I was looking to put a meal together that I could set it and forget for a while to get some other things done so I decided on this Slow Cooker Baked Ziti Recipe. This recipe contains a lot of the ingredients you would find in lasagna. I don’t usually like to cook pasta in the slow cooker because they have a tendency to come out kind of doughy. This recipe is an exception but does require you to kind of check back on it once and awhile so as not to overcook the ziti. Instead of 3 hours in the slow cooker I wound up turning it off at 2 1/ 2 hours. All slow cookers are not created equal, so the cooking time will also depend on the slow cooker you are using. This would be a great recipe to put together, to have ready for when the kids get out of school, or if you need to free up a little time like I needed to do. Enjoy
Adapted from Cook Country Magazine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 ½ cups Ziti pasta
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped (optional)
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven using the olive oil on medium high heat, brown and break up the sausage and onion, until sausage is no longer pink inside. Mix in the garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper; continue cooking until fragrant.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, mix the Ziti into the sausage mixture, continue cooking, stirring constantly until the edges of the Ziti become translucent. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
- Line the inside edges of the slow cooker with aluminum foil to keep the pasta from burning and pour the Ziti mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 ½ to 3 hours until pasta is tender.
- Remove the aluminum foil from the slow cooker; using a spoon dollop the ricotta cheese over the top of the Ziti mixture and then sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella. Cover on cook until cheese is melted.
- Serve hot garnished with the basil.