Slow cooker baked ziti recipe is a delicious one pot meal perfect for busy weeknights. Your family can enjoy a great meal with little work but tons of flavor.
Slow cooker baked ziti recipe
Everything you need for a great meal is in the crock pot. You will save on clean up and have more time for the things you love in life. This recipe is so simple!
No need for a separate pot for the pasta because that goes in the crock pot too. Seriously, this is the easiest recipe but oh so delicious.
It is so cheesy and tasty for the best comfort food. The blend of ground beef and sausage make this meal so hearty and delicious.
This recipe is a must try for sure! Your entire family will love it and it is so easy to make. Plus, very frugal!
You need a crock pot to make this healthy slow cooker ziti.
If you are in the market for something new, I really love my Ninja cooker. The nice thing about this is you can brown the meat in the same slow cooker and save yet another pan. Wahoo!
It is so handy to just have the one pan to clean. It has become of my favorite kitchen appliances.
I also really like this crockpot as well. I use this all the time and it’s great.
My favorite feature is that you can lock the lid down. This is awesome for when you need to take the crockpot somewhere.
I often use the slow cooker to take dishes to potluck events and this feature is amazing! There are several others on sale here.
Another favorite is this programmable crock pot for when I am am not at home all day. I love coming home to a nice meal ready and waiting!
I also like to use crock pot liners to make clean up a breeze. These plastic bags are worth every penny and save a ton of time.
You can also make this recipe in the instant pot if you prefer. Just adjust the cooking times.
What ingredients do you need to make crock pot baked ziti recipe?
- ground beef
- ground sausage
- minced garlic
- Italian Seasoning
- diced tomatoes
- crushed tomatoes
- beef broth
- penne or ziti pasta
- ricotta cheese
- mozzarella cheese (hand shredded)
How do you make slow cooker cheesy baked ziti?
Brown your ground beef before you put it in the crock pot. Or if you have a Ninja cooking system like I do, just brown it right in the same pot.
Place the beef and sausage in the crock pot.
Next, add in the onions, canned tomatoes, seasonings and beef broth.
Stir to combine. Cover and cook. This is SO easy!
All that is left to do is add the pasta about 30 minutes before serving and cook until tender. This is Super easy!
About 10 minutes before serving, stir in the ricotta cheese and top with the mozzarella cheese.
Serve and enjoy! Keep reading for the full step by step recipe.
You can add tomato sauce to the recipe if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Can you put raw pasta in slow cooker?
Yes, just allow time for it to cook. We add the pasta about 30 minutes before ready to eat and the pasta turns out perfectly.
This is a great because it means one less pot to clean. Less clean up is always a great thing!
What to serve with slow cooker baked ziti?
You can also learn how to freeze garlic bread and how it saves you money. We do this a lot and it is so good and you know I like to save money. ?
Feel free to grab a loaf of bread from the bakery. You do what works for you!
These are perfect to dip in the yummy spaghetti sauce! So good!
You can get every last drop of that delicious tomato sauce. Yum!
Keep it simple and enjoy! No need for complicated recipes or fancy ingredients.
Tips for slow cooker penne pasta:
This recipe calls for diced onion. One of my favorite time saving tip is to use a small food chopper or food processor to quickly and easily chop onions and peppers.
If you do not have one of these, I highly recommend them. They are such a time saver and you can get the veggies really fine.
I usually just chop the entire vegetable and freeze what I don’t need. It’s so nice to be able to just take the diced onion out of the freezer for recipes.
This is how I meal prep. It’s so quick and easy and helps get dinner on the table fast.
You might also try adding bell peppers to this recipe for a change. They are so delicious with the onions.
I love to grab these for various recipes. Knowing that they are already chopped and ready to go makes it so much easier.
You will love this and I can’t recommend this time saving tip enough. This is a must!
I also recommend buying block mozzarella cheese and grating it my hand for this recipe. It will melt better and will not be as greasy.
It is so worth it and only takes a few extra minutes. Don’t skip this step!
Easy baked ziti in the crock pot is budget friendly.
This meal is so versatile. You can even reduce the ingredients to just 1 pound of meat.
You can use sausage or beef if you want to stretch your budget even further. We have even used ground turkey and it was delicious.
You can easily substitute any type of pasta you prefer or already have in your pantry. Good ideas to try include elbow, bow tie, rigatoni and even wheat pasta.
Try using a jar of pasta sauce instead of tomatoes if you find you are out. This meal is just so versatile.
Also, cottage cheese is a really good substitute for ricotta in dishes like this. In fact, I often combine the 2 and they make a really creamy and delicious mixture for the pasta dish.
We didn’t have quite enough ricotta one time so that is how I ended up mixing the 2. I found out that it was really delicious!
I have used both and really can’t tell much difference so just use what you have or you prefer. They are both great and make this meal delicious.
I often use what I have on hand or is on sale at the grocery store. Just use what you have!
By shopping when things are on sale I save money on groceries and it really helps our budget. Saving money and feeding a big family can be accomplished.
I cut our grocery bill by 50% off by following these 8 Tips for for Saving Money on Groceries by Menu Planning! Save that money for something else!
Print this slow cooker pasta bake recipe below:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz
- 3 cans crushed tomatoes 14.5 oz
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 16 oz penne or ziti pasta
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese hand shredded
In a large skillet, cook ground beef and sausage until browned.
Place the beef and sausage in the crock pot.
Add in the onions, canned tomatoes, seasonings and beef broth.
Stir to combine
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3.
Add pasta, turn to high, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
10 minutes before serving, stir in the ricotta cheese and top with the mozzarella cheese.
You can reduce to 1 pound of sausage or beef if you want to stretch your budget. Also, I recommended buying block mozzarella cheese and grating it my hand. It will melt better and will not be as greasy.