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+ servings

Slow-Cooker Baked Ziti

Slow-Cooker Baked Ziti - classic Italian American comfort food of pasta baked with sausage, tomato sauce, and all kinds of gooey, yummy cheeses. So easy and so good!


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • salt + pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 8 oz ziti (~ 2½ cups dry) gluten-free if you’re avoiding gluten
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (~ 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp shredded fresh basil


  • Lightly coat the inside of your slow cooker with olive oil.
  • In a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Cook the sausage, breaking into pieces, until well browned (~ 6-8 minutes).
  • Add the onion, a strong pinch of salt, and a couple of grinds of black pepper. Cook until the onion has softened (~ 5 to 7 minutes). Add the garlic and oregano; cook until fragrant (~ 1 minute).
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Add ziti and cook, stirring constantly, until the edges of the pasta become translucent (~ 4-5 minutes)
  • Off heat, stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer to the slow cooker. Cover and cook until pasta is tender (~ 2 to 3 hours on high).
  • Dollop ricotta over ziti and sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover and let sit until cheese is melted (~ 20 minutes). Sprinkle with basil and serve.