Healthy Crock Pot Recipe: Light & Creamy Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera
(385 calories | *8 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
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 Crock Pot would be about perfect.
And a 4-Quart fine too, as long as you keep an eye on it.
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, *9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus, *9 SmartPoints.
Following Weight Watchers Freestyle/Flex, this is now *8 Freestyle SmartPoints.
Curious about Weight Watchers Freestyle/Flex plan?
Watch this short video to learn more:
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!
Ideas for making this slow cooker pasta primavera even lighter and 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 PointsPlus. Bulk up your meal with a nice big green salad, which is what I almost always do when I eat pasta.
If you’ve made this Crock Pot Creamy Pasta Primavera, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it.
Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera Recipe
- 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%)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 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
- Ideal slow cooker size: 2- to 3-Quart. (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.)
- 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.
- 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 by Rebecca Field Jager.
*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.
This Everyday Food video shows how to make Penne Pasta Primavera with Asparagus, Peas & Mint on the stovetop:
If you like this Slow Cooked Pasta Primavera recipe, you might also like:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pasta Fagioli
- Skinny Artichoke & Spinach Baked Pasta
- Mom’s Easy Alfredo Ravioli Casserole
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or Craftsy links, I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thanks for your purchase!
Subscribe to Get: Top 10 Reader Favorite Recipes
The Top 10 Most Popular Recipes (PDF) on Simple Nourished Living + Weekly Support Emails with Tips & Easy Healthy Recipes Not Found Anywhere Else!