Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti

I am the biggest blog slacker!  Well not really…I mean we’ve had stuff going on around here.  I started doing some freelance translating and then we went on a last minute trip to Long Beach to see family and friends.  It’s hard to work on the blog with stuff like that going on!  I vow to be better.  Jake goes back to work in the middle of the week, which will definitely make getting time at the computer (when Gemma is napping or has gone to bed) much easier!

So here we go with another slow cooker creation that will help get you through the winter!  I found this gem on Pinterest, of course, and it seemed so easy that I just couldn’t pass it up!!  You already know that I am addicted to zucchini, but zucchini and pasta…YUM!!  The original recipe touts itself as “Skinny Zucchini Ziti” with the hopes that you will keep your portions in control.  I hope that for you too, but this is too good limit yourself too much!!  I have learned that I am damn near physically incapable of following a recipe exactly (the original call for zucchini slices as a layer, but I decided to grate it and mix it in with the cheeses), but I’m pretty sure that there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it tastes good!  I present you with my version of:

Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti



*8.5 ounces Barilla Plus Penne, uncooked.

*1 large can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes, or the equivalent in your favorite tomato-based sauce.  (I used an extra 1/4 of another can because I was afraid that it was going to be too dry…it wasn’t.  If you have some extra on hand, use it if you think you need it, but I don’t think you will.)

*2 cups cottage cheese (I use lowfat rather than fat free)

*2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

*1 large zucchini (2 medium or 3 small), grated and water pressed out. (I usually take my grated zucchini in paper towels over a colander and squeeze.  Zucchinis have a TON of water in them, and you just don’t need it all in this.)

*Garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper to taste.

To Make:

*In a large bowl, combine the two cheeses, the grated zucchini, spices, salt, and pepper.

*Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray (or coat with olive oil) to prevent sticking.

*Add about 1/4 of your sauce to the bottom of the cooker.

*Add 1/3 of the penne.

*Add 1/3 of the cheese mixture.

*Repeat until you have three layers and top with the remaining pasta sauce (and cheese if you wish and/or have any extra).

*Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.  (Cook time will totally depend on your machine, so I would check every so often after 1 hour just to see how it’s coming along.  A true whole wheat pasta will probably add cooking time too.  Once you know how your machine and your ingredients behave, feel free to leave the ziti to its own devices!)

Survey Says:

This was a PERFECT dinner for last night!!!  It rained almost all day long, and it was freezing outside!  Jake had taken Gemma out to run errands so I could get some work done on this new translation project, and it was really nice to have this all ready to go when they got home.  Gemma loved it and she’s eating leftovers for lunch right now!  This is super easy to throw together, and is one that you can do at the last minute since it doesn’t need to cook all day long!


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lizzard72 on October 10, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Awesome! I’m glad it passed the Gemma test, it may pass the Avery test then ;).


  2. :-)) And it’s really one of those things where you can add whatever you want. The zucchini is pretty well hidden among the cheese and pasta, but it adds a good texture.


  3. Posted by Sakya Schuler on October 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I can’t wait to make this. I put it on my Pinterest board from here too.


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