Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 25 mins | Total time: 45 mins | Servings: 8
This cheesy, rich, and zesty-baked ziti is an amazing pasta dish that you can easily and quickly throws together at any time. This has layers of tender ziti noodles topped with a meaty zesty Italian sausage sauce and creamy ricotta cheese. A restaurant-quality dish that you can whip up at home in under an hour!
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 small onion, diced
14 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
16 oz ziti
15 oz ricotta cheese
½ c. water
28 oz. pasta sauce or marinara sauce
¼ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp fresh parsley
How to make Easy Baked Ziti
Step 1: Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 375 degrees F.
Step 2: Cook the ground sausage and onion until the sausage is no longer pink, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Then, drain any excess grease.
Step 3: To the ground sausage and onion, add the Italian seasoning, water, tomatoes, and pasta sauce. Allow everything to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
Step 4: In the meantime, cook the Ziti in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the Ziti and rinse when done.
Step 5: Place the ricotta, egg, parsley, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and mix until combined.
Step 6: To the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch pan, spread a thin layer (about 1 c.) of the sauce and top with half of the Ziti followed by the ricotta, then half of the sauce. On top, add the rest of the Ziti, sauce, and cheese (in order). Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
To prevent the sauce from overflowing once it simmers, use a large saute pan.
Ensure that the pasta is slightly overcooked because it will continue to cook as it bakes.
If substituting the sausage with ground meat, add extra seasonings, salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil to the sauce.
Before serving, garnish the baked ziti with some fresh parsley or basil.
You can make this baked ziti in advance. Simply prep as instructed and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When baking, you may need to add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.
Feel free to divide this baked ziti into two 9-inch baking dishes. Freeze the half and when ready to serve, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake until bubbly and hot.
Calories: 598 | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1257mg | Potassium: 816mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1005IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 485mg | Iron: 3.6mg