👉Crock Pot Bow Tie Casserole



A Comforting Crock Pot Bow Tie Casserole

Immerse yourself in the comforting aromas of this Crock Pot Bow Tie Casserole. This recipe offers a perfect blend of hearty ingredients and aromatic spices, making it a delightful meal for family dinners or cozy gatherings. With minimal prep and the magic of a slow cooker, you’ll have a delicious dish with minimal effort.

Ingredients Overview

Lean Ground Beef

Using 1 1/2 lbs. of lean ground beef ensures that your casserole is rich and flavorful without being overly greasy.

Onion and Garlic

A chopped onion and a minced clove of garlic add a fragrant and savory base to the casserole, enhancing the overall depth of flavor.

Tomato Sauce and Stewed Tomatoes

The combination of a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce and a 15 oz. can of stewed tomatoes creates a robust and slightly sweet tomato base for the dish.


A teaspoon each of oregano and Italian seasoning, along with salt and pepper to taste, provide the perfect blend of herbs to elevate the dish’s taste profile.


Using 10 oz. of thawed frozen spinach (or fresh spinach) adds a nutritious element and vibrant green color to the casserole.

Bow Tie Pasta

16 oz. of cooked bow tie pasta forms the hearty foundation of the casserole, absorbing the flavors of the sauce and spices.


A combination of 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese brings a creamy and gooey texture that ties all the ingredients together beautifully.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Brown the Meat and Aromatics In a large skillet, brown the 1 1/2 lbs. of lean ground beef over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, cooking until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are translucent and fragrant.

Step 2: Combine in the Crock Pot Transfer the browned meat mixture to your crock pot. Stir in the 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, the 15 oz. can of stewed tomatoes, 1 tsp. of oregano, 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Slow Cook the Base Set your crock pot to low and let the mixture cook for 6-7 hours. This slow cooking allows the flavors to meld together, creating a rich and hearty sauce.

Step 4: Add Remaining Ingredients In the last 30 minutes of cooking, turn the crock pot to high. Add the thawed (or fresh) spinach, cooked bow tie pasta, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

Step 5: Top with Cheese Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Cover the crock pot and let it cook until the cheese melts and becomes bubbly.

Helpful Tips

Tip: Fresh Spinach Alternative If using fresh spinach instead of frozen, roughly chop it before adding to the crock pot. This ensures it wilts evenly and integrates well with the other ingredients.

Tip: Cheese Melting Perfection For an extra bubbly and browned cheese topping, you can briefly transfer the crock pot insert to your oven and broil for a few minutes. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning.

Tip: Pasta Timing Cook the bow tie pasta just until al dente, as it will continue to cook slightly when mixed into the hot casserole.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Storage: Allow the casserole to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating: For best results, reheat individual portions in the microwave until heated through. If reheating a larger portion, cover with foil and warm in a 350°F oven until hot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of pasta? Absolutely! Feel free to substitute with any short pasta like penne, rotini, or rigatoni. Just ensure it’s cooked al dente before adding to the crock pot.

Can I make this casserole vegetarian? Yes, you can replace the ground beef with a plant-based meat substitute or extra vegetables like mushrooms and bell peppers. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

What can I use instead of mozzarella cheese? Cheddar, provolone, or a blend of Italian cheeses work well as substitutes for mozzarella. Each will bring a unique flavor profile to the dish.

Is it possible to prepare this in advance? Definitely. You can prepare the meat and sauce mixture a day ahead, then combine with the pasta, spinach, and cheeses just before the final cooking stage in the crock pot.

Can I freeze leftovers? Yes, this casserole freezes well. Divide it into individual portions, store in airtight containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Secrets to Culinary Perfection

Secret: Layering Flavors To deepen the flavor profile, consider adding a splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar to the meat mixture before transferring to the crock pot.

Secret: Herb Infusion For an extra burst of herbaceous flavor, toss a few sprigs of fresh basil or rosemary into the crock pot during the initial cooking stage. Remove them before adding the final ingredients.

Secret: Cheese Variations Mix different types of cheeses for a more complex flavor. A combination of mozzarella, provolone, and a touch of sharp cheddar can make the dish even more delectable.

Enjoy the process of creating this delightful Crock Pot Bow Tie Casserole, and relish the comforting flavors it brings to your table. Happy cooking

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