Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

By Scott Sarvay

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

July 9, 2012 Updated Jul 9, 2012 at 9:37 AM EDT

Think you’re too busy to make homemade Baked Ziti? Not if you make this easy and delicious slow cooker version shared with us by the Crockin’ Girls when they paid a visit to our Test Kitchen!

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 4 hr 10 min

• 1 1/4 pounds Italian sausage
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
• 2 egg whites
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
• 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon oregano
• 2 (26-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
• 1 (16-ounce) box ziti pasta (uncooked, rinsed and drained)
• 1/4 teaspoon chopped parsley

1. Coat a 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, onion, and garlic 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned; drain and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg whites, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and oregano; mix well.

4. In the slow cooker, layer 2 cups sauce, half the sausage mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, half the ziti, and half the ricotta mixture; repeat layers. Top with remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley on top.

5. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours, or until pasta is tender.

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