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A Year of Slow Cooking

Saturday, April 26, 2008

CrockPot Baked Spinach and Cheese Noodles

Day 117.

I took like twelve pictures of this and none of them look very appetizing---I don't see myself with a career as a food stylist any time soon.

It tasted good!
Michelle's Slow Cooking Thursday post a month ago or so popped into my head while I was at the store last week. I couldn't remember everything that went in it at the time, but remembered enough to sort of recreate it for an easy weeknight dinner. This is a wonderful, creamy dish, and if you use low or fat free ingredients, the creaminess stays without unnecessary calories.

The Ingredients.

--2 T butter
--1/3 cup flour (I used Pamela's again. And I'm almost out. We need to hit up Whole Foods this weekend.)
--2 1/2 cups milk
--1/2 t pepper
--1 t kosher salt
--3 T dijon mustard
--15 oz ricotta cheese
--1/4 cup parmesan cheese
--10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
--1 chopped red pepper
--16 oz package of un-cooked noodles

The Directions.

I made a roux (and this time I spelled it right!) with the butter and flour, and then added the milk, the container of ricotta cheese and stirred in the spinach, red pepper, and spices. Oh! Use a big pot, so you don't have to transfer halfway through the way that I might have needed to do. And then you won't drop slimy spinach on the floor...

Spray the inside of your slowcooker with cooking spray and dump in a package of uncooked pasta noodles. Turn on your crockpot so you won't "shock it" when you stir your cheese and spinach mixture into the noodles. Crockpot stoneware shouldn't change temperatures rapidly.

Top with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

Cook on high for 5-7 hours, or until the noodles are tender. The noodles on the top will be a bit crunchy, but this seemed to have more liquid than the ziti I made, and every noodles could be eaten.

Ours took 6 hours to cook on high.

The Verdict.

I initially had to give the starving children speech, but once my kids tasted this they gobbled it down. Adam and I had ours with a great big salad. I would definitely make this again.

I wonder what it would be like if I added nutmeg? I felt like I wanted a dash of nutmeg...

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Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

Steph: What kind of noodles did you use?

La Rêveuse said...

I think you forgot the red pepper in your ingredient list.

Looks yummy! And thanks for fixing the roux. It was bugging me, but I was trying to be polite and not say anything. ;)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

You can really use uncooked noodles? Cool!

Anything with spinach tastes good with nutmeg.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Ginger! Did you get your work done? I used Trader Joe's brown rice penne.

La Reveuse, thanks for the red pepper note. I forgot to write it down in my notes---I'll fix it right now!

Lizzy, yup, I used uncooked!

themama said...

oh yum, this is definitely going on my meal list.

jinxi said...

This looks AWESOME. Thank you!

Akinol said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Billy & Ann said...

It looks yummy. One Question - you said "Turn on your crockpot so you won't "shock it" when you stir your cheese and spinach mixture into the noodles. Crockpot stoneware shouldn't change temperatures rapidly." Did you heat this mixture in the pot after adding the ingredients to the roux? I love that you can use uncooked noodles.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Billy and Ann, I didn't heat it up too awful much---I'm sure the spinach was still cold in spots, but it was over the heat the whole time on the stove. I didn't actually test the temperature.

But flipping on your crock for a minute or two before adding anything that has been cooked on the stove is a good idea. Especially if you keep your crockpot in a cold garage or closet.


The Jernigans said...

YUM! We are making this tonight--thanks!

loloandpooh said...

going to a cookout tonight and needed something to bring. This is perfect! Cooking it now. Let you know how it works out.

linda said...

I am planning on making this and serving it when we have oven baked chicken cordon bleu.. I may substitute sundried tomatoes for the red pepper.. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I can't wait to make this.

zakary said...

I'm going to make this with nutmeg and add some browned chicken to the mix. Looks delicious!

Congrats on 100K! That's awesome!

Andrea Lakeland said...

I've just finished eating this -yum yum!
I used fresh spinach (just put it on raw) and also added mushrooms and green beans. I like how the mushrooms went -really tender. It was a bit over done on the sides, but it was only my second crockpot dish ever so I'm pretty pleased. Thanks for the great blog! :-)

Michelle said...

HI Steph.. I'm so pleased that you and your family liked this dish.I am making it this week for dinner one night so that will be delicious in our house.have a great week...

Crockpot Lady said...

loloandpooh, jernigans, and, zakary--I hope it comes out well for you; I love the additions you are planning on using, they sound wonderful.

Andrea, I'm so happy that you were happy and it came out well. This is an adventurous dish for a 2nd crockpot meal, congratulations! The mushrooms and fresh spinach sound great.

Michelle, thank *you* for such a great idea!


MamaChristy said...

This was really good. Made it for a vegitarian friend, but everyone loved it! Have I told you how much you totally rock?

jgtck said...

I cooked this on high for 4 hours and it was dried up and burned to the sides and bottom. I guess if I try this again it will need to be on low.

Michelle said...

hey steph :) i'm still getting views on this post thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this web site (I just found it!) New to GF diet, and I've got a kid playing soccer just before mealtime and needed to try crockpot cooking. I've been a failure til now.

This was DELISH for my first crockpot dinner. Only problem - it was done on high in less than 3 hours. What might that mean for future meals?

Thanks again!

Jen, Preston and Maren said...

yum, excited to see how it turns out for Girls Night. I'm keeping my eye on it since my CP tends to run hot in spots.

Anonymous said...

Is the time/temp for this correct? High for 5-7 hours? I plan to make this on Saturday when we go to pick up my mother in law and would be really embarassed if we got back from the airport and this was burned and dry.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Anon,

It took 6 hours on high for me, and it was cooked with some crunchiness on the side. Someone else had theirs over cook at 4 hours. I wouldn't attempt a new recipe if you're trying to impress your MIL. Stick with something you're comfortable with. Pasta in the crockpot is tricky.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie! I just wanted to let you know that despite your advice I went ahead with it the day the mother in law arrived. I cooked it on high for 1 1/2 hours and low for about 4 hours while we picked her up at the airport and when we got home it was perfect! In fact I made so much stuff with the crockpot that she was wishing that she had one by the time she left!

Theresa said...

Super yummy! I didn't bother making mine gluten free since I knew there was no way my daughter would touch it. It cooked really fast and was a little dry. I think next time I'm going to cut back on the noodles.

Jennifer said...

I wasn't as pleased with this dish as I have been with your others. After only 1.5 hours it started to burn so I had to turn it down to low (luckily I was home!!!) The texture was okay in the end but it was kind of bland. Maybe less spinach less time and more spices.

Anonymous said...

Tried this tonight and loved it. It did cook in 2 hours on high for me though, and even burned a little on the bottom.

Anonymous said...

Cooking this now! Smells so nummy!

Thanks for the cooking time and temps tips everyone!

Nicki said...

I have had this in my crock for a little less than 3 hours now. The noodles are a gummy lump in the bottom and have not absorbed any sauce. I have turned it to low until my hubby gets home. I'm guessing it will be pizza night.

hollyjoy85 said...

I'm making this tomorrow for the second time. It's one of the few vegetarian dishes I can coax my strictly carnivorous parents to try and enjoy. I added a couple garlic cloves and it turned into an almost alfredo-y sauce.

Thank you so much for this blog! It has helped my budget, my waistline, and my stress limit!

Josee said...

i'm glad i read the comments and went down to turn the pot off. it cooked in two hours on high. it smells delicious! i used chard instead of spinach because i have a bumper crop of it! i can't wait to dig in.

Rishakia said...

It's important to note that brown rice pasta does have a longer cook time then regular pasta. I'm not under dietary restrictions but I buy brown rice pasta for the slow cooker because it can hold up to quite a bit of over cokking without becoming gummy.

Ziggles said...

Did not work for me. The recipe was dry and burnt at 5 hours in the crock on high. Will not be repeating that method but am considering baking this recipe in the oven with pre-cooked noodles added to the other ingredients and putting it in a casserole, heating it just enough that it won't dry out. I know it won't be considered a crock pot recipe but since that did not work well for me personally, why not try it where it won't be dried out or burnt by baking the already hot ingredients short term to assure they are edible. Appreciate the recipe but will try doing it a little different if I do it again. Thanks!

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