Slow Cooker Baked ZITI

Now that fall is here and the weather is getting cooler, I’m using my slow cooker a lot more. This is a first for me, making pasta in the crock pot, but it came out great!

  • 1lb penne or ziti
  • 1lb ground turkey, browned
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • A handful of mushrooms, chopped *optional*
  • Italian seasoning
  • Basil
  • A couple handfuls of fresh spinach *optional*
  • 2 cans of pasta sauce (I used one Italian sausage flavor and one Parmesan garlic flavor) 
  • 16oz small curd cottage cheese (or ricotta)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1.5 cups mozzarella

Brown the ground turkey. Put it in a large mixing bowl. In the same skillet, cook the onions and mushrooms over medium heat with some olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the garlic for 2-3 minutes. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add to the ground turkey. Stir in chopped tomatoes and pasta sauce.

In a smaller bowl, mix together cottage cheese and Parmesan with basil and salt and pepper to taste.

In a slow cooker, layer a little sauce, 1/3 of the pasta, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella, a handful of spinach (if using), 1/3 of the sauce and meat mixture. Repeat all that 2 more times.

Cook on high for 2-3 hours. The last half hour top with the rest of the mozzarella.