Slow Cooker Baked Ziti: The easiest, most comforting baked pasta dish you will ever have–all made in your slow-cooker. Perfect for busy days.
If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know I love my Slow Cooker recipes. Hello, they are a busy parent or working person’s dream come true!
How hard is it to work 10 hours and then spend hours making dinner? Or trying to help your kids with homework, while watching something on the stove?
The slow cooker, crock-pot, whatever you call it, is the answer my friends.
Slow Cooker Ziti
My most favorite comforting meal as a child, was my mom’s pasta and her homemade sauce. When I came home from school and smelled the tomatoes and oregano, I knew dinner would be good!
I turned my Mom’s pasta into a one pot, easy, slow-cooker meal by making my homemade tomato sauce in the slow cooker, and then adding pasta and cheese at the end.
YES, you heard me right! You can cook your pasta in the slow cooker! Your life is changed for the better now!
This is beyond simple, only dirties up one dish, and is reminiscent of lasagna. Can you ever think of a time that lasagna only required one dish??? Yeah, no!
Make your life easier and try out this Baked Pasta for the Slow Cooker.
Tips on Slow Cooker Pasta Recipe
- I love to start out by making a version of my homemade tomato sauce. But you can use any jarred spaghetti sauce your family likes, just be sure to add in an additional 1 cup water for pasta to have something to absorb while cooking. And you still need to let the sauce heat up before adding the pasta. I would cook on low for at least 1 hour.
- Adding browned meat or sliced italian sausages to the sauce adds great flavor and protein to this Easy Slow Cooker Pasta.
- I personally think that the cottage cheese adds the perfect creaminess and texture to this baked ziti, but you can use ricotta instead.
- You can mix the Mozarella cheese throughout the pasta or sprinkle on top, as I did.
- If you would like a browned cheese crust to your baked pasta, remove your insert from your slow cooker and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.
- If your slow cooker does not have an oven safe insert and you still want your cheese to get browned and bubbly, cook as directed, except leave Mozzarella cheese off dish. Once pasta is cooked, transfer to oven safe dish, sprinkle with cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes.
- Remember that the amount of time to cook your pasta depends on the type of pasta you use. Whole grain pasta needs 30-45 minutes and white pasta is about 15-20 minutes.
- Shape and size of pasta matters! I have tried this Crock-Pot Ziti with ziti, rotini, and elbow noodles with success. I have never used spaghetti or rigatoni. If you are brave enough to try it out–let us know how it works out!
- I also have never tried to cook gluten-free pasta in the slow cooker.
More Comforting Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Parmesan Chicken Casserole
- Easy Lasagna
- Easy Taco Pasta
- Instant Pot Creamy Italian Pasta
- Easy One Pot Creamy Cajun Pasta
Baked Ziti for the Slow Cooker
- 28 ounce can tomato puree
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 3 cups water, divided
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 16 ounce package whole grain rotini or ziti
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- Fresh Parmesan for serving
- Mix together tomato puree, tomato paste, 2 cups water, oil, honey, and spices together in slow cooker. Set to low and cook for 4-5 hours.
- Turn slow cooker to high and mix in 1 cup water, pasta and cottage cheese. Top with cheese. Cover and let cook for about 45 minutes for whole grain pasta and 25 minutes for white pasta.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese.