EASY CROCKPOT SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE

Ever since I shared my Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce, you’ve been asking me for ways to cook spaghetti in the slow cooker.  And here it is!!  The only prep/pre-cooking you have to do here is brown the meat and stir together the sauce ingredients.  Easy peasy!

This recipe actually surprised me.  I saw it in an edition of Southern Living, and was intrigued by the fact that the pasta cooks with the sauce the whole time.  Other recipes usually call for the pasta to be added towards the end of the cooking time


So I made the recipe exactly as they had written and it was good, but I felt it could use some tweaks here and there, plus some additional flavors (the original recipe had NO garlic in it… I can’t cook spaghetti without garlic!).  This is the result!  Pure comfort food, with a fraction of the work and hands on cooking time.

One thing to note is that the pasta in this spaghetti casserole is a little softer than a traditional boiled to al-dente pasta.  However, it’s not mushy and is incredibly flavorful from cooking in a meat sauce!


INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs ground chuck (80/20 is what I use)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5-7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (26 oz) jar of marinara sauce, your favorite brand
  • 1 (15 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of sugar, to counteract the acidity of the canned tomatoes
  • 8 oz dried spaghetti pasta, broken into thirds
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • fresh parsley or basil, minced, for garnish
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a large skillet over MED to MED-HIGH heat with a small drizzle of oil.  Add ground beef and onion and cook 5-6 minutes, until beef is cooked through, crumbling as you cook.  Drain meat/onion mixture and return to skillet.
  2. Reduce heat to MED-LOW, add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, thyme, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Stir to combine well.
  3. ............................................

for full instruction please see : www.thechunkychef.com



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