Recipe: Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Yes, you really can make baked ziti (well, “baked” ziti) in your slow cooker. And the result isn’t just good — it’s amazing. What it lacks in the crispy-edges department it gains in the ooey-gooey comfort-food department: tender noodles coated in marinara and mixed with a double dose of melty cheese.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The Secrets to Success with Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

Pasta in the slow cooker has a reputation for being overcooked and soggy — a result of too much liquid in the slow cooker or too long of a cook time. But that won’t happen here. To get these noodles just right, we minimized the amount of liquid by cooking the dried noodles directly in the marinara sauce instead of broth or water. And since most store-bought marinara is infused with extra flavor from garlic and herbs, this means your ziti also gets a boost of extra flavor.

205 Ratings

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti



  • Cooking spray

  • 1 pound

    dried ziti pasta

  • 48 ounces

    marinara sauce

  • 1 (15-ounce) container

    whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 2 cups

    shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese, divided



  1. Coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the ziti, marinara, ricotta, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and stir well to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.

  2. Cover and cook until the pasta is cooked through and the cheese is melted, on the LOW setting for 3 to 4 hours or on the HIGH setting for 1 to 2 hours. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.