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If you need an easy dinner idea, try crock pot meatballs and pasta. It only has 4 ingredients and the crock pot does all the work for amazing comfort food your family will love.

bowl of pasta and meatballs
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Crock pot meatballs and pasta

This crock pot recipe is perfect for any day of the week because the slow cooker makes it so easy! Toss it all in the crock pot before you leave for the day and come home to dinner waiting.

Serve it with a salad and you have a complete meal. It is so easy!

We make this meal all the time because the kids go crazy over it and it is simple and frugal. Throw in some garlic bread and you are set.

You don’t have to serve it with bread but we love to dip it in the spaghetti sauce. Yum!

pasta in bowl topped with cheese


I love that this recipe only has 4 ingredients – it is completely fool-proof! No fancy ingredients needed and there isn’t any time consuming prep work involved.

  • Ziti or Rigatoni – You can also use spaghetti
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Meatballs- We used frozen meatballs.
  • Cheese

This recipe is that simple. The ingredients all blend together for such an amazing Italian flavor after being slow cooked all day.

It is perfect for busy weeks, family dinners and more. You can’t go wrong with this recipe.

How to make crock pot meatballs and pasta

sauce in bowl

First, get your spaghetti sauce ready to pour into the crock pot. You can stir in 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning into the spaghetti sauce for even more flavor.

pasta sauce in crock pot

Now just alternate ½ the pasta, meatballs and sauce. You do not have to cook the pasta before adding it in. It will cook in the crock pot.

crock pot with ingredients ready to be cooked

Then keep alternating the sauce, noodles and meatballs until you have put all of the ingredients in the crock pot.

crockpot with ingredients ready to be cooked

Next, add cheese and the remaining pasta and meatballs and sauce.  It is looking amazing already.

Then add the lid, cover and cook.

crockpot with pasta and meatballs topped with cheese

Finally, top with Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese right before you are ready to eat. You can also add in some bread crumbs. I told you this recipe was so simple! You get all the baked ziti without all the work.

Cook on high for 3 hours or cook on low for 6 hours. The cook time will vary depending on how fast the pasta is cooked and tender.

Serving ideas:

Can I put uncooked noodles in crock pot?

Yes! We love recipes like this because it cuts down on prep work and requires less pots and pans.

It is so much easier and less clean up.

Do you have to brown meatballs first?

You do not have to brown the meatballs first. Toss everything in the crock pot and enjoy a great meal in a few hours.

This recipe is so easy and a great recipe for busy weeknights.

This recipe is frugal!

This is one of those recipes that once you try it, you will put into your regular meal plan rotation. We love it, because we often get the ingredients for really cheap thanks to sales and coupons.

Our family loved this spaghetti and meatballs.


  • The great thing about this recipe is you can change the recipe to adapt to what you have on hand. You can use ground beef instead of the meatballs if you have that in your freezer.
  • Another idea is to use ground turkey instead and your family will never notice the difference. You could toss in pepperonis or add in mushrooms for an even different flavor.
  • This pasta recipe can easily use Italian sausages.  We also like to sometimes add a ricotta mixture to pasta dishes.
  • It is really good with onions and green peppers. 
bowl of pasta and meatballs

This delicious crockpot baked meatballs recipe is sure to be a family favorite.

fork full of pasta

Give it a try!

Your house will smell amazing as this cooks. I think your family will really enjoy this easy slow cooker recipe.

up close photo of  pasta and meatballs

Tips for Crock pot baked pasta with meatballs:

  • Make sure to have a good crockpot to make this Crock Pot Meatball Casserole. If you are in the market for something new, I really love my Instant Pot Aura. The nice thing about this is you can brown the meat in the same slow cooker for recipes that call for that.
  • Another favorite is this programmable crock pot  for when I am am not at home all day. I love coming home to a nice meal ready and waiting!
bowl of pasta and meatballs

Print this crock pot meatballs and pasta recipe below:

Crock Pot Baked Pasta with Meatballs

4.93 from 55 votes
This Crock pot Baked Pasta with Meatballs recipe is tasty and takes minutes to toss in your crockpot. Slow cooker pasta bake with meatballs is so easy.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 -10
Cuisine Italian
Course Main Course
Calories 533


  • 1 lb Ziti or Rigatoni
  • 2 jars jars Spaghetti Sauce (24 ounces)
  • 1 lb frozen pre-cooked Meatballs
  • 2 cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese for topping
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  • Rinse pasta in warm water and allow to drain.
  • Pour ½ a jar of sauce on bottom of slow cooker.
  • Add ½ pasta.
  • Add ½ meatballs.
  • Add ½ jar sauce on top of meatballs.
  • Add 1 cup cheese.
  • Add remaining pasta, then remaining meatballs.
  • Add remaining Sauce, then cheese.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours.

Recipe Notes

Serve with Parmesan cheese and your favorite salad.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 533kcal, Carbohydrates 52g, Protein 29g, Fat 22g, Saturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol 71mg, Sodium 1302mg, Potassium 884mg, Fiber 4g, Sugar 9g, Vitamin A 1025IU, Vitamin C 12.3mg, Calcium 331mg, Iron 3.2mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

4.93 from 55 votes (51 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Carrie Barnard says:

    So sorry for that confusion. If you double the recipe, it would be 4 jars that are 24 ounces each for a total of 96 ounces. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

  2. KWT says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I was worried about putting uncooked pasta in the layers but the pasta turned out perfect. I sautéed some onion and garlic to add to the sauce. Also added some Mediterranean seasoning blend to the layers. Such a perfect and easy meal. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. Carrie Barnard says:

    6 quart is my perfect slow cooker. See the best slow cooers.

  4. Donna P says:

    What size crockpot do you recommend for a standard recipe? What size crockpot if I double the recipe? Thank you.

  5. Megan Reilly says:

    When I double the recipe, it says (4) 48 oz. jars of sauce. Does it mean 48 oz. TOTAL or actually 4×48 oz=192 oz.? This sounds like a LOT, but I don’t want to mess it up.

  6. Patty Soileau says:

    4 stars
    This was so easy and and delicious!! My family really enjoyed it!!!

  7. Patty says:

    5 stars
    I made this wonderful meal tonight!! It was a big hit here!! Thank you Carrie for this awesome easy recipe!! I’m recovering from surgery so I needed something simple!! Yum yum!!!

  8. KeepR says:

    Fewer pots and pans
    Less sugar…

    Thank you !
    Recipe sounds perfect for Christmas evening plus following days off.

  9. Patty says:

    Could it be cooked on high? For how long?

  10. Jennifer A Caulk says:

    how much cooking time do you add if you dont cook the pasta first?

  11. Rosie Westerhold says:

    Do you put the meatballs in frozen or do you defrost first? Also, you mentioned doing a ricotta layer. If you do that, exactly how do you layer it? And what do you mix it with?

  12. Carrie says:

    Loretta – It’s just some parsley for the picture. Thank you!

  13. Loretta says:

    Hi ,in one of the pictures you have the sauce that it looks like you added some spices on it..What kind of spices did you use?..

  14. Carrie says:

    Teresa, I would brown the homemade ones in a skillet before putting them in the crock pot. I would do this to make sure that they do not fall apart. I would add more time if the browning did not cook them through. Thank you!

  15. Teresa L says:

    4 stars
    I’m not a fan of the frozen meatballs in the store. Can I use fresh, homemade meatballs in this recipe? And would I need to bake them first as you call for “pre-cooked frozen” meatballs in your recipe?

  16. Carrie says:

    No, actually you don’t have to!

  17. Kim says:

    I am assuming you cook the pasta before you put it in the crockpot?