Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

This Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is an easy crockpot recipe that packs all the flavour! With tender noodles coated in a ground beef marinara and mixed with a melty cheese goodness, it’s the ideal weeknight meal.

baked ziti in the slowcooker

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

We are a family of pasta lovers through and through. Yet I always like to find different variations on the usual. Just like my Baked Chicken Spaghetti.

This is a fine example that pasta doesn’t have to be boiled, and when not, it most definitely doesn’t have to be soggy mush.

slow cooker ziti

I love breaking out my slow cooker, and especially this time of year when school and activities start again. Using the crockpot is an easy way to have a meal ready when you are.

Needless to say, I’ll be making my Slow Cooker Easy Lasagne and this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken again really soon. Again, I’m showing our love for pasta again!

ziti on a serving spoon

While I love this Slow Cooker Chicken Bolognese recipe, it requires cooking the pasta separately. Which is fine, of course. Yet this with this Slow Cooker Baked Ziti, even the pasta is made in the crockpot!

How to Make Slow Cooker Baked Ziti:

Here’s one thing to note, this ziti recipe of mine isn’t actually ziti, it’s very hard to find where I am. Plus when I have spotted it, I’ve thought it was too high of a price. So using penne noodles is pretty much the same result.

This isn’t a traditional recipe, so why not alter to suit availability and convenience? Glad we agree on that.

baked ziti on a plate

Another thing to note is that this recipe isn’t typically ‘baked’ as you would an oven. It’s so similar that I thought I needed to add that, the only difference is that you don’t get the really crispy crust as you would if baked in the oven. Yet know what? The taste is all there, so again a sacrifice for convenience.

If you really wanted the crispy crust, and you have a crockpot insert that is oven-safe {please make sure it is before doing so or it might explode}, feel free to add a final step of broiling a bit before serving.

This Slow Cooker Baked Ziti recipe produces tender noodles coated in a ground beef marinara and mixed with a melty cheese goodness.

baked ziti on a fork

While I do pre-cook the ground beef before adding into the crockpot, you could set it to high and cook directly in the slow cooker as well. Though it will take longer to cook this way.

Cooking pasta in the slow cooker, when not careful could produce soggy overcooked noodles. The secret to this recipe is that it’s not added until the final hour, and the penne cooks in the marinara sauce and not a bunch of water that would soak in, and produce that sogginess. I love that this recipe results in the most perfectly cooked noodle.

baked ziti recipe

Can you Freeze Slow Cooker Baked Ziti?

You most definitely could, as this recipe produces a lot that you’ll want the leftovers. If you are going to freeze this, I would suggest making sure the noodles are al dente.

Also, when defrosting, allow it to naturally thaw. I’d avoid using a microwave defrost or trying to reheat when it’s still frozen, as the noodles have a greater chance to get mushy. And you don’t want mushy noodles!

This fantastic slow cooker dinner is a total winner in our books, and a dump and not worry about it until later meal.

This easy baked ziti is ideal for those busy weekdays, and a fall comfort food. Another great variation of ours is this Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti.

For another crockpot dinner idea, try this Slow Cooker Mississippi Chicken and Potatoes recipe or this ever-popular Slow Cooker Lazy Cabbage Rolls recipe.

slow cooker ziti recipe
ziti on a serving spoon

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

This Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is an easy crockpot recipe that packs all the flavour! With tender noodles coated in a ground beef marinara and mixed with a melty cheese goodness, it's the ideal weeknight meal.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups ziti or penne noodles, uncooked
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • fresh parsley for garnish, if desired


  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and chopped onion until cooked. Add in the minced garlic, salt, basil and oregano and stir. Cook for 1 minute
  2. Add the beef mixture, diced tomatoes, pasta sauce and water into the slow cooker. Stir until combined. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  3. Turn your slow cooker on high and add ziti or penne noodles, and stir. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until noodles are of desired consistency.
  4. Sprinkle shredded mozza on top {and parsley if desired}, cover and cook until cheese is melted. This will take about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Saturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 845mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 22g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. We’ve already been feeling that fall chill in the air, it’s near time to put the furnace on again! What better time to start preparing comfort foods like this!

  2. Oh boy, this sounds like my kind of food. I must admit that I had to look up what one earth Ziti was, that’s new form of pasta for me. 🙂

  3. This looks beyond yummy. Something my entire family will enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

  4. can I also do this in my oven, I don’t have a slow cooker, and for how long and what temperature Celsius?

  5. This looks delicious and I have been looking for some new recipes for the slow cooker!

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