Mouth-watering baked ziti! An Italian-style pasta dish that uses ziti tubes, combined with mozzarella cheese and a tasty tomato sauce. Quick to whip up, perfect for busy weeknights. Rich and creamy sauce, plus chewy pasta that is incredibly comforting.
This scrumptious mix of Italian flavors can be served as a main or part of a meal. Super convenient, you can make it in advance and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. Plus, it’s budget-friendly – an ideal choice for any meal plan!
Need something fast for dinner? Or what to bring to your next potluck? Baked ziti is sure to satisfy everyone!
Baked ziti – yum! This simple dish requires only a few ingredients. You can serve it as the main dish or a side. It’s layers of ziti, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and tomato sauce. You can also make it with ground beef for extra flavor. Here are the ingredients you need:
- Ziti pasta
- Tomato sauce
- Ground beef (optional)
Baked ziti requires pasta as an ingredient. There are lots of shapes and varieties available. Choose between thin elbow macaroni or tubular ziti, or wider lasagna noodles.
If you’re using raw noodles, boil them for 12-15 minutes until they’re al dente. Avoid thin spaghetti or other thin pastas. These are too delicate and will fall apart in the oven with the heat and sauce.
Creating a tasty sauce for your ziti is essential. Start with oil, garlic, and onions. Then add your favorite protein – Italian sausage, ground beef, or grilled chicken. Cook the meat through, then add diced or crushed canned tomatoes – depending on how chunky you want the sauce. Add oregano and basil for an Italian flavor, and a sprinkle of sugar for balance. Let it all simmer for 20 minutes. Finally, top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Baked ziti – the perfect comfort food for any time of the year! Easy to make, it’s best with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. But you can use any combination of Italian cheese you like. These cheeses add a creamy texture that makes this dish even more comforting. For a delicious baked ziti, use high-quality ingredients and combine them in the right amount.
Ricotta is the most common cheese due to its mild flavor and creamy texture. Mozzarella gives the dish a gooey topping, while parmesan adds an extra punch of flavor. Try
- smoked Gouda
- Creamy Gorgonzola
for richness and dimension. Pecorino Romano and mascarpone make a great combination too!
Cheese and sauce are the perfect finishers for ziti. Popular cheeses for ziti include mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta and Asiago. For best flavor, combine several varieties. Tomato-based sauces like marinara and alfredo-style cream sauces like carbonara are great options. Pre-made sauces can be found at most stores. Or, make your own for more flavor.
Then, just add noodles, meat, cheese and sauce together for an amazing dish! Enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get ziti pasta, ground beef, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and marinara sauce. Now let’s make Baked Ziti! A scrumptious dish – it can be served as a main or side.
- Combine the ingredients.
- Put it in the oven and wait for your delicious meal.
Boil the pasta
Boil the pasta as per the package instructions. Then drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Tip: undercook the pasta a bit. It’ll finish cooking when added to the baking dish and oven-baked.
You can cook the pasta up to four days in advance. Cook it longer than usual, since overcooked pasta works best for this dish. Store the unused cooked and cooled pasta in an airtight container in the fridge.
Preheat the oven
Before you start cooking, preheat your oven. This is essential for even cooking and the right temperature. The time and temperature of preheating vary according to your oven type.
A convection oven should be preheated for 15 minutes at 375˚F (190˚C) while a conventional oven needs 20 minutes at 400˚F (200˚C).
For accurate temperature, use an oven thermometer before cooking.
Assemble the dish
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread one-third of marinara sauce in 9×13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Layer half of ziti noodles over sauce.
- Spread half of ricotta mix over noodles.
- Top with one-third marinara sauce and one-third parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Repeat layers.
- Finish with remaining marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Cover dish with foil.
- Bake for 22 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot. Enjoy!
Bake the dish
Set your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Place an uncooked layer of ziti noodles in the dish. Top with ⅓ of the ricotta cheese and ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Add half of the cooked beef and sausage mixture plus ½ cup of sauce.
Repeat the layers. End with a layer of ziti noodles and top with the remaining sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes on the center rack. Remove the foil. Cook for 15 minutes to make the top golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Feed a large group with ease. Serve up some baked ziti! It’s perfect for dinner parties, family gatherings, and even a quiet night in. Simple ingredients, yet special presentation!
Here are the top tips for serving baked ziti:
Let the dish cool
Take the ziti out of the oven. Let it cool a bit. Cover it with foil to keep it hot. It’ll take around 10 minutes for the dish to cool. This will thicken the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of milk/cream and stir. Then, heat it up before serving.
Warn guests about the risks of eating food that’s scalding hot!
Serve and enjoy
Present your Baked Ziti in the best way! Put it in a preheated oven and serve it straight from the baking dish. Sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top for extra flavor. Add more color with fresh chopped parsley and basil leaves.
Enjoy your delicious and easy-to-make Baked Ziti – a favorite of everyone!
Baked ziti is a dish for any appetite. It’s ideal for family dinner or an exciting dinner party. Making it is simple, but the flavors blend together in a unique way.
Just get the ingredients and follow instructions to make a fantastic dinner in a few minutes. Plus, you’ll have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What ingredients do I need to make baked ziti?
A: To make baked ziti, you will need ziti pasta, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
Q: How long does baked ziti take to cook?
A: Baked ziti generally takes about 45 minutes to cook.
Q: Can I freeze baked ziti?
A: Yes, you can freeze baked ziti. It is best to freeze it before you bake it, and then bake it from frozen when you are ready to eat.