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Crock Pot Creamy Penne

This creamy penne pasta dinner cooks entirely in the slow cooker.  Add some vodka for an extra kick.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 15 minutes
Course: beef, Comfort Foods, Everyday Meals, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy penne, crockpot recipes, penne pasta
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 432kcal


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 16 oz penne pasta or similar shape (uncooked)
  • 1 15 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1-2 26 oz jars of pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese cubed
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vodka optional


  • NOTE: There is a range for water and pasta sauce. If you like something extremely saucy, use 2 jars. The water is ranged because slow cookers do cook differently. You may have to add the extra 1 cup of water. In what I made (pictured), I used 1 jar of sauce and 1 cup of water. Start out with that ratio. You can add additional sauce and/or water when cooking is almost finished.
  • Brown ground beef, onion & mushrooms in a large skillet. Season with the salt, garlic powder and pepper. Drain any excess fat.
  • Place can of diced tomatoes, including the juice, in the bottom of a 5-7 quart slow cooker. Place uncooked pasta on top of diced tomatoes.
  • Top pasta with ground beef, grated cheese and grape tomatoes. Place cubed cream cheese on top of the meat/tomato layer. Add vodka (if using), 1 cup of water and 1 jar of the pasta sauce.
  • Cook on HI for 2-3 hours; stir and test pasta for doneness and for the amount of sauce. If you desire this more saucy, add the extra jar of pasta sauce at this point and the extra cup of water too if it still seems too dry.
  • Cover and continue to cook on HI for 30 more minutes or until heated through and pasta is the desired doneness.


Serving: 1person | Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 942mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 3mg