Baked Ziti is a cheesy baked pasta dish that is the perfect comfort food. It is made with three kinds of cheese, ground beef, ziti pasta, and homemade marinara sauce. All the ingredients are mixed together and poured into a baking dish. Then, more cheese is added on top and the casserole is baked to ooey-gooey perfection.
If you are looking for a pan full of cheesy goodness, this is the recipe you need to have at your fingertips. It is not only simple to put together, but so filling and satisfying, too. In addition, it is an easy recipe to make your own. For example:
- Substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for beef.
- Add your favorite vegetables.
- Try vegetarian ground meat or even pieces of veggie burgers to add substance if you don’t want to add beef.
Serve the baked ziti with a basket of dinner rolls and a side of roasted green beans or asparagus.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and can vary based on the products used as well as changes made to the recipe. If these numbers are very important to you, I would recommend calculating them yourself.
- 16 ounces ziti or penne pasta, cooked al dente according to package instructions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling over pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups (226 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
- ¾ cup (75 g) shredded parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 28 ounces marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
- parsley or basil, for garnish (optional)
- Gather your ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add the beef and cook until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain grease.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, ½ cup parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), salt, pepper, marinara sauce, browned ground beef, and noodles. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Top with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and the sauce is hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped basil or parsley, if desired. Serve warm.