Monday, October 29, 2012

Crockpot Pizza Casserole

A friend of my mom's had made something like this for her a few weeks ago, and she gave me some to try. I liked it, so I looked online for a recipe, and I found a few different ones that seemed similar. Most of the ones I found didn't have enough water in the recipe, or were cooked too long, and people who reviewed them said they turned out very dry. So, taking the basics from those recipes, I increased the water, reduced the cook time, and added a few tweaks of my own, and what I came up with turned out great.

Crockpot Pizza Casserole
1 box Rotini Pasta, uncooked 
1 pound Italian sausage or lean ground beef ( I used sausage) 
1 onion, chopped 
1 tsp. garlic powder 
1 tsp. Italian seasoning 
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
1 cup sliced pepperoni 
1 ( 32 oz.) jar pasta sauce 
4 cups water 
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions : Spray Crock Pot with non-stick spray. In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef or sausage with the onion, garlic, green bell pepper, Italian seasoning, and pepperoni. Drain excess fat. In the meantime, pour the jar of pasta sauce and the water into the Crockpot. Stir in the uncooked pasta.  Once the meat is browned, dump meat mixture into Crockpot and stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 2.5 hours. Fifteen minutes before serving, top with the mozzarella cheese. Once cheese is melted, it’s ready to serve.

Note: At first, it will seem really soupy, but all of the water will be absorbed by the time the pasta cooks and expands, and it will be thick and casserole like in texture.

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