Thursday, March 5, 2020

Meal Prep In Your Step: Crockpot Baked Ziti

Y’all asked, so here it is, a new Meal Prep In Your Step! I’m not always the best at sharing what I am cooking since so often, I follow recipes I’ve found online. This meal started that way, but with a few tweaks resulted in a delicious creation that I am excited to introduce to you. I will have to warn you that it makes A LOT of food. I was on the phone with my parents when I went to check on my crockpot after leaving it alone for a few hours, and the noodles were nearly touching the lid with just enough room to sprinkle cheese on the top without making a complete mess. So, you’ll need at least a 6-quart crockpot to make this without destroying your kitchen and maybe a lot of friends to help you eat it all or a freezer-safe dish to put some away for later.

2 (25 ounce) jars of pasta sauce 
15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 pound of uncooked rigatoni pasta
15 oz of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup freshly chopped basil
1 pound ground beef
2 cups parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1.    Start by spraying your crockpot so that the ingredients don’t get stuck to the sides and burn. It also makes cleanup a much easier process. 
2.    Combine ricotta, eggs, and basil in a bowl or measuring container and stir.
3.    Combine pasta sauce jars and tomato sauce in another bowl. 
4.    Measure the remaining ingredients and set aside. 
5.    From the bowl of pasta and tomato sauce, measure 2 and 1/3 cups and add to the bottom of the greased crockpot.
6.    Add 1/3 of the uncooked pasta.
7.    Add 1/3 of ground beef on top of the pasta.
8.    Spoon half of the ricotta mixture on top of the ground beef and spread evenly. 
9.    Add half of the parmesan cheese (1 cup).
10.  Repeat steps 5-9.
11.  Add the last 1/3 of the uncooked pasta and ground beef and top with the remaining 2 and 1/3 cups of sauce.
12.  Choose your crockpot setting and leave the dish alone to cook covered.
13.  During the last few minutes, add the mozzarella cheese to the top and allow to melt.
14.  Serve topped with extra mozzarella if desired. 

(forgive the 7:30 pm shot before I dug into my dinner this week)

I’d love to know if you’re planning to give this recipe a try! 

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