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Playing Slow-Cooker Pasta Bake

Pasta, veggies and CHEESE — a golden trio! Just throw everything in and let the slow cooker do the work, says Valerie.


  • 4 cups jarred marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces ziti pasta, uncooked
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¾ inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 ½ cups matchstick carrots
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • 1 can black olives, (2-ounce) sliced drained
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves


Serves: 4


Lightly coat 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the marinara sauce, pasta, zucchini, carrots, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, olives, and water; stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW until the pasta is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Gently fold in the spinach until wilted. Spoon into serving bowls and top evenly with the basil.

Excerpt from Valerie's Home Cooking: More than 100 Delicious Recipes to Share with Friends and Family by Valerie Bertinelli. Copyright © 2017 by Valerie Bertinelli. Used with permission by Oxmoor House. All rights reserved.