This easy baked ziti is a classic pasta dish that’s so cheesy and full of flavor, it’ll have your family begging for seconds!
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If you’ve never had baked ziti, you have no idea what you’re missing! This classic Italian comfort food is made up of pasta, tomato sauce and of course, lots of cheese to make the perfect pasta bake. It’s the kind of meal everyone loves and my kids always come running when they know I’ll be serving it.
This easy baked ziti is similar to homemade lasagna but even less work because there are no layers to deal with. You know me, I’m all about the easy recipes (especially when they taste this good!).
Because you can make it ahead of time, it’s a great meal for busy workdays. It’s also perfect if you need dinner for a crowd, since it serves 8-10 people. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this homemade baked ziti!
Before you get started, you’ll need a few groceries…
- Ziti pasta
- Tomato sauce
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese divided
- Italian seasoning
Can You Substitute Penna Pasta
Yes, if you don’t have ziti, penne is a great substitution. It’s similar enough that you won’t notice a lot of difference.
Does Baked Ziti Have Meat
While this version doesn’t have meat, you can easily add it to the recipe. These are some that work really well:
- Ground beef
- Ground turkey
- Italian sausage
- Ground pork
How To Make Baked Ziti
- Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add ziti to a large pot of lightly salted water and cook for around 8 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, half the mozzarella, half the parmesan, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic and eggs. Set aside.
4. Spread half of the tomato sauce at the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
5. When pasta is finished cooking, add it to the cheese and mix well.
6. Pour pasta mix over the tomato sauce in the baking dish, spreading to the corners.
7. Top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
8. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. You’ll also know because right about now, your kitchen is starting to smell pretty awesome!
Let sit for five minutes and serve!
If you’re lucky, you’ll have enough for leftovers the next night. Don’t get your hopes up though…this homemade baked ziti is so good, you may just have to make another batch. Your family is going to love every bite of this cheesy Italian goodness!
What To Serve With Baked Ziti
Wondering what to serve as a side? These are some good options:
- Garden salad
- Caesar salad
- Garlic bread
- Roasted asparagus
- Sauteed spinach
- Green beans
Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
YES! One of the best things about this recipe is that you can make it the day before, cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. It’s a great dish for those busy weeknights or when you’ve got company coming and want to prep in advance.
Can baked ziti be frozen?
It can. You can make this recipe in advance and freeze it before baking. Use a freezer safe dish and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. When you’re ready to bake, either defrost in the refrigerator the night before or if cooking frozen, add extra baking time. (Defrosting is best but who ever remembers to do that, right?)
You can also freeze your leftovers for later. If it’s already cooked, I’ll cut the baked ziti into individual pieces before freezing…it makes it easier when you just want to reheat one serving later.
Wrap each slice a couple layers of foil and freeze for up to two months. Reheat in the microwave or bake at 350.
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 32 oz tomato sauce
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cook the pasta according to directions on the box.
- Combine ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic and eggs in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Spread half of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, making sure to go all the way to the edges.
- Toss cooked pasta in the cheese mix until fully coated.
- Pour the pasta over the tomato sauce in the baking dish, spreading evenly.
- Top with the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 35 minutes at 350. You'll know it's ready when the sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and slightly brown. Let sit for five minutes and serve hot.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 1214mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 23g
This baked ziti turned out so good and it’s one of those recipes that my whole family agrees on. Plus, leftovers get me off the hook for cooking the next night…it’s a win/win all around!
Looking for more easy dinner recipes? Check out these favorites…
- Easy Homemade Lasagna
- Easy Baked Ziti
- Lemon Rosemary Chicken
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Turkey Meatloaf
- Homemade Shake & Bake Pork Chops
- Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
- Chicken Alfredo Bake
- Baked Ziti With Veggies
- Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Mushroom & Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Shrimp Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Pasta Bake
- Zucchini Spaghetti w/ mushrooms & peppers
- Pesto Zucchini Noodles
- Cilanto Lime Shrimp Tacos