Prep 20 mins
Cook 7 hrs
This came in a coupon book with my Taste of Home Magazine. I absolutely love it. My boyfriend and I ate some for supper and froze the rest of it for a quick meal later on.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 (25 ounce) jars pasta sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 (16 ounce) box ziti pasta
- Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Stir in seasonings to evenly coat meat; stir in pasta sauce. Set aside.
- Mix 1 cup mozzarella, the ricotta and parmesan in a medium bowl. Spoon 2 cups of meat sauce into the slow cooker; top with 2 cups ziti. Drop half of the cheese mixture, by rounded tablespoons, over ziti; carefully spread over ziti using back of spoon. Layer with 2 cups meat sauce, the remaining ziti and remaining cheese. Add remaining meat sauce, completely covering all the ziti and cheese. Place lid on slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours or until noodles are tender.
- Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle food with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella; let stand 10 minutes until melted. Serve directly from slow cooker.
What I did to make sure the edges didn't burn or that it didn't turn out dry was I bought 2 jars of the pasta sauce that were a little more than 25 ounces. I also sprayed the inside of the slow cooker with PAM to make sure the sides didn't stick everywhere. Instead of the 6-7 hours on low, I set the cooker to 5 hours on low and it turned out perfect! Not dry at all! Great easy recipe and convenient!
I used hints from the other reviews/comments, and sprayed the crock pot wih PAM, added about an extra half jar of sauce and cooked for only 5 hours on LOW. I was so glad I did... I think it would have been dry if I had used only 2 jars of sauce, and I think it would have burned on the bottom and edges if I had cooked it longer than 5 hours and/or on HIGH.
With the adjustments mentioned above, the ziti got great reviews from my in-laws! Yay! (Oh - almost forgot to mention, like some of the others, I used whole grain penne pasta.)
Made this & made the following tweaks & it came out AWESOME :) #1 made it vegetarian - still started with browning onions & garlic & then just added in veggies that I had on hand that seemed to go (incld okra :)), #2 used 2 different jars of pasta sauce - roasted red pepper & roasted veggie - & added in some left-over Italian seasoning canned diced tomatoes, #3 added abt 2 tbps chopped fresh basil to the cheese mixture, as well as 1 egg, per another recipe, #4 also added an extra 1/4 cup to each 2 cup layer of sauce just for extra moisture, & #5 cooked on low for 4 hours, then turned off and left in the slow cooker overnight & when I came back in the morning it was perfectly cooked!! this baked ziti came out perfect, super moist & deliciously zesty :D