This ziti recipe is slow cooker friendly. If you are wondering what ziti is, it’s a type of pasta. It’s tubular like penne and comes in short and long lengths. Choose the short pasta shapes for this recipe because the longer they are the more they will stick together. Tube shaped pasta like this is especially good for holding in sauces.
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Baked ziti is a classic dish and popular in Italian-American households. You can also buy it by the slice in delis and some will reheat it for you.
The recipe is adaptable and you can use another type of ground meat in place of beef if you want, such as ground turkey or pork. Italian sausage would work too. If you want it creamier you can sub half a cup of the broth for heavy cream.
The other ingredients in the dish include pasta sauce, ricotta, tomato sauce, eggs, basil, parmesan, and mozzarella.
Why You’ll Love the Recipe:
This baked ziti dish is made in the crockpot. It’s really easy to make and using the slow cooker means you can leave it alone and forget about it until the kitchen smells heavenly and the baked ziti dish is ready.
How to Serve It:
Slow cooker ziti recipes go well with salad, vegetables or garlic breadsticks.
- Ground beef
- Dried ziti
- Pasta sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Shredded mozzarella
- Shredded parmesan
How to make Slow Cooker Baked Ziti:
Mix the eggs, ricotta and basil in one bowl and the tomato sauce and pasta sauce in another.
Grease the crockpot then add 2⅓ cups of the sauce mixture.
Add about a third of the ziti.
Spoon the ricotta on top and spread it out.
Sprinkle half the parmesan on top.
Spoon the beef on top.
Add more sauce then pasta and then ricotta.
Finish layering with the parmesan and remaining sauce.
Cover the crockpot and cook for 2 or 3 hours on high or until the ziti is tender.
Sprinkle a little mozzarella on top and allow it 5 minutes to melt, then serve hot.
Baked ziti recipes make a rich-flavored, hearty dinner and this slow cooker version is especially delicious. So next time you want to make Italian food, choose this recipe.
Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
- 1 pound cooked ground beef
- 16 ounces dried ziti
- 2 jars pasta sauce
- 2 eggs
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 15 ounces ricotta
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 cups shredded parmesan
- ⅓ cup basil
- Mix the eggs, ricotta and basil in one bowl and the tomato sauce and pasta sauce in another.
- Grease the crockpot then add 2⅓ cups of the sauce mixture.
- Add about a third of the ziti.
- Spoon the ricotta on top and spread it out.
- Sprinkle half the parmesan on top.
- Spoon the beef on top.
- Add more sauce then pasta and then ricotta.
- Finish layering with the parmesan and remaining sauce.
- Cover the crockpot and cook for 2 or 3 hours on high or until the ziti is tender.
- Sprinkle a little mozzarella on top and allow it 5 minutes to melt, then serve hot.
Can You Make It Ahead?
Yes, you can make this in advance and reheat it if you want. Reheat it at 325°F in the oven or in the microwave.
This will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator if you wrap it well in foil or plastic wrap. Another option is to freeze it for up to 3 months. Again, make sure it’s well-wrapped to prevent freezer burn.
Variations and Substitutions:
You can use another kind of ground meat in this recipe if you like, or even another pasta. Penne makes a good substitute if you can’t find any ziti.