When I made the original recipe in January, I followed the author’s version pretty closely (the only substitutions I made were using ground turkey instead of beef and rice pasta instead of regular).
This version tastes much better. The major changes I made were adding more veggies (spinach and mushrooms) and decreasing the amount of pasta (I thought there was way too much in the first version; I didn’t want the pasta to overwhelm everything else).
When I make this in the future, I’ll try a combination of ground turkey and ground sausage — I bet that would be pretty delicious. I would have done so this time except I didn’t have any sausage available.
CrockPot Turkey Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
(Adapted from Add a Pinch)
- 1.5-2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 8-oz package button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 10-oz package frozen spinach, unthawed and thoroughly drained
- 1 24-oz jar marinara sauce (I used an organic brand with very little sugar)
- 2 cups pasta (I used brown rice penne)
- 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated (you could also use Parmesan)
Brown ground turkey in a medium skillet. Drain and set aside. Add the onion, mushrooms, garlic, and oregano to the skillet. Cook until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add ground turkey and marinara sauce to the cooked veggie mixture. Fill the marinara jar about halfway with water (make sure to shake it around to get all the remaining sauce) and add it to the ground beef mixture.
Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Spoon 1/2 of the turkey and marinara mixture into the bottom of the crock. Pour in all of the noodles and stir.
Spread the container of ricotta on top and sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses (1/2 cup of each).
Spoon remainder of turkey and marinara over the cheeses and cook for 5 hours on low.
Before eating, remove lid from slow cooker and add remaining cheeses. Return lid and allow cheese to melt for about 5 minutes.