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Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

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Pasta lovers will love this slow cooker Baked Ziti and you will love preparing it for your family. It’s a healthier version of the classic, gluten-free, and definitely not short on flavor. 

I received complimentary products from Banza to aid in the creation of this post for #NationalSlowCookerMonth. All opinions are mine alone. #ad #sponsored

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti - hero

 

Here’s another confession.  I love pasta.  I don’t love the carbs from it. We probably have a pasta dish once a week and while I try to make it as healthy as possible, I’ve got a husband who doesn’t care for whole grain or wheat pasta.  I’ve fooled him with the “white wheat pasta” products, but if I put a plate of whole wheat pasta in front of him, he’ll pass.  I tell him “mind over matter” and he tells me “no, thank you.” 

So, when Banza sent me coupons for their chickpea pasta I wasn’t even sure I could pull this off with the husband.  My mom was excited to try it as was my youngest daughter.  I was all for it and ready to have me a bowl of this pasta.

photo of Banza pasta on grocery shelf

 

I knew I had to make a dish that would have familiar flavors for the husband so I chose to remake a classic baked ziti but in the slow cooker and with healthier ingredients.  Of course when you add the layer of CHEESE, who isn’t going to love this dish! The result: the husband loved it! Winner!

I used Banza’s Penne for this recipe and also a spicy turkey sausage, which is a hit for everyone in the family.  I also made a homemade sauce, but jarred sauce is just fine in this recipe, too.  Banza chickpea pasta is high in protein and fiber, but has lower net carbs than regular pasta – that I love.  I can serve my family a pasta dish and feel good about it.

Banza Penne pasta box with bell peppers

 

So, Monday I shared a recipe for Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage as part of this week’s #NationalSlowCookerMonth’s event. Several bloggers and I are sharing recipes just for the slow cooker this week.  It’s going to be a delicious week filled with so much good food. Plus, thanks to our generous sponsors, there will also be a giveaway for you to enter! The list of each day’s recipes from all the bloggers will be at the bottom of this post as is the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

Other pasta dishes to try in the slow cooker is this easy slow cooker lasagna and of course a family favorite, Helen’s Slow Cooker Creamy Mac and Cheese.

Okay, let’s get on with today’s recipe for this yummy baked ziti.  

hero image edited

Tips to Make Slow Cooker Baked Ziti:

My biggest tip for this recipe is to remember that chickpea pasta takes less time to cook than regular pasta. This slow cooker baked ziti takes only about 1 1/2 hours in the slow cooker on high or about 2 1/2 hours on low.  My best advice would be to check the pasta at half the time.  

 

preparing baked ziti using Banza pasta

 

Use any sausage, ground beef, or turkey sausage you like OR leave it out for a meatless meal. Jarred marinara sauce is perfectly fine to use if you are short on time to make the sauce.  

adding the cheese layer to the slow cooker baked ziti

 

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Slow Cooker Baked Ziti with Chickpea pasta from Banza

 

Close up - plate of slow cooker baked Ziti

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

Pasta lovers will love this slow cooker Baked Ziti and you will love preparing it for your family. It's a healthier version of the classic, gluten-free, and definitely not short on flavor. 
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate

Equipment

  • 6 qt. slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spicy turkey sausage or your favorite sausage, ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 whole red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (8 oz) box Banza Penne Chickpea pasta (uncooked) SEE NOTES
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • fresh basil for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, brown the spicy turkey sausage. When it's just about done, add the diced peppers and onion. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Drain any grease if needed, and add mixture to slow cooker.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, and tomato sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Add the Italian seasoning and the heavy cream; give the sauce a good stir.
  • Add the pasta to the slow cooker and mix in, making sure all the pasta is covered with sauce.
  • Cover, and cook on high for about 1 1/2 hours OR on low for about 2 1/2 hours. Check pasta for doneness about half way through the cooking time. When pasta is al-dente, top with shredded mozzarella cheese and turn slow cooker to low. When cheese is melted, it's ready to serve.

Notes

My biggest tip for this recipe is to remember that chickpea pasta takes less time to cook than regular pasta. This slow cooker baked ziti takes only about 1 1/2 hours in the slow cooker on high or about 2 1/2 hours on low.  My best advice would be to check the pasta at half the time.  
Use any sausage, ground beef, or turkey sausage you like OR leave it out for a meatless meal.
Jarred marinara sauce is perfectly fine to use if you are short on time to make the sauce.  

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Blogghetti” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Tried this recipe?I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this one! I hope you try it, enjoy it, comment and rate it, and share it with your friends and family!

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti - feature

 

Wednesday’s Slow Cooker Recipes

 

Giveaway from our sponsors!!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: 

Contest runs 1/20/2020 at 12:00 a.m. till 1/27/2020 at 11:59 p.m. 

The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #NationalSlowCookerMonth bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway. Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter giveaway and contest is open only to US residents. 

 

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #NationalSlowCookerMonth posts or entry. Thank you to our sponsors Banza, Camellia, and Rhodes for providing prizes

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Enjoy!

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