Slow Cooker Chicken Meatball Pasta Bake - a delicious recipe for easy tender chicken meatballs, combined with penne pasta and topped with ricotta and parmesan cheese.
There are not many that don't enjoy a good ole pasta bake. Generally, family friendly, meaning that it is a dish you can make that you know the whole family will approve of.
With some extra lean chicken mince (ground chicken) that needed to be used up and knowing that I had lots of things to get on with around the house, I figured a meatballs pasta dish I could throw in the slow cooker would be a perfect meal for dinner time.
Normally when making a pasta bake, I stick to cheddar and mozzarella for the cheesy topping, but spotting a tub of ricotta in my fridge and know how much we all love my Stuffed Ricotta and Spinach Pasta Shells. I figured the ricotta spooned on top for a Slow Cooker Chicken Meatball Pasta Bake would be amazing!!
Don't worry if you can't get extra lean ground chicken, turkey mince or even extra lean ground beef will work perfectly too in this recipe. I will definitely be making this again with homemade beef meatballs, but sometimes you just have to go with what you have.
I add breadcrumbs to my meatballs. You may be tempted to try and skip those but trust me, they really help to keep the meatballs nice and tender. Extra Lean mince can be a little dry on its own otherwise.
The sauce for this Slow Cooker Chicken Meatball Pasta Bakes, comes with lots of hidden veg too. I add some finely grated carrot and zucchini into the sauce, the kids don't even notice it is in there and combine with the tomatoes, it makes for a delicious sauce.
I prefer to cook the pasta out of the slow cooker before adding to this, I am not keen on the texture of how the pasta goes when in the slow cooker.
Not got a slow cooker and wonder which ones are best? There are many great slow cookers out there. But I recommend choosing ones like this Andrew James Slow Cooker that has a delayed start time and an inner pot that can be removed and placed on the hob or in the oven, that way if you need to do any browning you don't need to use a separate pan.
Hey if you want a slow cooker that has all the bells n whistles. Go for an Instant Pot, which is not actually a slow cooker, it's a multi-function pressure cooker, but with a slow cooker option on it too, it can do pretty much everything.
Want some other delicious Slow Cooker recipes? Check out these:
- PAPRIKA BEEF
- BALSAMIC BRAISED BEEF
- HEALTHIER SLOW COOKER CRACK CHICKEN
- BRAISED BEEF
- TERIYAKI PORK TENDERLOIN
- PINEAPPLE PORK
- SLOW COOKER GUINNESS BEEF BRISKET
- SLOPPY JOES
- BEEF AND VEGETABLE CASSEROLE
or head on over to my FULL RECIPE INDEX with over 850+ delicious Slimming Eats Recipes all fully searchable by meal type, ingredients etc
How can I add a ⅓ veg foods to this Slow Cooker Chicken Meatball Pasta Bake?
Just a simple mixed salad pairs perfectly with these meatballs. I like to use a combination of baby greens, cucumber, tomatoes and beetroot.
What Kitchen Items do I need to make this Slow Cooker Chicken Meatball Pasta Bake?
- Slow Cooker
- Kitchen Scales
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Wooden Spoon
- Santoku Knife (perfect knife for chopping veg)
- Chopping Board
- Mixing Bowl
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For the meatballs
- 455g (1lb) of extra lean chicken mince (can also use turkey or beef)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
- ¼ cup (30g) of Italian dried breadcrumbs (5.5 syns)
- 1 egg, beaten
For the sauce
- 1.5 cups (320ml) of crushed tomatoes (or passata)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- ½ cup (120ml) of chicken stock
- 1 small zucchini (courgette), grated
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of mixed herbs (dried)
- 270g (9.5oz) of ricotta cheese
- 30g (1oz) of parmesan, grated
- 1 egg
- fresh chopped parsley
- salt and black pepper
- 200g (7oz) of uncooked penne pasta
- Add all the ingredients for the sauce to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- In a bowl add the ground chicken, garlic, salt, parsley, egg and breadcrumbs, mix to combine and then form into meatballs (approx 16)
- Drop these into the sauce
- Set slow cooker to low for 6 hours
- When meatballs have almost finished cooking, add the pasta to a saucepan of salted boiling hot water and cook by package instructions. Drain
- Stir the pasta into the meatballs and sauce.
- Mix the ricotta with the egg and spoon this on to the top
- Sprinkle with the grated parmesan and season with salt and black pepper
- Set slow cooker to high and continue to cook for 20 mins until the cheese is melted. If you prefer the cheese more golden, you can skip this step and place it under the grill/broil until cheese is melted and golden on top.
- Serve topped with chopped fresh parsley.
Please see below for full nutritional info and additional details about recipe:
- Calories - scroll down to nutritional info box
- WW Points and other Slimming or Weight Loss programs - due to plans regularly changing and updating, we recommend calculating with the official tools you get as a member to those plans to ensure accuracy of values.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 569Total Fat 15.7gSaturated Fat 8.3gSodium 707mgCarbohydrates 58.4gFiber 3gSugar 6.8gProtein 48.5g