Anything is the crockpot is bound to be a winner, and if you create a pasta crockpot meal, well... that's just pure awesome.
It's rare that I make a recipe that calls for dry pasta to go into the crockpot, so I was surprised by the starchy, gummy texture of the elbows. Is that normal? It was a little bit of a turn-off for me, actually, so next time I think I would just cook the pasta separately on the stove.
This makes a TON, so be prepared to eat a lot of leftovers (I mixed some ricotta in for lunch the next day - yum!).
Crockpot American Chop Suey
- 1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
- 5 bacon strips, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes --- any flavor, or plain
- 1 can water (empty tomato can)
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 (26-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
- 1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni (I used brown rice pasta)
- 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. In a large skillet, brown the beef, bacon and onion all together until the meat is no longer pink. Drain well and plop into your slow cooker. Add everything else into the pot except for the pasta and cheese.
Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or high for about 4. Stir in the raw pasta and cook on high for approximately 30 minutes, or until pasta is bite-tender. Serve in a wide-mouthed bowl with a handful of cheese on each serving.