Easy Slow Cooker Baked Ziti and Meatballs and a Crockpot Giveaway!



This post brought to you by Crystal Farms Cheese. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Suzy’s Sitcom.

Yep, I’m just loaded up with giveaways lately!  How about a 6 quart crock pot?  Well, the folks at Crystal Farms have not only asked me to talk about their products, but are offering up a brand new 6 quart crockpot to one lucky Sitcom reader!  Oh, and how about a recipe for Slow Cooker Baked Ziti with Meatballs too?

crockpot giveaway

While work camping in Maine, we struggle with not only eating healthy, but eating at a decent hour.  You see, we are currently working a night shift, getting off around 8:00 PM.  That means lots of hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches.  It would help if I could get a bit more organized.

Crockpot cooking seems like it might be a good solution for many of those nights.  I love the idea of fast and easy recipes and that I can throw it in the slow cooker and leave it.  Coming home to the smell of dinner ready and waiting is incredibly appealing.

So I did some research looking for some great crockpot recipes and found that there are many recipes for pulled pork, BBQ and pot roast.  And not much else.  Time to improvise!

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

So, lets start with Crystal Farms Wisconsin Mozzarella String Cheese.  Since 1926, Crystal Farms has been committed to providing the highest quality products. Lake Mills, Wisconsin has been home to Crystal Farms for the past 25 years and the hard-working, honest people of Lake Mills are devoted to delivering consistent quality and great tasting products for what they love – cheese.

I love the fact that Crystal Farms products are natural with few preservatives, a rich source of calcium, gluten-free and lactose tolerant.

And we love cheese!

So what to make?  Well, I decided to try my hand at Slow Cooker Baked Ziti and Meatballs!

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti with Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg
24-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
16-oz. ricotta cheese
1 pkg. Crystal Farms Wisconsin Mozzarella String Cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
8-oz of penne noodles

Mix together the ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder and egg in a bowl.  Form into meatballs.

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

Brown the meatballs.

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

Place the browned meatballs into the bottom of the crockpot.

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

Slice the string cheese into bite sized pieces.  (The great thing about using string cheese for this recipe is that the cheese doesn’t melt entirely and leaves tasty chunks of mozzarella in your ziti!)

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

Mix together the noodles, string cheese, and ricotta cheese.

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

Add in the parmesan cheese and spaghetti sauce.  Mix well.

crock pot baked ziti and meatballs

Place the noodle/cheese/sauce mixture over top of the meatballs.  Cover and allow to cook for about 5 hours on low heat.

baked ziti crockpot

This recipe was a huge experiment for me.  But I have to say that I hit it out of the park on this one.  FABULOUS!  The noodles were cooked just right, the meatballs were cooked all the way through and the cheesy ziti was absolutely delicious!

And it was great to finally have a nice meal waiting for us at home!

Would you like the chance to win your very own crock-pot?

crockpot giveaway

The nice folks at Crystal Farms are providing a crock pot to one luck Sitcom reader.

  • 6 quart capacity is perfect for for 7+ people or a 6 lb. roast
  • Easy-to-use locking lid featuring lid gasket for extra seal for less mess on-the-go
  • Programmable digital control lets you program cook times anywhere from 30 minutes up to 20 hours; Works on 240 Watts at 120V A.C. and 60Hz
  • Shifts to Warm Setting Automatically once the cook time is complete
  • Removable oval stoneware that is also stylish for your table

Pretty awesome, right?  How to enter?  Well simply leave me a comment below telling me what crock-pot recipe you would like to try if you win! For more cheese recipe ideas, check out Crystal Farms favorites!  Contest ends on midnight, Sunday, August 30, 2015.

For more information on Crystal Farms, be sure to follow Crystal Farms on Facebook or Crystal Farms on Pinterest

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