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

Visit Sponsors Site

{ 99 comments… add one }
  • Cheryl December 1, 2015, 9:21 am

    Your ziti recipe sounds great. Cant wait to try it and winning the crock pot would be great to!

  • kristy August 30, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I want to try your baked ziti!!! Although I do mac and cheese in ours and it’s always a hit at a potluck with kids.

  • Abigail August 28, 2015, 11:48 am

    Id love to attempt a black bean chili! yum!

  • shaunie August 26, 2015, 7:41 pm

    I would have to say that I would love to use it making beef stew

  • Brenda August 26, 2015, 12:14 pm

    I’ve never used a crock pot before so would love to try everything.

  • Carlee August 25, 2015, 10:20 pm

    I have never done pasta in the slow cooker. I really need to try it soon!

  • Marcia August 25, 2015, 9:10 pm

    The soup sounds good. Soup taste better cooked los and slow. Nice crock pot. Good Luck everyone

  • Phyllis August 25, 2015, 10:14 am

    I’d make pulled pork

  • MARTHAIA August 25, 2015, 12:41 am

    Homemade vegetable. soup with extra tomato & sauce would be nice .Also try your recipe looks go.. TY

  • Pene August 24, 2015, 7:56 pm

    Love the string cheese idea vs shredded. Let’s try a Lasgana in the crockpot, always wanted to try it but a bir hesitant.. Would taste Yummy in a new crockpot!!

  • JoAnn Miller August 24, 2015, 5:50 pm

    Love the idea of the string cheese!!!!! GREAT, I would love to try beef stew- with a CHEAP cut of meat!! Yes INLAND VALLEY summers 95-105 degrees are just horrible & would love this crockpot- as salads,tuna sandwiches, etc. are getting boring!!!! Thanks for all the tips & ideas. JoAnn

  • Trudy Rhoads August 24, 2015, 1:51 pm

    oops, too excited, forgot my name! LOL
    Well, maybe I was just drooling over the ziti and garlic bread!

  • Anonymous August 24, 2015, 1:49 pm

    I am ALWAYS looking for crock pot receipes! I so a potluck at least once a month, and our house really holds in the heat in the summer, so a little no stove, no oven meal is great! I think your Ziti receipe looks wonderful, then maybe a little garlic bread in another crockpot and I am set!

  • Rebecca Wright August 24, 2015, 11:25 am

    I would love to try the baked ziti and meatballs. sounds really good

  • Gwen August 24, 2015, 10:10 am

    I would love to try my hand a using a slow cooker, I too work night shifts 3 days a week I looked at the recipes and since fall is coming I would love to make the slow cooking cheese beer soup!

  • Carla S August 24, 2015, 7:35 am

    I want to try the cowboy skillet chili nachos.

  • Stacie Sanders August 23, 2015, 8:07 pm

    The ziti looks amazing!!

  • Renee G August 23, 2015, 7:32 pm

    I would love to try the slow cooker lasagne. I’ve never made this before.

  • john hutchens August 23, 2015, 1:39 pm

    I would like to try the slow cooker lasagna recipe

  • Susan Broughton August 23, 2015, 1:21 pm

    I have a really good Potato Soup recipe that I would make if I won this wonderful slow cooker

  • Krissie E. August 23, 2015, 12:08 am

    I would make corned beef and cabbage in it

  • Karen McEntee August 22, 2015, 12:51 pm

    I need this new, digital crockpot to prepare for the forecast El Niño winter ahead! Can’t wait to make the Baked Ziti recipe, this week!!!

    • Peggy Echols August 23, 2015, 1:07 pm

      I would like to make Sunday Dinner, either roast beef, chicken or pork.

  • Terri S August 22, 2015, 6:57 am

    I would make this recipe that you posted today, Slow Cooker Baked Ziti with Meatballs. It looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  • michelle August 21, 2015, 7:02 pm

    Oh that Ziti dish looks yummy! I’d like to try some country ribs in a crock pot. Suppose to be finger lickin’ good!!

  • Esther Reuben August 21, 2015, 2:43 pm

    If i won the Crystal Farm giveaway crockpot, i would make cheesy cauliflower in it. I would cut the cauliflower into florets and put into the crockpot. I would put a package of cut up Crystal Farm cheese sticks on top. Then i would add some cooked chopped bacon. I would cook on high til the cauliflower was just getting soft. I would then add cream ,stir the whole thing up and cook for ten more minutes. Ooooo la la!!!

  • Rebecca DeWitt August 21, 2015, 12:25 pm

    A Sunday Roast. Roast, water and a package of Lipton’s Onion Soup mix. Let it cook for several hours, 8-10, on low and by the time you’re out of Sunday services in the evening – WaaLaa! Pull apart yummy roast – and the juice?!!!, it makes the best gravy in town!

  • Nancy August 21, 2015, 11:37 am

    The Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes sounds wonderful. I would also like this ziti & meatballs recipe as I have never done or had noodles done in a crockpot.

  • Debbie Giff August 21, 2015, 10:52 am

    I’d love to cook crockpot lasagna.

  • Pamela August 21, 2015, 9:27 am

    Would love to make beef stew in a crockpot! We do a lot of camping and a crockpot would come in handy!

  • susi swafford August 21, 2015, 8:48 am

    I think that I would love to make chocolate pudding cake in the crock pot, mmmmmmm!

  • Connie August 21, 2015, 7:21 am

    Would love to make the cheesy ziti recipe!

  • Anonymous August 21, 2015, 6:21 am

    I would cook some cheesy tortellini….

  • Tina August 21, 2015, 2:36 am

    I would love to make chilli, this recipe, heck anything in a crock pot! LOL

  • Christine Sadlon August 21, 2015, 1:17 am

    Don’t have a crock pot. Would love to make anything.

  • Dee August 21, 2015, 1:01 am

    I would like to try some lasagna first.

  • Maryk August 21, 2015, 12:11 am

    Oh great recipe, I am going to borrow a crock pot and try it. Thanks for your time & I Love the website.

  • Karen Crosby August 20, 2015, 9:56 pm

    I’d like to try your recipe here, and also, to cook a roast. Thanks for the chance to win this crock pot.

  • cheryl credeur August 20, 2015, 9:41 pm

    the baked ziti sounds great but to choose one is pretty hard, they all sound great. ill take the one with cheese. I love to cook with cheese..

  • Victoria Fisher August 20, 2015, 9:25 pm

    Wow! Great recipe. First thing I will try when I win the crockpot! LOL

  • Auntiepatch August 20, 2015, 9:16 pm

    I think BBQ ribs! Yum!

  • Sunny August 20, 2015, 9:00 pm

    I have not ever tried to make Pasta in a Crock Pot! Your Ziti and Meatballs looks Wonderful. Thank-You so much for a chance to win.

  • Ashley August 20, 2015, 8:33 pm

    I would like to try the baked ziti recipe

  • Debbie Oliver August 20, 2015, 7:43 pm

    Your ziti recipe sounds really good. My family likes it when I make crock pot fajitas or the crock pot cornbread stuffing at Thanksgiving. Makes dinner easy and makes the house smell good! Tho it’s torture if you’re home all day smelling it! Lol

  • Roxane August 20, 2015, 7:18 pm

    Just made a Pineapple Upside-Down cake that was delicious. Want to try lasagna next as it is a family favor but too hot in Texas summer to bake.

  • lali August 20, 2015, 7:11 pm

    I never cooked pasta in crock pot, so your recipe sounds very goog, want to try this. Like to win a new crockpot mine is old so thank to give a chance to win. Love your site too.


  • Pat August 20, 2015, 7:09 pm

    I want to try candy and dessert recipes in the crockpot! Oh, yes!! Baking a cake in the crockpot???? Mind. Blown.

  • Karen Cormier August 20, 2015, 6:55 pm

    Last recipe I tried was lasagna and it was awesome, want to try this one

  • SueZ August 20, 2015, 6:25 pm

    I would love to try the featured ziti with meatballs. Looks wonderful.

  • Lori Morton August 20, 2015, 4:46 pm

    Would love to try your Ziti recipe! Sounds YUMMY! (Have never done pasta in crockpot before either…) I made Apple Butter once..was very good! But usually made soups, roast..even meatloaf for us. Thanks for chance to win a new one! 🙂

  • Kathie August 20, 2015, 4:37 pm

    I have a mock lasagna recipe I haven’t made in ages that would wonderfully in that new crockpot!

  • Carolyn Garrod August 20, 2015, 4:33 pm

    Love crock pot recipes….

  • Diane wilson August 20, 2015, 4:23 pm

    I would try this one!!! Love that you don’t have to cook the noodles.

  • Gilda August 20, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I’ve been without a slow cooker since an unfortunate accident:) would love to win. Many recipes I have been collecting, yours looks delicious and I would definitely give it a try.

  • Jean in Fl August 20, 2015, 4:03 pm

    This sounds like a great dish. I work mornings & evenings and always end up at some greasy spoon as I don’t feel like cooking at 10pm. Yes I have the same problem
    as some others with their pots but If I was tired of reading them I’m sure you are also.
    so I think I should just say…I’d like to win one.

    Thinking we might go on the road too….if we could make a few dollars along the way
    so keep us posted

  • joy horton August 20, 2015, 3:54 pm

    My slow cooker just broke this week, a new one would help me out. It will be awhile before I can afford to replace it. First comes the headliner in my old car, its falling down on our heads. Then I went to Comcast today to replace a defective cable box only to find out my current plan has expired but they are going to give me such a deal it will go from $96 to only $132. Wow, that a deal? So I guess I will be looking around for another company cause this great grandma can’t afford that on her SS budget. Am I whining, yes I am. Hey it will give me more time to do crafting right, but it’s football season. Go Green Bay

  • maureen sala August 20, 2015, 3:53 pm

    your recipe sounds interesting, especially since I just came back from a trip to Italy! Never made pasta in a crock pot, but have done BBQ pork a lot. thanks for the chance to win.


  • Irene Wilkinson August 20, 2015, 2:19 pm

    Last time I used my crock pot I broke the handle on one side. It probably still works ok but a new one would be great. Also, never tried pasta in the crock pot so, that would be a new cooking adventure.

  • Irene Meyers August 20, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Love to start crock pot cooking again. Great idea to use Crystal Farm string cheese – never thought of that! Would love a new crock pot.

  • Anonymous August 20, 2015, 1:38 pm

    Would love to try the ranch pot roast. It sounds so yummy! 🙂

  • Heather G August 20, 2015, 1:14 pm

    I loved crockpot cooking when I was working, but have gotten away from it since we’ve retired (except for Pot Roast and Pulled Pork, as you said LOL). Hmmm, I think I’d have to try your Baked Ziti; we love pasta dishes. Also, the one that’s in the crockpot picture looks pretty good–although I don’t know what it is. I have a very old crockpot (dish doesn’t remove), so looks like it’s time to get a new one — maybe a free one? 🙂

  • SARA August 20, 2015, 1:13 pm


  • Vicki Schneider August 20, 2015, 1:07 pm

    Love crockpot recipes. So easy. Going to try this one.

  • Mary Kay Michaels August 20, 2015, 1:05 pm

    I make a great crock pot beef stew but I would love to incorporate the Crystal Farms Mozzarella String Cheese as a topping. Yummy!

  • Linda Hopkins August 20, 2015, 12:33 pm

    I would make your ziti recipe and maybe a couple of breakfast recipes I found. Crockpots are a blessing for busy households. You can cook healthy meals while being on the go. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Joanne Larson August 20, 2015, 12:33 pm

    Well…after reading about your ziti and meatballs and cheese in the
    crackpot….I would say I HAVE to give that one a try! I’ve never thought about cooking cheese like that….

  • Sue August 20, 2015, 12:22 pm

    I haave made many pot roasts and soups in my crock pot but I have never tried pasta. I would like to make your recipe for ziti. It sure sounds yummy!

  • Robin August 20, 2015, 12:16 pm

    The baked ziti looks really yummy!
    I can see my family wanting this one.

  • Anonymous August 20, 2015, 12:14 pm

    I would like to try the slow cooker meatloaf recipe. It looks yummy!

  • Louise August 20, 2015, 12:10 pm

    Not sure what I would make because I don’t own a crockpot but have wanted one for quite sometime. I sure would love to win one and get to making desserts to dinners!

  • Candice Lewis August 20, 2015, 12:07 pm

    I love crock pots! I use to use my all the time when my kids were babies for easy meals. Well I kinda forgot about it and now my kids are getting ready to go back to school and get so busy with all of the activities & homework. Well I thought I would dust it off get it ready for the start of school but I plugged it in and now doesn’t work! Ugh ! What luck. We you want to use something that u haven’t used in a while and u either can’t find it or it doesn’t work!

  • Susan August 20, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Desserts! It never occurred to use a crock to make desserts, I’m intrigued!

  • Jocelyn August 20, 2015, 12:05 pm

    I’m guessing you are working as great visited greeters in the National. We were able to drive our Morgan around Acadia and fell in love with it. I wonder how Parmesian Crusted Chicken would work. I may try it after your meatballs. It certainly would be great after spending a day on one of our gorgeous Parks. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • D Keels August 20, 2015, 11:56 am

    I found two location close to me selling Crystal Farms. I go soooo hungry reading the Baked Ziti and Meatball recipe. Back-to-school mornings are so busy. I would use the Crockpot to make Crystal Farms “grits recipe”. That would provide a healthy breakfast with less morning preparation time.

  • Anonymous August 20, 2015, 11:55 am

    I would like to try to make sweet and sour Meatballs over rice in this fantastic looking slow cooker.

  • Anonymous August 20, 2015, 11:54 am

    Geez, I don’t know what I would like to try in this crockpot…I never owned one but I do know I would love to have one and try it out.

  • K Bain August 20, 2015, 11:52 am

    I just found a recipe would love to try. Its call Slow cooker taco chili I found it a Shugary Sweets.com

  • Laura Garza August 20, 2015, 11:46 am

    I got so hungry reading this, and now I’m hangry because I’m at work!! I would love to win this! I have a small one but it doesn’t have a timer, so I have to be home when I use it unfortunately.

  • Charlotte Huffman August 20, 2015, 11:39 am

    I would like to try lasagna!

  • Sandy Butler August 20, 2015, 11:37 am

    I would make stuffed cabbage rolls and I’d also try your recipe. I’ve never used string cheese before, looks interesting.

  • Debi August 20, 2015, 11:30 am

    I am definitely trying the baked ziti, pulled pork, soups of all kind….yum!

  • J August 20, 2015, 11:25 am

    I would definitely try this baked ziti recipe! It looks amazing and easy!

  • phyllis rodriguez August 20, 2015, 11:24 am

    Have never tried pasta in a crock pot. Would love to win one so i could try this in it. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Peggy August 20, 2015, 11:24 am

    I would try pork cooked on top of apples n onions. Sounds like it would make great pulled pork!

  • Carol August 20, 2015, 11:23 am

    Would love to try your ziti and meatballs!

  • Nancy K. August 20, 2015, 11:19 am

    Well, I would love to make your baked ziti recipe, without the meatballs. I would toss in some garbanzo beans at the end, for protein and texture. Also, I have book-marked an interesting slow-cooker pizza recipe; that would be fun to try. Thanks for the chance to win. Cooking adventures await some lucky reader!

  • Margaret Reid August 20, 2015, 11:11 am

    My crockpot broke about 4 years ago and I can’t afford to but another. I used it for everything and miss not having one. Thanks for the opportunity for this win. My favourite crock pot recipe is chicken cachatore. (SP)

  • Annette J. August 20, 2015, 11:11 am

    I would love to try the baked ziti and meatballs. My kids LOVE pasta and cheese. If they could eat it every night they would!!

  • Beth August 20, 2015, 11:10 am

    Would love to make the baked ziti. Have not tried noodles in the crockpot…

  • Gay Delaney August 20, 2015, 11:09 am

    I would like to try the meatball/ziti recipe. Never thought of cooking with string cheese.

  • Cricket August 20, 2015, 11:07 am

    Omg low country boil yummy

  • Susan Hodges August 20, 2015, 11:02 am

    Would love to try this tempting receipe with a brand new crock pot to boot! Thanks for the knowhow!

  • Pamala Rush August 20, 2015, 10:59 am

    I have a recipe for apple brown betty that sounds good. I always wanted to try it.

  • Lynne Rummel August 20, 2015, 10:57 am

    I would love to make this I have never made backed zitti I like the cheese tip I would of never thought of using string cheese thanks

  • Patricia Peters August 20, 2015, 10:55 am

    I have always loved my crockpot. Got my first one in the 70’s. I’d like to try your version of baked ziti and meatballs it sounds delicious. There are some great recipes out there. Still have my original first cookbook from the 70’s too.

  • Diana G August 20, 2015, 10:53 am

    I would like to try them all if I win .. LOL Okay seriously … lets see chicken n noodles, your recipe Okay Okay I want to try them all !LOL
    Thanks for the chance to win !

  • renee anderson August 20, 2015, 10:52 am

    I have never tried pasta in a crock pot, so I am looking forward to trying this one, thanks for the chance ! 🙂

  • ANGELA MCCABE August 20, 2015, 10:50 am

    I would like to try stuffed green pepper soup if I win!

  • Donna August 20, 2015, 10:48 am

    Sounds so good! Love to try

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