Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti : A Cozy Italian Hug in Every Bite

Indulge in the heartwarming embrace of a rich Italian meal with Slow Cooker Baked Ziti—a comforting pasta dish that effortlessly brings families together. Originating from the picturesque regions of Italy, this flavorful creation not only tantalizes the taste buds but also offers the perfect solution for a home-cooked meal without the extensive preparation time. Let the slow cooker do the work, allowing you and your loved ones more quality time for chores, games, or simply relishing the day's stories.


  • 1 (16-ounce) box of uncooked ziti pasta
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 15 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Optional: If desired, add ground sausage for a meaty variation.

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti


  1. Prepare Cheese Mixture: In a large bowl, combine half of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, egg, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined. Add cooked ground sausage if desired.
  2. Layering in Slow Cooker: Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer uncooked ziti pasta on top of the sauce.
  3. Cheese and Sauce Layers: Apply a portion of the cheese mixture over the ziti, followed by a layer of marinara sauce. Repeat the process, finishing with a final layer of sauce.
  4. Adding Water: Pour water around the sides of the slow cooker to assist in cooking the pasta thoroughly.
  5. Slow Cooking: Cover the slow cooker, set it to low heat, and let it cook for 4 to 6 hours, or until the pasta reaches desired tenderness.
  6. Mozzarella Topping: During the last 30 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top to melt.
  7. Resting Period: Allow the baked ziti to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Optionally, garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Changes and Tips:

  • Meatier Option: Enhance the dish by adding cooked ground beef or Italian sausage for a meatier profile.
  • Cheese Variation: Substitute ricotta with smooth cottage cheese if preferred, especially for picky eaters.
  • Nutrient Boost: Sneak in extra nutrients by adding chopped spinach or zucchini on top of the cheese mixture.
  • Time-Saving Tip: Expedite the cooking process by using no-boil noodles if you're short on time.
  • Preparation Ease: Lightly grease the slow cooker with olive oil or cooking spray before starting to facilitate serving and cleanup.
  • Resting Period Importance: After cooking, allow the baked ziti to rest, enabling the sauce to settle and creating the perfect, sliceable portions we all adore.

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is a delectable family dinner that promises to be a crowd-pleaser. Relish each delightful bite, share the love, and savor the comforting flavors!

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