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Slow Cooker Sausage & Eggplant Baked Ziti

Here’s a baked ziti with oomph! Packed full of delicious eggplant, fire roasted peppers and robust sausage, this slow cooker meal will have them coming back for seconds!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time4 hours 35 minutes
Course: Comfort Foods, pasta, Pork, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baked ziti, eggplant recipes, fennel, italian sausage
Servings: 6
Calories: 397kcal


  • 8 oz bulk Italian sausage I used a combo of hot and sweet
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (don't drain)
  • 1 head of fennel also known as anise
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz uncooked ziti or penne
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Brown sausage meat; drain and place in the crock of a 5-7 quart slow cooker
  • Peel eggplant and cut into cubes about 1-inch big; add to crock.
  • Cut stems off fennel, core and slice thinly, add to crock.
  • Add the garlic, tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes, water, wine, Italian seasoning, sugar and salt to the crock. Stir well to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high 3-3 1/2 hours, low 6-7 hours
  • Add the uncooked ziti--if you cooked on low, turn it up to high to cook the pasta--stirring so the pasta is submerged in the sausage/eggplant mixture.
  • Cook for 30 minutes on high
  • Stir and sprinkle with the shredded cheese; cover and cook 10 minutes.
  • Uncover and let the baked ziti stand on warm setting for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 1012mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 614IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 2mg