Light & Creamy Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera

Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera

Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera

(Weight Watchers friendly crock pot cooking, Day #2 – Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera)

Here’s a first for me: Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera. I’ve never made pasta primavera before, let alone in the slow cooker. It turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

This slow cooker pasta primavera is the first recipe I’ve tried from a book I recently borrowed from the library. It’s called, How to Make Love and Dinner at the Same Time: 200 Slow-Cooker Recipes to Heat Up the Bedroom Instead of the Kitchen How’s that for a provocative cookbook title?

The recipe calls for frozen vegetables, which is a real time saver. I used a California blend of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. But I would say use any vegetable blend that looks good to you. The book says to cook the pasta to nearly done, before draining it and adding it to the slow cooker.

I used half penne and half fusilli, since that’s what was in the pantry. But, I feel like I cooked it a little too long. Next time I will cook it for half the time suggested on the package and then drain it.

The book doesn’t tell you what size slow cooker to use. I used the 2 quart crock from my Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Slow Cooker because I thought a 4 quart would be too big. Since my cooker seems to cook a little hot, I figured it would be better to overfill the 2 quart a little, rather than under-fill a 4 quart. I think a 3 quart would be about perfect. And a 4 quart fine too, as long as you keep an eye on it.

This slow cooker pasta primavera cooks on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Because it includes pasta that can easily get mushy, I wouldn’t suggest you make this on a day where you can’t be there to tend it and turn it off when it’s done.

I used reduced fat evaporated milk and reduced fat cheese to lighten things up a bit. According to my calculations, each generous 1-1/2 cup serving has 385 calories and *9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

Rod and I both liked this light and creamy slow cooker pasta primavera. The garlic flavor really came through. I definitely plan on making this again.

Enjoy!

4.0 from 2 reviews
Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This slow cooker pasta primavera, is an easy, healthy and delicious dish we really loved and plan to make again.
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups uncooked fusilli pasta (I used a combination of penne and fusilli)
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic from the jar (or 1 clove, minced)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) reduced fat evaporated milk (2%)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese (I used an Italian cheese blend mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, etc.)
  • 2 teaspoons butter, cut into little bits
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for about half the suggested cooking time and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, red pepper and garlic in the slow cooker. (I used the 2 quart crock from my 3 in 1 crockpot because I thought a 4 quart would be too big. I think a 3 quart would be about perfect.)
  3. In a bowl, combine the evaporated milk, milk, cornstarch, salt and cheese.
  4. Transfer the pasta to the slow cooker, stir in the milk mixture and dollop with the bits of butter.
  5. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.
Cook's Notes
Nutrition Estimates Per Serving (about 1-1/2 cups): 385 calories, 6 g fat, 58 g carbs, 4 g fiber 20 g protein, and *9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus

Source: How to Make Love and Dinner at the Same Time: 200 Slow-Cooker Recipes to Heat Up the Bedroom Instead of the Kitchen

Ideas for making this slow cooker pasta primavera even lighter and/or healthier:

  • Use whole wheat pasta instead of regular to increase the fiber.
  • Substitute fat free evaporated milk for the 2% which will decrease fat and calories, but may make the dish less creamy.
  • Use less cheese. Try decreasing the amount of cheese to 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup.
  • Eat less. Decrease your portion to 1 cup for *6 Points Plus. Bulk up your meal with a nice big green salad, which is what I almost always do when I eat pasta.

If you liked this Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera recipe, you might also like:

Slow Cooker Chicken Pasta Fagioli
Skinny Artichoke and Spinach Baked Pasta
Mom’s Easy Alfredo Ravioli Casserole

*PointsPlus® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Comments

  1. Lennea Thomas says

    I don’t see much advantage of using a crock pot if the recipe doesn’t include meat. Pasta and veggies will cook quickly enough on the stove in a skillet. If you have to measure everything out anyway, throw it in a bowl and stick it in the fridge till you get home. Then dump it in the skillet, cover and cook.

    • says

      Hi Lennea,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! The great thing about cooking is that there is no one way. Just the way that works best for you. I’m just having fun experimenting with lots of different recipes during this project to use my crock pot every day for a year to make WW friendly and reporting back on what I discover. If you prefer the skillet approach, that’s what you should do!

  2. Amanda says

    Made this tonight for my family. Always fun when the daughter’s cooking can upstage her mother’s with so little effort! ^^ Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Kelly says

    I made this and it looked really yummy, but it tasted “chalky”. I made it with whole wheat pasta, could that be the difference?

    • says

      Hi Kelly, Sorry to hear that. Absolutely, some whole wheat pastas can taste really “chalky” especially if you are not used to them! It may take a while to find a brand you like. I think ronzoni healthy harvest is pretty good, but truthfully, I’ve decided to eat pasta less often, eat less of it when I do, but indulge my taste buds in the real deal.

  4. Alex says

    It would be awesome if there was a section on how to make it a freezer meal. Where I can prepare it one day and make it a few days later.

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