Baked Ziti makes a quick and easy dinner any night of the week. This classic Italian American pasta bake combines ziti noodles, pasta sauce, and lots of cheese into a delightfully saucy, cheesy dinner that requires just minutes of prep.
1 box (16oz) Ziti pasta, cooked
For the Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 jar (24oz) marinara sauce
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
For the Filling
2 cups (16oz) Ricotta Cheese
1 large egg, beaten
3 cups (12 oz) Shredded mozzarella cheese
5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the ziti noodles. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the noodles are cooked al-dente. When cooked, drain into a strainer, and put back in the pot.
- While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil then add the garlic and cook until it’s starts to brown. Then add the marinara sauce and seasonings. Stir until combine and cook for just a couple minutes to incorporate the flavors. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the ricotta and the egg until combined.
- To the cooked pasta, add the ricotta mixture and stir until combined. Then add the marinara sauce, half the mozzarella and half the parmesan cheese and stir until it’s well mixed. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Cover the top with remaining shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes until bubbly. Remove from the oven and set the oven to broil. Once heated, return the lasagna to the oven, uncovered and boil for a couple minutes until the top starts to brown. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.
- To prepare ahead of time: Prepare it as instructed, transfer it to the baking pan, and then cover it tightly with foil. Refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to bake. It can stay in the fridge for about 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Add the cheese topping right before baking.
- Storing leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If reheating the entire casserole dish, you can pop it back in the oven at 350 until it’s warmed through. Cover with foil to prevent the cheese from burning. Smaller amounts of baked ziti can easily be reheated in the microwave in just a minute or two.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: easy baked ziti, baked ziti with ricotta, best baked ziti recipe