I am so, so excited for fall. When it’s 100° outside, I never find myself in the mood for pasta. So as soon as the cooler temps hit, I’m ready to get out the
carbs pasta and crank up my crock pot. In case you don’t already know (BUT if you read this post, then you do!) I am a SUPER picky eater AND a vegetarian. It’s never an issue when we’re out to eat since we can order our own dishes, or even get a half cheese, half something crazy pizza for us to share. But when it comes to eating at home, it doesn’t always make things very easy, especially when it comes to things we both loved before I quit eating meat. So I’m excited to share this recipe I created based on a Baked Spaghetti dish from Jason’s side of the family.
My recipe is different in a few ways. I aimed to make it simpler. The number one way I did this was by taking the prep time from an hour to only 15 minutes. How? I use Ragu instead of making a sauce from scratch because I rarely have 2 hours to cook dinner. BONUS the Ragu sauce has a lot more flavor. As mentioned above, I’m a vegetarian so I also removed the ground beef from the original recipe and added in black olives. Jason, Blaire and I all LOVE black olives, so I can seriously add them in (almost) anything. I made this on a night when my goddaughter, Brylee, was staying over and she said, “I never had black olives in my spaghetti before… And I LOVE it!”
- 16 oz Box of Spaghetti Noodles
- 66 oz Ragu Sauce (I use Traditional & then add diced tomatoes)
- 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes
- 3.8 oz Sliced Olives
- 32 oz Velveeta Cheese (You’ll use about 3/4) OR you can use shredded cheese if you prefer
- Crock Pot Liner
- Place your crock pot liner in your crock pot.
- If you’re not using a liner, be sure to use some non-stick spray on your crock pot. Then pour about 1/3 of your sauce into the crock pot.
- Add 1/2 of your diced tomatoes to the sauce in the crock pot.
- Add 1/2 of your sliced olives to the sauce in the crock pot.
- Add 1/2 of your spaghetti noodles. Break the noodles in half and place on top of sauce/tomatoes/olives.
- Cover with slices of cheese.
- Pour in another 1/3 of your sauce.
- Add the rest of your diced tomatoes and olives to the sauce.
- Add the remainder of your spaghetti noodles. (Don’t forget to break them in half!)
- Cover with slices of cheese.
- Add remainder of sauce.
- Cover with more cheese!
- Cook on low for 4 hours. Cheese should be melted and pasta should be soft, but not dry.
- The crock pit liner is optional, but it makes clean up a breeze! Super easy, sooo yummy and SO cheesy! Seriously. Super cheesy. If you want less cheese, just use shredded cheese instead of the velveeta.
Super easy, sooo yummy and SO cheesy! Seriously. Super cheesy. If you want less cheese, just use shredded cheese instead of the velveeta. If you use the liner, the only cleanup from this dinner is the knife you used to cut your Velveeta. How many meals can you say that about? And if I like it, chances are your picky eater will, too! Smiles all around. ;)
I love that both Jason and I come from families with plenty of traditions. But, I also love creating my own traditions for our family. It’s perfect that Ragu loves tradition, too! Did you know the founder of Ragu, Assunta Cantisano came to the US in 1914 from Italy? In 1937 during the Great Depression, Assunta started selling her sauce from her own front porch – 78 years later Ragu still knows the importance of tradition. Thanks, Ragu for helping my family create a new tradition.
What’s your family’s favorite tradition? Please take a minute to learn more about the history of Ragu here.