Crock Pot Ziti is guaranteed to become a family favorite. All the delicious baked ziti flavor in an easy slow cooker meal!
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, 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.
I used a combination of sweet Italian sausage and hamburger and topped it with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil for the perfect comfort food.
How to Make Baked Ziti in a Slow Cooker
Slow cooker baked ziti starts off the same way you would make it in the oven. You brown the hamburger and sausage and then add the onion and cook until softened. Then add in garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and allow to cook for about two minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium and add in the pasta. Stir constantly until the edges of the pasta begin to look translucent. It should only take a few minutes. Then remove the meat and pasta mixture from the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Put the ziti mixture into the slow cooker and let it do the rest!
The baked ziti cooks on low on 2.5 – 3 hours and you have perfectly baked pasta. Put a foil lining around the inside of the slow cooker to help keep the pasta from burning. It works perfectly!
Crock Pot Ziti Recipe
Crock Pot Ziti
- 1/2 lb hamburger
- 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage ground
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 3 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 8 oz penne pasta 2 1/2 cups uncooked
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes 1 can
- 15 oz tomato sauce 1 can
- 1.5 c mozzarella cheese grated
- 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.