Easy Slow Cooker Penne Pasta | The Butcher’s Wife

Slow cooker penne pasta recipes

Slow Cooker Penne Pasta is a delicious meal from a pot. It’s easy to make! The perfect meal for busy weeknights, neighbors, shared meals or family gatherings.


slow cooker Penne pasta is a one-pot meal that is simple. Let me start by saying that this is not a fancy meal, but it is kid-friendly and delicious!

It’s easy to make, and it’s full of flavor. Everyone in my family loves it, and there’s always enough for leftovers (or you can freeze it for a meal later!).

This paste from a pot is perfect if you need to bring a meal to a neighbor or friend. It’s a perfect kid-friendly meal that can be a nice addition to a family party if you have picky eaters (this is always a hit with kids), and it’s a great meal for busy nights of the week!


If you’ve made my homemade spaghetti sauce easy (click HERE for the recipe), then you know how delicious this one-pot pasta dish will be! My homemade spaghetti sauce is simple but full of flavor.

I use this sauce for this meal from a pot and it makes it delicious. I double my sauce for this recipe. Fill a 6-quart slow cooker once you add the meat and pasta, but you can easily half the recipe for less!

In addition to my easy homemade spaghetti sauce, I always add some kind of meat. We love some golden ground beef, but an Italian sausage is also tasty. Chicken or ground turkey is another option if you want lean meat!

The meat is not necessary, the sauce

alone is delicious, but I like to add a little meat to give it extra flavor!

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Along with the

spaghetti sauce, I mix a creamy, cheesey filling that will melt into the sauce, making it tasty. I use a mixture of sour cream, ricotta cheese and cream cheese.

Mix it until smooth, then layer it in the slow cooker with the meaty spaghetti sauce and some mozzarella cheese. The end result is heavenly!


I always use Penne Pasta (as the title says) but bow tie, rotini or rigatoni are other great options. Spaghetti or fettucine pasta is not my favorite pasta.

I love the

wide surface area of the other pastas and I love that they are more of a bite and easier to eat (especially for young children). Penne and other pastas also hold up better while cooking in the sauce in the slow cooker.


This is literally a plate from a pot. Pour everything into your slow cooker and walk away. It is done in a few hours and you are left with a delicious hearty meal!

First, I donate my ground beef or cook any meat I’m adding (if it’s adding meat). While the meat is browning, I mix my spaghetti sauce in a separate bowl.

Then I mix my creamy ingredients with cheese (sour cream, cream cheese, and ricotta cheese) in another bowl. Mix the creamy ingredients until smooth and mix well.

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mixed cheeses to lose penne cooker paste

After browning the meat and draining it, I add it to the spaghetti sauce and mix it.

In the slow cooker goes, in 2 layers. First pour half of the meaty sauce into the bottom, then add half of the dry pasta box/pack. Pasta doesn’t need to be cooked ahead of time… Yay! Stir so that the paste mixes and does not clump together.

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Then, take half of your creamy mixture and drop tablespoons on top of the sauce/meat/pasta. Sprinkle a cup of mozzarella cheese (or more to your liking, you can never have enough cheese), and your first “layer” is ready. Repeat for the second “layer” and top with mozzarella cheese at the end.

raw pasta and slow cooker sauce

Cheese on top of slow cooker pasta

SIDE NOTE: the layers, as you’ll notice, won’t really stay


. Don’t panic if they’re not even layers or if the amounts are divided exactly in half for each layer. Everything melts and ends up being served together!


love that everything is cooked in the slow cooker (except the meat… you need to precook that.) This pasta dish will cook in a few hours. You really need it to heat and cook pasta.

Each slow cooker can cook a little differently. My slow cooker cooks this over high heat in 2 hours, some slow cookers may need an additional 30 minutes. I would recommend checking it out at the 2-hour mark if you cook it over high heat.

If it is simmered, you will need 3-4 hours, check it at the 3-hour mark.

It’s the perfect meal to make and get away from and it’s made when you’re ready to eat!


After my

pasta has cooked, I like to remove the lid, sprinkle some extra mozzarella cheese and place it in my oven (just the pot) and let it love and be a little crispy on top


I put it at 475 degrees in roast and let it roast for a few minutes. This is absolutely not necessary and does not change the taste of the dish!

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I use my 6-quart slow cooker and fill it. You’ll have plenty of pasta! This easily feeds my family of 5, giving those who want it, seconds. I guess this will easily feed 12 people, if not more! It really is perfect for large groups and meals! You can also easily halve this recipe and cook it in a smaller slow cooker!

There are always leftovers in my house (which I love for busy weeks). The pasta will get a little softer when reheated the next day. I don’t reheat it in the slow cooker, I just put it in the microwave, fancy, I know!

You can also freeze this in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Simply take it out to thaw it before heating it. When it’s ready to eat, reheat it in a slow cooker, stove, or oven at 375 degrees.

I think the perfect complement to this pasta dish is my garlic knots or my easy breadsticks!

Click HERE to see my garlic knots.

Click HERE to see my easy breadsticks.

Slow Cooker Penne Pasta is a delicious meal from a pot! It’s easy to make and is the perfect meal for busy weeknights, shared meals, or family gatherings.

Slow cook penne pasta in a bowl with Parmesan cheese on top

Try my slow cook lasagna

or my pasta of two slow cooker sauces.

If you liked this recipe, take the time to leave a review and star rating below! Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

Here are some products I used to make this recipe!

“As an Amazon associate, I earn on qualifying purchases.”

Check out my latest posts!

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