Healthy Crock Pot Recipe for Weight Loss: Light and Creamy Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera
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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.
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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.
The Skinny on Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera
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/SmartPoints.
(eCourse + eBook)
(eCourse + eBook)
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.
- 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
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions for about half the suggested cooking time and drain.
- 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.)
- In a bowl, combine the evaporated milk, milk, cornstarch, salt and cheese.
- Transfer the pasta to the slow cooker, stir in the milk mixture and dollop with the bits of butter.
- Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.
Source: How to Make Love and Dinner at the Same Time: 200 Slow-Cooker Recipes to Heat Up the Bedroom Instead of the Kitchen
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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 like 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
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