Here’s another slow cooker recipe for you! My slow cooker is my BFF. I use it at least once a week, sometimes 2 or 3 times a week!
The family’s #1 favorite slow cooker recipe is my Easiest Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice. That one is a guaranteed winner, every time I make it! Up to this point, the #2 favorite spot was held by my Crockpot Cheeseburger Casserole. But now, Slow Cooker Baked Ziti has moved into the #2 spot, bumping Crockpot Cheeseburger Casserole down to #3!
It did take me a couple of tries to get this just right. It is easy to overcook the ziti and then you are left with Pasta Mush. It is not a bad-tasting dish, but not the best aesthetic, either. To avoid Pasta Mush, you want to start with uncooked ziti noodles. Which works out great, because it effectively eliminates a recipe step AND another pot to wash. Hooray!
The second tip is to be careful with your timing. Normally there will be a wide window of cooking time for slow cooker recipes. For this one, I found that it was done at the 4 hour mark, and if I let it go for more than 5 hours, I had Pasta Mush. So set that timer for 4 hours, and try to serve it fairly soon after it is done for the best results!
- 1 (12 ounce) box ziti noodles
- 1 (16 ounce) container ricotta cheese (can be low-fat)
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 and ½ cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 (24 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce, divided
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 (10 ounce) bag fresh spinach
- Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg whites, Parmesan cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, salt, and pepper.
- Cover the bottom of the slow cooker with about half of the ziti noodles.
- Pour about 2 cups of spaghetti sauce over the top and spread evenly with a spoon.
- Distribute about half of the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce and spread evenly.
- Place the mushrooms on top of the ricotta, and then the spinach.
- Place remaining noodles on top, then spread another 2 cups of sauce, then spread the remaining ricotta cheese mixture.
- Pour the remaining sauce on top and spread evenly.
- Cook on low for about 4 hours. No more than 5!
- About 5 minutes before serving, remove lid and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over top. Replace the lid and let the cheese melt before serving.
Note: This post has been shared at THESE link parties!