Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
An easy take on a cheesy classic.

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

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Photos by Anna Jahraus.

The first recipe I ever committed to memory (aside from grilled cheese and the instructions on a ramen noodle packet) was baked ziti. I was still a teenager, and I was so impressed with myself that I even remembered what temperature to set the oven to. It has always been one of my favorite meals, and that was partly because it was so easy to make.

Imagine my surprise when I found out there was an even easier way to prepare it!

This recipe is little more than layering ingredients and pushing a few buttons on your slow cooker. There’s no need to boil your noodles ahead of time, as the sauce does the job for you. It’s also pretty easy to adjust to your preferences. Are you a mozzarella fan? Go ahead and add a little more! Not crazy about ricotta? Then you could cut out a layer or two. I know it’s not technically baked ziti at this point, as there’s no oven involved, but this dish tastes just as good as its classic counterpart, and it’s perfect for those lazy nights where you just don’t feel like cooking. //


  • 12 oz. penne 
  • 48 oz. marinara sauce 
  • 32 oz. ricotta 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon basil 
  • ¼ grated parmesan 
  • 16 oz. shredded mozzarella


  1. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray, or use a slow cooker liner. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, eggs, parmesan, basil, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Cover the bottom of your slow cooker with marinara. 
  4. Layer pasta on top of the sauce. 
  5. Put four or five scoops of the ricotta mixture on top of the pasta. 
  6. Place a layer of mozzarella on top of the ricotta. 
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 two more times. 
  8. For your last layer, finish off with marinara, ricotta, and marinara. Make sure all of your noodles are covered in sauce. 
  9. Cook on high for 2 ½ hours. Serve with additional parmesan on top.