Well, here I am again, trying to decide whether or not to cook a crock pot dish that contains pasta. I have mentioned before that typically when I do this, the pasta ends up gummy (even when it was cooked before being put into the crock pot). However, this Crock Pot Mac and Cheese recipe turned out amazing! So, I will attempt, again, to cook another pasta dish in the crock pot, Slow Cooker Ziti - here we go!
Saute' the onion and brown the beef.
I normally would have used this marinara sauce, but since I didn't have any made already, I just use a couple of jars of store bought sauce that I already had that was ready to go.
Set this meat mixture aside.
Mix together 1 cup of the mozzarella, the ricotta, and the parmesan.
The original recipe calls for you to use a Reynolds' Slow Cooker Liner. I don't have one, so I made sure to grease my crock pot with cooking spray.
Add 2 cups of the meat.
Then 2 cups of uncooked pasta.
Spoon in 1/2 of the cheese mixture and spread it over the pasta.
Then layer 2 more cups of the meat mixture, the remaining uncooked pasta and cheese mixture. Then top off with remaining meat mixture, completely covering the pasta and cheese mixture.
Cover and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours.
Check after 4 hours. Mine was ready to go in just under 4 hours.
Then sprinkle on the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
Cover the whole top. Let it sit there, uncovered, for about 10 mins, or until all the cheese is melted.
Yum! I know the kids are excited :)
So, the verdict for me on this one is...
We all really enjoyed this one. This is a good one to throw together in the afternoon and will be ready for dinner. I guess I am over my phobia of cooking pasta in the crock pot :)
Slow Cooker Ziti
Adapted from Reynolds
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 jars (25oz each) pasta sauce
- 1 (15oz) container ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 (16 oz) box ziti pasta, uncooked
Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Stir in seasoning to evenly coat meat and onions. Stir in pasta sauce. Set aside
Mix 1 cup mozzarella, the ricotta, and the parmesan in a medium bowl. Spoon 2 cups of meat sauce into slow cooker. Top with 2 cups of uncooked ziti pasta. Drop half of the cheese mixture, by rounded tablespoons, over pasta; carefully spread over pasta using back of spoon. Layer with 2 cups meat sauce, the remaining pasta, and the remaining cheese mixture. Top with the remaining meat sauce, completely covering all the pasta and cheese mixture. Place lid on slow cooker.
Cook on LOW for 4 - 5 hours or until pasta is tender.
Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese, and let stand 10 mins, until melted. Serve.
~Lovely Fluffy Mama