Everyone loves pasta, especially when it's healthy!
For many of us, the allure of Italian cuisine is undeniable, and crockpot pasta dishes sit at its heart, especially for busy moms and families. The Slow Cooker Italian Penne is an easy recipe that brings that Italian allure to your kitchen, and guess what? This is one Italian masterpiece that doesn’t need you to be a seasoned chef. Even beginners can craft this dish perfectly the first time, and the only thing you need is a slow cooker and some delicious, nutritious ingredients. It’s really the perfect meal – soon to be your favorite Italian dish!
Why the Slow Cooker Italian Penne is a Must-Try
There are many reasons to give our slow cooker Italian penne a try, but here are some of the biggest! Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Simplicity at Its Finest
Our Italian Penne boasts simple ingredients you can easily find at your local grocery store, or you might already have at home! The magic in the delicious flavor lies in the type of pasta – whole grain penne – tomato paste, quality cheese, and Italian seasoning come together to form a mouthwatering spaghetti sauce.
Tailored for the Slow Cooker
The slow cooker is an unsung hero on a busy day. All it asks for is a sprinkle of Italian dressing, a dollop of tomato paste, and other ingredients. Let them simmer, and the result is a pasta dish that’ll remind you of Italy’s finest.
Adaptable and Inclusive
From meat-lovers to vegans, the Slow Cooker Italian Penne caters to all. With its adaptable base recipe, anyone can turn this into their personalized masterpiece.
Ingredients That Make This Dish Shine
Whole Grain Penne & Italian Seasoning: This is where health meets flavor. The nutty taste of whole grain penne, combined with the aromatic Italian seasoning, sets the base for this dish.
Tomato Paste & Spaghetti Sauce: Thicker than your average tomato sauce, the tomato paste infuses the dish with a concentrated tomato flavor. When combined with spaghetti sauce, the result is rich and tangy.
Parmesan Cheese: Italian dishes and parmesan cheese go hand in hand. This cheese introduces a creamy, savory note, making every bite memorable.
Your Culinary Map to Crafting this Dish
- Preliminary Steps: In a large skillet, brown some ground beef, adding garlic powder for an extra kick. If you’re a garlic aficionado, garlic bread on the side would be heavenly.
- Slow Cooker Time: Transfer your beef to the slow cooker, and introduce the penne, tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, Italian dressing, and Italian seasoning. Let the slow cooking time work its magic, aiming for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours on high heat.
- Finale: When it’s ready, generously sprinkle parmesan cheese and serve hot. Perhaps with a side of garlic bread?
Beyond the Basics: Making This Easy Meal Your Own
Ground beef is a classic choice, but the Slow Cooker Italian Penne accommodates all preferences. Vegetarians can throw in a medley of bell peppers and zucchini, while those leaning vegan can swap regular cheese for its vegan counterpart.
Storing Your Masterpiece
If by some miracle there are leftovers, store them in an airtight container. These dishes often taste even richer the next day, as flavors have more time to mingle making for a delicious dinner night after night. Heat it up for a great meal that offers comfort and nostalgia, especially on busy weeknights.
Concluding Thoughts: Italian Penne – The Jewel of Italian Cuisine
Navigating through the world of pasta can be overwhelming, but the Slow Cooker Italian Penne stands out. It’s the harmony of simple ingredients, the reduced cooking time, and the versatility that make it a star. This dish is bound to be a family favorite, promising comfort after a long day, or offering warmth on a chilly evening.
Pair it with a salad or garlic bread, and you’ve got yourself a full-fledged Italian feast. It’s the embodiment of what a great meal should be – simple, delicious, and heartwarming. So, on your next free evening or weekend, give this dish a whirl. It might just become a staple in your culinary repertoire. Buon appetito!
Slow Cooker Italian Style Penne
- 30 ounces canned diced tomatoes low sodium, no sugar added
- 15 ounces canned kidney beans low sodium
- 1/2 pound whole wheat penne pasta dry
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth, low sodium
- balsamic vinegar to taste
- parmesan cheese for garnish
- For this recipe, you will want to layer your ingredients. Place the pasta on the bottom of your slow cooker insert. On top of that, pour the diced tomatoes. Then add the beans. Pour the broth over the top. Sprinkle the Italian herb seasoning, garlic, and onion powder over the top and cook on low for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until pasta is cooked to your liking. It's okay to lift the lid on this one to check. When finished, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste.
- Top with a small amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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There’s More Where that Came From
- Chicken and Penne Parmesan Casserole
- Mozzarella and Penne Pasta Bake
- Mediterranean Penne with Sun-dried Tomatoes
- One-Pot Chicken Artichoke Penne
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