a small Vidalia onion, chopped.
    Everything else exactly as recipe called for. It seemed bland and the pasta was mushy. I used my large casserole crock pot and it was full to almost running over. It made way too much. We ate it twice and disposed of the rest. Hated to waste it, but we just couldn’t eat again.

  10. 5 stars
    I halved this recipe and used a 4 quart crockpot.
    I cooked it for the 4 hours and it was perfect.
    A real hit with our whole family!

  11. 5 stars
    The flavors are fantastic! Cooking on low for 4 hours resulted in overcooked noodles and a mushy consistency. I think I’ll do this recipe with cooked noodles in the oven as someone suggested in the comments.

  12. 5 stars
    Used plant based gluten free pasta and completely dissolved!
    Anyone have issues? Still tastes good but NO PASTA! So heads up!

    1. Hi Judy, for people with medical conditions, I ask that you use your own trusted nutritional calculators. The nutritional information on this recipe are for informational purposes only and should not be used as guidance for a particular health condition.

  13. Has anyone tried doubling the recipe? Will everything still fit in the crock pot? Any adjustments you would suggest?

    1. In reply to Judi -I have a very large crockpot and this recipe fills the crockpot so if I were going to double the recipe I would use two crockpots or put it in a roaster pan and make it in the oven for an hour or an hour and a half on 350 covered.

    1. Well I saw this question too but I went ahead and tried it using about half pound spaghetti broken up but im using a 2qt crock so I’ll let you know what happens it’s pretty full lol I also omitted the water because my sauce is on the thinner side.
      I did see another video saying cook the sauce then throw the spaghetti in turning it to high for about 40 min and start testing until desired tenderness so thats what im trying. Good luck. 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you for this delicious recipe!! I love this but I ALWAYS make it with 1lb hamburger and 1 lb Italian sausage. Today I am using cottage cheese because I was out of ricotta. I put it in the food processor to make it smooth although that wasn’t necessary. My advice is to always use a sauce you love because it will make a difference in the flavor.
        Sometimes I layer it in the oven with no boil pasta and put the cheese mixture in the middle of two layers of noodle and sauce/water mixture. I cover and bake on 350 for an hour uncover, add cheese, bake until melted then I remove from the oven and stir. The noodles have more texture this way. But either way this recipe is wonderful! Thanks again!

      1. Marscapone would be a replacement for cream cheese. I wouldn’t substitute cottage cheese. Just use the ricotta.