Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti

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This slow cooker Zucchini Ziti offers it all. It can be made in a flash, but tastes as if you put hours into its creation. Thats why we love it! Whip some up for Sunday dinner and enjoy the leftovers for Monday lunch.

We recommend atleast a 5 quart slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti

This vegetarian dish is cooked in one pot and is a great meal for the family!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta, Slow Cooker, Vegetarian
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 272kcal
Author: Gale Compton


  • 25 ounces jarred marinara sauce no-sugar added
  • 3 cups whole grain ziti shells uncooked, or penne
  • 2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 large zucchini cut into 1/4 inch half moons
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated


  • In a medium bowl combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, and spices. Add one cup marinara to the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine (uncooked) pasta shells with remaining marinara. Layer pasta coated marinara, zucchini, and cheese mixture until all ingredients have been used. Cheese should be the last ingredient added.
  • Cover and cook on low for two hours, or until pasta is al dente.


Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 376mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8

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54 Comments on "Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti"

  1. Amy Pfarr  June 10, 2012

    This was an amazing dish!  I love that you can put the pasta in dry.  I don't love to cook so thank you Skinny Ms. Crockpot for creating and EASY and healthy way for me to put food on the table.


  2. Connie  July 5, 2012

    This was awesome.  I'm getting quite a few zuchinnis in my CSA box and this used up one.  It is also another way to get my kids to eat zucchini!  All of us loved it!

    • Skinny Ms.  July 7, 2012

      Connie, Great way to use up fresh zucchinis. So happy your entire family enjoy!!! 😀 😀

  3. Lorie  August 19, 2012

    While this dish was a hit once it was done the pasta never got quite al dente for me and it was in the crock pot for about 3 hours before people at it. They still liked it but I will cook my pasta a bit prior to making this next time.

  4. Jennifer Ottinger  November 4, 2012

    LOVE this recipe! I am not a cook by any means, but this was so easy to make and tasted delicious! Can't wait to try another skinny ms recipe soon!!!

  5. Laurie  December 30, 2012

    Where's the recipe?! Am I the only one who can't see it? I would really love to have this recipe but foe some reason it's not showing up for me! =(

  6. Michelle Lima  February 13, 2013

    Same here… so for Christmas, I bought myself a slow cooker!

  7. Shannon  February 13, 2013

    Could you add cut up chicken breast to this? How long would you need to cook for and would you need to add the pasta later?

  8. Louise  February 22, 2013

    Made this tonight. It was really good!

  9. Melody  April 3, 2013

    Can I bake this recipe in the oven?

    • Skinny Ms.  April 4, 2013

      Sure! Just bake on 375 degrees until cheese is hot and bubbly, approximately 25-30 minutes.

  10. Michele Conard  June 21, 2013

    This was delicious and sooooo easy :-). My pasta cooked just fine and it came out great. Was so quick to put together (less than 10 minutes). Love that I didn't have to cook the pasta first. Thanks skinnyms for so many awesome recipes!!

  11. Emily  June 24, 2013

    Could you add turkey burger to this as well? If so, would I cook the turkey burger and just add it in the crock pot? Can't wait to try this recipe!

    • Skinny Ms.  June 24, 2013

      Emily, Yes you can. I would recommend cooking the ground turkey first, drain well and then add to the sauce before putting in the slow cooker.

  12. Debbi  July 6, 2013

    On the recipe I see it says to cover and cook for two hours twice. Is that a typo or do I cook for 4 hours?

    • Skinny Ms.  July 7, 2013

      Debbi, That was a typo, now corrected! Thanks. 🙂

  13. Tammy  July 17, 2013

    2.5. Hours and still not cooked. Think I will cook a bit before putting in crock next time. Otherwise, great idea!

  14. Lori  July 25, 2013

    How long would you precook your pasta for? Mine wasn't quite done after 3 hours, but my family still enjoyed it!

    • Skinny Ms.  July 26, 2013

      Lori, I never precook the pasta, but if you do, only 2 minutes.

    • SkinnyMs  March 3, 2014

      You don't need to precook the pasta for this recipe.

  15. Barbara  August 22, 2013

    I just bought and downloaded your cookbook! Can you freeze this ziti recipe, because if i can, i would divide up into 13 servings and freeze.

    • Skinny Ms.  August 23, 2013

      Barbara, Thank-you! I’m assuming you mean after cooking? MAke sure to allow the ziti to cool before freezing.

  16. Cheryl  September 2, 2013

    Will this work without cottage cheese?

    • Skinny Ms.  September 2, 2013

      Cheryl, Sure, just sub with your favorite cheese.

      • alizeth  October 21, 2013

        Can you bake this instead? I dont have a slow cooker.

        • Skinny Ms.  October 22, 2013

          Sure! Just add ingredients to a casserole dish and bake until cheese it bubbly and melted, approximately 30 minutes on 375 degrees.

  17. Dmitri Dzhinzhihashvilli  August 8, 2014

    All in family loved it. Wife is a bit of a pasta snob. She very much enjoyed it. A great recipe: easy to make, satisfying, relatively inexpensive, and as a bonus, uses up those zucchinis! ( I cooked on High for about 2 hours and then switched to Low and served after 3 hours.)

  18. barblibrarian  August 27, 2014

    Making this today to take to a pot luck lunch. I just had a couple of thoughts while reading the comments. Both the type of pasta and the slow cooker matter with time. I have a very old crockpot and a smaller newer one. I the new one is very hot on low and the older one is more what I would consider low. Since I am using the older one, I am cooking it on high. I am also using Barilla Plus pasta which takes longer to cook than most penne, so I precooked it for 1/2 the time. Hope this is helpful for those who found they needed to cook it longer.

  19. Kristin  September 13, 2014

    I made this for my family last night, and it was a huge hit! It took some convincing to get my three year old to try it, but once he did, he ate a ton including the zucchini! He now says he loves zucchini. Seriously! Thanks for that. A healthy, very easy to make meal with no fights to get my kids to eat is always welcome in my home.

    • SkinnyMs  September 15, 2014

      Kristin, You're welcome! Thanks for the feedback:).

  20. Elizabeth  August 10, 2015

    If you're cooking this for someone who's lactose intolerant, what could be substituted for the cottage cheese?

    • SkinnyMs  August 12, 2015

      We haven't tried substituting in this particular recipe, but you may try using puree'd chickpeas in place of the cottage cheese. Keep us posted on how it turns out!

  21. Michelle  August 11, 2015

    It was super and enjoyed by all but didn't look close to the picture even after I mixed all the cheese up with the noodles. I used ricotta though since I can't do cottage cheese and used a bag of Italian cheese I found in the freezer. I had to use the Smart ? Penne pasta since pickings were slim!

  22. Betty  September 25, 2015

    I stumbled on this recipe last year when I was looking for way to use up garden zucchini. My family loves it and I've made it many, many times since. They didn't even realize the cottage cheese was not ricotta till I told them. Taste like it took hours to prepare.

    • SkinnyMs  September 26, 2015

      Betty, Thank you so much for the feedback. We're so happy you're family enjoy our Zucchini Ziti 🙂

  23. Rima  August 30, 2016

    When you layer the ingredients, do you repeat layering? I wasn’t sure if you put all the pasta then all the zucchini and then all the cheese or layer it like a lasagna with repeat layers

    • Kym Votruba  August 31, 2016

      You don’t need to repeat layering. 🙂

  24. CN  September 3, 2016

    I’m British, what is marinara ?

  25. Tania  September 10, 2016

    Has anyone made this without the pasta?

  26. Laureta  November 27, 2016

    Im making thus for dinner tonight. So easy to make and looks delicious

  27. kelly  February 8, 2017

    My slow cooker is only 3.5 quarts. Do I need to halve the recipe or can I adjust the cooking time in some way to compensate?

    • Gale Compton  February 8, 2017

      Kelly, Hmmmm…I would suggest cutting down the recipe slightly, about 1/4 less ingredients. Keep us posted! 🙂

  28. Lina  February 19, 2017

    How many ounces is 3 cups pasta and why not just say ounces since pasta comes in boxes marked ounces and not cups.

    • Nichole Furlong  February 19, 2017

      Hi Lina, sorry for any confusion our recipe may have caused. For this recipe, about 9 to 10 ounces of whole grain ziti pasta shells would be needed.

      This recipe calls for ziti, with an option of penne. We chose to use cups in this particular recipe because sometimes a cup of one type of pasta will have a different weight in ounces than another, such as penne. Or, if you had chosen to use gluten free pasta instead of whole grain the weight may also be different. For some, it’s easier to measure in cups since not everyone owns a food scale. We want to be sure our recipes are accessible to all diets and individuals of different cooking levels! Hopes this helps to clear up any confusion!

  29. Barb  March 27, 2017

    What do you do with the Parmesan?

    • Nichole Furlong  March 27, 2017

      Hi Barb, add the Parmesan into the cheese mixture! If you’d like you can reserve some to sprinkle on top after the ziti is cooked.

  30. Rita  September 2, 2017

    Can this recipe be used without the zucchini? My daughter is very picky and I would be surprised if she doesn’t recognize the cottage cheese. She doesn’t like cottage cheese, do you have any suggestions as to what I could replace that with? Im hoping to try this recipe this evening. Thanks so much!

    • Gale Compton  September 2, 2017

      Rita, Ricotta or Mozzarella are good choices.

  31. Kari  September 27, 2017

    Can you put this together the night before and stored in the refrigerator? Then just pop it in the Crock-Pot in the morning so it’s ready for lunch?

  32. Donna Smith  September 28, 2017

    Your receipes has to many carbs. My husband is a type2 diabetic he only suppose to have 15 carbs per meal and lots of protein and I can’t find any receipes that fills the bill. Can you hlep me in this quest?


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