Crock Pot Baked Ziti is perfectly meaty and cheesy



This slow cooker Italian favorite is a real crowd pleaser.
PREP:20 mins
COOK:2 hrs 30 mins
SERVINGS: 8Ingredients
▢1 pound ground beef or ground sausage
▢1 medium onion, diced
▢1 minced garlic clove or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
▢2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
▢1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
▢1/2 teaspoon salt
▢2 (24-ounce) jars pasta sauce
▢1 (15-ounce) jar tomato sauce
▢1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
▢1 large egg
▢2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
▢1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
▢3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
▢1 (16-ounce) box ziti
Brown the ground beef or sausage with the onion in a nonstick skillet, breaking the meat apart as it cooks. Add the garlic, seasonings, pasta sauce, and tomato sauce and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, egg, basil, Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. This mixture is going to add so much creamy goodness!
Pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a greased 6-quart slow cooker. Scatter 1/3 of the uncooked ziti on top followed by 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat with another layer of sauce, ziti, and all of the remaining ricotta mixture. Top with remaining ziti and sauce.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours or on LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Be careful not to overcook or the ziti will taste soggy. Remove the lid and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Cover just long enough to melt the cheese.
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

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