Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is guaranteed to become a family favorite and you’ll love how easy it is to make in the slow cooker.
Who would have thought that the slow cooker is the perfect place to make a pasta dish like baked ziti. I have cooked rice in a slow cooker before but not pasta. Thanks to a few tips and tricks I learned from Cook’s Country the pasta turned out perfect. My first thought was that it would get mushy and fall apart but because you saute the uncooked pasta first with the sausage it doesn’t overcook. The fat from the meat helps prevent it from swelling too much and overcooking.
The instructions also have you put a foil lining around the inside of the slow cooker which helps the pasta not to burn. It worked perfectly.
I used a combination of sweet Italian sausage and hamburger and topped it with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil for the perfect comfort food.
The baked ziti cooks on low on 2.5 – 3 hours and you have perfectly baked pasta.
Printable Recipe for Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
- 1/2 lb hamburger
- 1/2 lb ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 3 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 8 oz 2 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese or 1.5 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil thinly sliced
Make a foil collar for the slow cooker by folding 2 18 inch long pieces of foil in half. Then fold up one long end so the collar measures 4" x 18". Line the inside of the slow cooker with foil strips.
Spray foil and bottom of 6 qt. slow cooker with cooking spray.
Cook sausage and hamburger until browned.
Add in onion and cook until softened.
Add in garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for one minute.
Reduce heat to medium and add in pasta.
Cook, stirring constantly until edges of pasta begin to turn translucent, about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, scrap up any browned bits on bottom of pan.
Put mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2.5 to 3 hours or until pasta is tender.
Carefully remove foil collar and stir gently.
Top with slices or grated cheese and cover and let sit for 10-20 minutes to allow cheese to melt.
Garnish with basil and serve.
Recipe adapted from Cooks Country
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