Let me just begin by saying that I altered the recipe slightly. I committed the one recipe no-no. I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand because, when I wrote my shopping list, I thought SURELY we have tomato sauce. Um. No. And I didn’t feel like sauteeing garlic and onion in olive oil. There. I said it. I felt lazy, cooking-wise, yesterday. And since I was working on the summer printable most of the morning, that kind of put me in a time crunch for starting the Crock Pot.
So, even though I tried (and tried hard) to follow the recipe exactly…I just didn’t. I should note that I used my smaller Crock Pot, known affectionately as “Red,” to make the casserole. I really stretched the limit of its capacity (i.e., there was sauce leaking out from under the lid until the ravioli thawed and things started to settle a bit).
But…it was yummy and easy to prepare (especially if you use a big Crock). Especially if you prepare it the way I did. But I am including the link to the original (from Six Sisters’ Stuff) for those who wish to use fresh onion and garlic in the recipe. One of the commenters on the original recipe mentions adding spinach to it. That would make a good addition. Or other vegetation. Or using other types of ravioli, I think. Or adding some fresh parmesan in it. This recipe was yummers, and almost like a more sophisticated Chef Boyardee ravioli (which, I admit, is still a guilty pleasure). The sauce is not as bland as Chef Boyardee. Also, the ravioli is often on sale or cheap at Target. I think this recipe could be easily halved as it makes A LOT (as evidenced by the overfilled Crock Pot). Everyone liked it, including Muffin and Josh (and Daisy).
But here is what I did.
Crock Pot Cheesy Ravioli Casserole
Adapted Heavily from Six Sisters’ Stuff
1 6-ounce can tomato paste, diluted with one tomato paste can full of water
2 (24-ounce) cans four-cheese tomato-based pasta sauce (I think I used Hunt’s or Great Value brand)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried minced onion (or to taste)
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
2 (25 ounce) packages frozen beef ravioli
Slowly dilute one can of tomato paste with water in a large mixing bowl (whisking steadily or beating with a fork to combine). Add the cans of pasta sauce and the seasonings and mix well with a whisk, fork, or spoon.
Spray your Crock Pot (I would recommend using a 6-quart crock or larger) with non-stick cooking spray. Spread one cup of sauce in the bottom of the cooker. Dump in one package of ravioli. Cover with 1 cup of cheese. Drizzle about a cup of sauce over the cheese. Dump other package of ravioli on top of that. Cover first with remaining sauce and then with the remaining cheese.
Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours. (I would recommend turning it off half an hour before serving time so the casserole has a chance to “set up” and become “cuttable,” rather than “scoopable.” I didn’t do this and regretted it. It was still yummy but I think it would have been taken to a whole ‘nother level had I let it rest.
I should note that we are again trying to get rid of leftovers, so tonight’s dinner selection will be delayed. We are taking leftovers over to my mom’s for supper (the ziti, the ravioli, and the leftover “Chipotle” goodies).