- 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 64 oz. of spaghetti sauce (any kind)
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella
- 1 egg
- 1 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 16 oz. uncooked ziti noodles
I recently had family in town and treated them to this delicious Slow Cooker Baked Ziti.
Growing up, my mom always made lasagna for family gatherings but over the years, I have grown to enjoy Baked Ziti more than Lasagna. So I guess you could say I am building upon my mom’s tradition and creating my own. :-)
What is your “go to” meal when you have company or a family gathering? Please share in the comments section below – I love to hear from you!
- Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Crumble the beef as you cook it – until it’s no longer pink.
- Mix in Italian Seasoning, Salt, and the sauce and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, all the ricotta and all of the parmesan cheese with 1 egg. (the egg isn’t a must if you don’t have any – although it will make the cheese creamier/easier to spread)
- SPRAY your 6 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray or use a slow cooker liner (trust me!)
- Layer ingredients:
Layer 1: (Note: Step 1 and 2 combined make the sauce mix) Pour in 2 & 1/2 cups of sauce mix and spread evenly.
Layer 2: Sprinkle 2 cups of ziti noodles (uncooked) over the sauce mix.
Layer 3: Add half of the cheese mixture – drop in balls then carefully spread over noodles.
Layer 4: Pour in 2 & 1/2 cups of sauce mix and spread evenly.
Layer 5: Sprinkle the rest of the ziti noodles over the sauce mix.
Layer 6: Add the other half of the cheese mixture – Again, drop in balls then carefully spread over noodles.
Layer 7: Pour in the remaining sauce mix and be sure to cover all the ingredients.
Cover & Crock on Low for 4 hours.
About 10 minutes before serving, sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Serve after the cheese is melted.
* A tip on this recipe - The key is making sure you have enough sauce – if you are short, halve the recipe – without enough sauce this dish will be too dry!
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