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Try This Unique Cheesy Baked Ziti with Pepperoni Recipe

Baked ziti pasta

Try This Unique Cheesy Baked Ziti with Pepperoni Recipe

Baked ziti is a dish that many families have enjoyed over the years. It's rich in flavor, cozy, and filling. As the name might suggest, baked ziti is usually cooked in the oven. This recipe changes up what's traditional by cooking the ziti in the slow cooker!

You might be raising your eyebrows at us, wondering how ziti could possibly turn out well when made in the slow cooker. Isn't the crock pot meant for meats, stews, and soups? While these dishes are what are most commonly made in slow cookers, there are plenty of other recipes that can be thrown into one. We've taken the time to work out the best way to make ziti in a slow cooker.

If you still aren't convinced, read through this recipe! You'll soon see the tactics we use to ensure this recipe turns into a wonderful dinner every time. This isn't one of those slow cooker recipes that will take half a day to cook; it will finish cooking within three hours if cooked on high. You'll have to do a bit of work before using the slow cooker, but those steps are essential to ensuring this recipe turns out right.

At Moms Who Think, we enjoy taking traditional recipes and putting a unique spin on them. We have other recipes that involve taking dishes that are usually grilled or baked and cooking them in a slow cooker. We also have plenty of dinner recipes that put other unique spins on what's classic. Make sure you check them all out!

Cheesy Baked Ziti with Pepperoni


Vegetable oil spray
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, minced
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
8 ounces ziti (2½ cups)
6 ounces sliced pepperoni
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
Hot water, as needed
1 cup ricotta cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil


1. Line slow cooker with aluminum foil collar and coat with vegetable oil spray. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, and oregano and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Stir in tomatoes and heavy cream, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in ziti, pepperoni, salt, and pepper.

3. Transfer ziti mixture to prepared slow cooker and spread tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Cover and cook until pasta is tender, about 3 hours on high.

4. Remove foil collar. Gently stir pasta, adding hot water as needed to loosen sauce consistency. Dollop spoonfuls of ricotta over casserole, then sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover and let sit until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

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