Abstract Tape casting is a powerful method for the manufacturing of flat, large area ceramic components. Silicon nitride is a reference material for high temperature structural applications. Between them, thick film/coating technologies and ceramic–ceramic joining are receiving an increased attention. In this work, the rheological behavior on non-aqueous silicon nitride slips for tape casting was investigated considering different solvent and binding systems, by controlling the total binder and plasticizer content and the binder to plasticizer ratio. A phosphate ester was used as dispersant. The characteristics of the green tapes obtained in different conditions were studied in terms of density, thickness and microstructure and related with the rheological properties of the slips. Once the slip properties were adjusted, manufacturing parameters, such as the casting speed and the gap between the blades and the carrier substrate, were also analyzed in order to improve the green tape properties and the process reliability. In order to obtain sinterable compacts, Al 2O 3 and Y 2O 3 were used as sintering aids. The effect of the sintering aids in both the rheological behavior and the green characteristics was also studied.