Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti

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Yes, this yummy recipe is made in the slow cooker.

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. That’s 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.

0 from 0 votes

Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti

This vegetarian dish is cooked in one pot and is a great meal for the family!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Yield 10 people
Serving Size 0.75 cup
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian


  • 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.

Nutrition Information

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
Keywords Pasta, Slow Cooker, Vegetarian

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Gale Compton

Gale co-founded SkinnyMs. with a goal to provide women with delicious recipes, fitness routines, and ways to reach their ideal weight. Gale has been featured on the Today Show in which she won a cook off for the best Lasagna. Be sure to search for her winning recipe, Skinny Lasagna Rolls.

Guided by her firm belief in healthy eating and the power of exercise, Gale has written two cookbooks and several fitness ebooks. She earned her Fitness Training Certification from, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Gale loves to run with her dog Maggie and has completed numerous half-marathons.

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  1. 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. 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!

    1. Connie, Great way to use up fresh zucchinis. So happy your entire family enjoy!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  3. 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. 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. 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. 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?

  7. 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!!

  8. 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!

    1. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 2.5. Hours and still not cooked. Think I will cook a bit before putting in crock next time. Otherwise, great idea!

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

  12. 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.

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

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

  13. 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.)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    1. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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?

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

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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?

  23. 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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