Crock Pot Ziti
This slow cooked Ziti is actually made completely in the crockpot. It's easier than the traditional version but has the same great flavors. ! I add chicken to the dish to make it a complete meal.
- 1 (1 pound 7.8-ounces) jar marinara (no sugar added) look for sauce with the fewest ingredients
- 3 cups penne shells (whole grain, dry)
- 2 cups fat free cottage cheese
- 2 cups skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 large zucchini (1/4-inch slices)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil (finely chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 135mins
In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, oregano, basil and black pepper. In the Crock Pot, spoon 1/4 of marinara onto the bottom, add 1 cup penne shells, 1/3 of zucchini slices and top with 1 cup cheese mixture. Repeat until you have 3 layers. Top off with the remaining marinara and lastly, cheese.
Note: Keep penne shells and cheese away from the edges by about 1-inch. Pasta tends to get hard and cheese burns if allowed to touch the sides while cooking.
Cover and cook on low for approximately 2 hours or until penne noodles are Al Dente (firm but not hard). Not all crock pots cook the same so be sure that the penne is done before serving. The cook time is recommended based on the crock pot used when preparing this recipe. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Tip: If you prefer your ziti a little more on the thick side, allow to cook an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.
I added chicken to this meal by boiling 4 chicken breasts until just cooked and then cutting up into chunks and layering with the pasta. That way I got my serving of protein.