October 3, 2017

Slow cooker eggplant "baked" ziti


This ziti is "baked" because well, it's not baked.... But, it is just like the baked ziti you know and love, except it is made in your slow cooker rather than the oven. I love my slow cooker so much. I use it all year round and to make all kinds of dishes. I've seen a lot of recipes for slow cooker baked ziti over the years. This version uses eggplant because we often have a lot of it this time of year and also because I like to add extra vegetables where I can. The eggplant also adds extra moisture to the dish. What I like about making "baked" ziti in the slow cooker is that when it's done cooking you can put it on warm and serve it at a party or potluck, or, like me, when your family sometimes needs to eat dinner at different times of the evening, and it will still be warm to eat. This recipe will feed about 6-8 people. Serve it with a side of garlic bread and/or a side salad to stretch it even more.

A note on cooking pasta in the slow cooker like this - it won't taste exactly the same as when you boil the pasta and then add it to the sauce. Cooking it together in the sauce, the pasta will retain more of a starchy flavor. This is not something that we mind, but some people may. I use a 4 quart slow cooker and this recipe just fits in it perfectly. Cooking time will vary a little depending on your slow cooker.


Slow cooker eggplant "baked" ziti
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese (I like whole milk)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (24 oz.) jars of your favorite red pasta sauce
1 pound box ziti, uncooked
3 cups diced eggplant (small dice)
1-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
fresh basil for topping, optional

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or rub with olive oil.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta through garlic powder.

Put about half a jar of pasta sauce in the slow cooker. Top with about 1/3 of the pasta and 1 cup of eggplant. Spoon about 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top. Then add the remaining half jar of sauce, another 1/3 of the pasta, cup of eggplant, 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat one more time using the second jar of sauce. Then top the last layer with the remaining 1/2 jar of sauce.


Cover and cook on high for about 3 to 3-1/2 hours. The time will vary a little depending on your slow cooker. The bottom noodles will be done quicker than the top. When the top noodles are soft, top with the mozzarella/Italian cheese blend. Cover, turn to warm, and allow the cheese to melt.

Serve hot and garnish with fresh basil and/or red pepper flakes, if desired.


What was I cooking one year ago?: white chocolate oatmeal pumpkin cookies
Two years ago?: chocolate chip pumpkin cookies
Three years ago?: pumpkin spice snickerdoodles
Four years ago?: hot & spicy refrigerator turnip pickles
Five?: chocolate chip pumpkin blondies
Six?: curried butternut squash & yellow pea soup
7?: butternut squash muffins

Linked to Whatcha Crockin' link up. 

8 comments:

  1. Have never used slow cooker to make something like this..it looks just as great as the real baked one.

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  2. I never would have thought to make ziti in a slow cooker. That's brilliant! YUM!

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  3. I still am one of those weirdoes that doesn't have a slow cooker. I think I must remedy that~

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  4. This came out of a slow cooker? That's creative. This looks very, very tasty! I'm with you - whole ricotta is SO much better than part skim. I find the same with yogurt.

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  5. Well, I'll go along with everyone else on this one. I would never have thought your delicious looking pasta was cooked in a slow cooker...that is terrific.

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  6. i haven't tried making a pasta dish in the slow cooker so i appreciate your warning about the differences in flavor! this looks so good, i think i'll have to try it!

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  7. Such a great idea to make this in a slow cooker Amy, looks fantastic!!! Happy fall, love your darling pics on instagram;)

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  8. What a delicious dish! I have NEVER tried cooking pasta in a slow cooker - I'll definitely have to give it a try :)

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