Delicious slow cooker pasta dish with a nutritional boost from mushrooms and spinach!
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!
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Slow Cooker Baked Ziti with Mushrooms and Spinach
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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
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella (divided)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 48 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, ½ cup mozzarella, salt, and pepper.16 ounces ricotta cheese, 2 egg whites, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
- Cover the bottom of the slow cooker with about half of the ziti noodles.12 ounces ziti noodles
- Pour about 2 cups of spaghetti sauce over the top and spread evenly with a spoon.48 ounces spaghetti sauce
- 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.8 ounces sliced mushrooms, 10 ounces fresh 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.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
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Christine @ myblissfulmess.com
This dish is extremely easy and quick to put together. Comes out PERFECT! No mushy noodles. Absolutely delicious!
Yay, so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Great tips to avoid mush! Sharing! Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!
Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I like to make baked ziti when I have company and this would certainly make it alot easier. I would even let people help themselves from the crock pot. Perfect for holiday parties...
My husband loves this recipe! Just make sure to spin the spinach and dry off the mushrooms as much as possible to prevent the ziti from getting too soupy.
Good tip, thanks! I am glad your husband likes it! 🙂
can you cook on high for two hours instead?
I have not actually tried that, Dorothy. Sorry! I have only tried it on low. You could give it a shot, but just make sure you have a backup plan in case it doesn't turn out! 🙂
what size slow cooker works best for this?
I use a 5 quart slow cooker. I have to kind of pack it in because the fresh spinach takes up a lot of room, but it cooks down pretty fast. Let me know if you have any other questions!
This sounds really good, but I would add cooked Italian sausage and green pepper! Thanks
Where the noodle supposed to be cooked when you put them into the crockpot?
No, the noodles should not be cooked when you put them in. If they are, they will be complete mush when done. Although it will be very tasty mush! 🙂