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!
Slow Cooker Baked Ziti With Mushrooms and Spinach
- 12 ounces ziti noodles (1 box)
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese (1 container, can be low-fat)
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella (divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 24 ounces spaghetti sauce (2 jars, divided)
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 10 ounces fresh spinach (1 bag)
- Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg whites, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 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.
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