This Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is made with marinara, Italian sausage, and plenty of melty cheese! It’s the perfect slow cooker pasta recipe!
This recipe is AMAZING paired with homemade french bread. It’s one of our favorite easy pasta recipes in the summer, no need to heat up the house with the oven!
This is one of those fancy pasta recipes with Italian sausage that everyone in the family will enjoy!
It’s the BEST comfort food, perfect in summer and the fall!
Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
This easy slow cooker pasta recipe uses ricotta, to make it extra creamy, Italian sausage for the lovely Italian spices, marinara, and plenty of melty mozzarella cheese on top!
How is Baked Ziti different from Lasagna?
Baked Ziti is made from smaller, round, tube-shaped noodles and is usually unlayered, made with a tomato-based meat sauce, ziti noodles, and a mixture of delicious cheese and spices.
Lasagna is made with long, 2-3-inch-wide flat pasta with ridged edges, layered with tomato meat sauce and cheeses similar to the baked ziti pasta, and baked in a casserole style.
Here’s the basic list of ingredients you’ll need to make this yummy slow cooker pasta recipe. As always, you can find the full list in the printable recipe card below.
- Ziti Pasta – rigatoni or penne also work well
- Ground Italian Sausage – mild or hot
- Onion – yellow or white
- Marinara Sauce
- Diced Tomates – canned
- Ricotta Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese – shredded
- Parmesan cheese – shredded
- Italian Seasoning – use my homemade blend for the BEST taste!
- Garlic Powder
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make It
It’s so easy to start the Italian sausage and onion cooking on the stove while you prepare the other ingredients!
COOK the Italian sausage and chopped onion together on a stovetop in a frying pan over medium heat, until onions are tender and sausage is broken up into small pieces, and cooked through with no pink left.
PRO TIP: Heat and spray the crock pot with cooking spray while you are cooking the sausage and onion and preparing the other ingredients. That way it’s warmed up and ready to go!
TRANSFER the cooked Italian sausage and onion to a greased slow cooker that holds at least 6 quarts. Add marinara sauce and diced tomatoes and mix well.
ADD DRY NOODLES and mix to combine.
MAKE RICOTTA FILLING Combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
STIR RICOTTA MIXTURE gently into noodles and meat sauce. Make sure all the noodles are covered. Then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
COOK on high for 2.5 hours or low 4-5 hours until noodles are tender. Optional: sprinkle with fresh chopped basil for a pop of flavor!
How Long Does Pasta Take in the Slow Cooker?
It depends on the recipe and pasta type, but this recipe’s magic number is about 2.5 hours.
After that, it’s still delicious but the noodles can get a bit too soft. The edges around and on the bottom of the slow cooker can get a little crispy too, just like in the oven.
More Slow Cooker Pasta Recipes
Bust out that slow cooker, because I’ve got a few more delicious slow cooker recipes with pasta you’re sure to love!
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Macaroni Stuffed Peppers
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
I can’t wait until you try this Slow Cooker Baked Ziti! I know you’ll love it as much as we do.
Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
- 1 Frying Pan
- 1 lb ground italian sausage
- 1 cup diced onion, (about ½ an onion)
- 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- Optional: fresh chopped basil for garnish
- In a frying pan over medium heat, cook the Italian sausage and chopped onion together until onions are tender and sausage is broken up into small pieces, cooked through with no pink left, about 5-7 minutes.
- Heat and spray the crock pot with cooking spray while you are cooking the sausage and onion and preparing the other ingredients. That way it's warmed up and ready to go!
- Transfer the cooked Italian sausage and onion to a greased slow cooker that holds at least 6 quarts. Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, and dry noodles and mix well.
- Make ricotta filling by combining the ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
- Stir ricotta mixture gently into noodles and meat sauce. Make sure all the noodles are covered. Then sprinkle the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cook on high for 2.5 hours or low 4-5 hours until noodles are tender. Enjoy!Optional: sprinkle with fresh chopped basil for a pop of flavor!