This Easy Crock pot baked ziti recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The perfect easy slow cooker dinner recipe!
Learn how easy it is to make crock pot pasta using this recipe.
So I have something to tell you guys.
Something that will change the way you make pasta!
Well if you read the title of this post, you know that the recipe is for Easy Crock pot Baked Ziti.
Yes, ziti in a crockpot! And the best part?
It’s ridiculously easy to throw together (you don’t have to cook anything first!) and makes your house smell amazing while it cooks!
Have you ever tried making pasta in a crock pot?
Read my post on Can You Cook Pasta in the Crock Pot?
I’ll show you how!
Take me to the crock pot ziti recipe!
If you would rather skip the step by step instructions, helpful tips, and photos of the process, simply scroll down to the bottom of this post where you will find a printable recipe card with instructions and measurements. My suggestion is to read this post though, as it will help you avoid any common mistakes, and see the step by step recipe being made!
I love that the slow cooker does all the work for me with just a few minutes of prep work.
Normally when making a pasta dish, I would spend extra time dicing up onion and garlic to get that extra depth of flavor.
For this baked ziti crock pot recipe I didn’t add any extra spices (except fresh basil) and it was so good!
Ready for the step by step? I’ll show you just how simple it is!
Ingredients to make crock pot ziti:
- Jarred pasta sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Uncooked penne pasta
- Ricotta cheese
- Freshly chopped basil
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Asiago cheese (or substitute shredded mozzarella)
How to make crockpot baked ziti
First, add 15 oz of ricotta cheese and 2 eggs to a bowl.
Mix it up until it looks like this picture:
Just use a fork or spoon to mix it together, no need to break out any mixers.
Chop up some fresh basil and add it to the mix!
Fresh basil really adds a lot of flavor, so don’t leave this part out!
Mix it all together and you’re ready to start assembling!
Before beginning, spray your crock pot with cooking spray. This will help cleanup be a lot easier!
First, mix together both pasta sauces and the tomato sauce.
I just pour mine into a mixing bowl and give it a quick stir.
Measure out 2 and 1/3 cups of sauce mixture and pour it into the bottom of the crock pot.
Next, measure the penne into three equal amounts and add 1/3 of it to the top of the sauce.
I have eye balled it in the past and usually mess it up, so it’s worth taking the extra minute to divide evenly into three bowls before you begin layering.
Next, add half of the ricotta/egg/basil mixture.
You can either dollop this on (as pictured), or spread in an even layer (this is a little trickier to do.)
Next up, add half of the parmesan cheese in an even layer.
Time for the next layer!
First up, another 2 and 1/3 cups of sauce.
Another 1/3 of the uncooked penne.
Follow with the rest of your ricotta mixture.
Next, the remaining parmesan cheese.
Add the rest of your noodles on top.
And lastly, the rest of your sauce!
Spread it out as evenly as you can, so that the noodles on top cook properly.
Place the lid on and cook on high for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
I have tested this recipe several times, and the perfect amount of cook time appears to be right around 2 and a half hours, before the noodles get too soft.
After the 2 hours and 15 minutes, it should look like this:
See those yummy browning edges? GOLD.
Slow cooker ziti for the win!
Time for the last step which is the cheese on top!
I have used both asiago and mozzarella, and both are delicious.
Basically any italian cheese you can get your hands on will be great!
Several readers have commented with their substitutions that turned out to be delicious.
After the remaining 15 minutes of cook time, the cheese will look all melted and amazing like this.
It’s time to eat!
Are you drooling yet?
One note: this makes enough to feed a crowd, so you will need a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. One like this would work well.
The flavor of this crock pot baked ziti is just out of this world good.
If you have never made pasta in a crock pot, this is a great recipe to start with!
Have any doubts? Just read the tons of readers below who have tried and loved this one!
Here’s what you guys have been saying.
Crockpot baked ziti reviews:
From Deborah: “Made this as a vegetarian option to the oven baked ziti I was making for a family get-together. Everyone liked this one MORE, even without meat. Super easy, too. Thanks for the recipe.”
From David: “Hi Joy! This dish is brilliant and has become my go-to for pot lucks and easy family meals. It is extremely easy to make, serve and clean up. Thanks for sharing this great dish!”
From Ame B: “Turned out amazing. My very picky family each had 2 servings! Very simple and tasty.”
This is a family favorite in our house, and I can always count on it coming out perfect every time!
I have tested this recipe to perfection and it gets RAVE reviews every time I make it.
We like serving ours with roasted veggies and garlic bread!
My favorite is pairing it with my oven roasted frozen broccoli. Super simple and delicious dinner with barely any cooking!
Are you making this recipe? I want to see! Don’t forget to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe photos!
One warning…if you are home while this is cooking the smell may torture you.
I was so ready to eat this from the amazing smell in my house that we ended up eating our dinner at 4:30 p.m.
I’m not even sorry!
The layers of pasta and cheese are so good. I love getting the bites of fresh ricotta and basil.
And the noodles cook in the sauce so they soak up all the yummy flavor!
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- Best Ever Mushroom Lasagna
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Crock Pot Baked Ziti
This easy crock pot ziti is always a huge hit! So simple to put together and you don't even have to cook the noodles first!
- 2 (25 ounce) jars of pasta sauce
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 pound UNCOOKED penne pasta
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup freshly chopped basil
- 2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese (I bought an 8 oz block and had a little left over)
- 1 cup grated Asiago cheese (or use shredded mozzarella)
- Combine ricotta, eggs, and basil in a bowl and stir well
- In a large bowl, combine both pasta sauces and tomato sauce together.
- Grate Parmesan cheese (I used around 2 cups) and set aside.
- Grease the inside of a 6 qt slow cooker (I used vegan butter spread but you can use whatever you have)
- Add 2⅓ cups of pasta sauce to the bottom of the slow cooker
- Add ⅓ of the uncooked penne.
- Dot on half of the ricotta mixture and spread out evenly.
- Add half of the Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
- Add another 2⅓ cups of sauce mixture
- Add an additional ⅓ of the uncooked penne.
- Dot on the remaining ricotta and spread out.
- Sprinkle on the remaining parmesan cheese (1 cup)
- Add the last ⅓ of the uncooked penne.
- Top with the remaining 2⅓ cups of sauce mixture
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until pasta is al dente (we cooked ours for around 2½ hours)
- During the last few minutes, add asiago cheese (or sub mozzarella) to the top and allow to melt
- Serve alone or topped with red pepper flakes and served with garlic bread
*If you can't find Mezzetta, just substitute with the same quantity of your favorite jarred pasta sauce!
If you make this recipe, I would love for you to leave a star rating below!
This post includes an affiliate link for a great slow cooker!