Baked Ziti is a simple one pot meal that is the ultimate comfort food. Packed with lots of gooey cheese and delicious pasta sauce, what’s not to love?
If you love the idea of lasagna, but don’t want to have to put in all the effort it takes to make it, Baked Ziti is for you! Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious though. My kids ask for Baked Ziti once a week, but since it’s so easy to make, Chloe has started making it on her own. The joy of your kids getting older! If your kids can boil pasta, they can most likely make this recipe which is a win in my book.
I made this recipe for my girlfriend who just had a baby a few weeks ago. As busy and overwhelmed as she must be after having her third little one, she still found time to email me asking for this recipe. She told me it was beyond scrumptious, made her whole family so happy and that she wanted to recreate it for them ASAP. I love making dishes like this because you can do most of the work the day before and drop it off at a friend’s (or put it in your own oven) for a quick bake before dinner.
This is a vegetarian Baked Ziti, which is great for my family since we’re a mix of vegetarians and meat eaters. If you wanted to add meat you totally could! It’s up to you and your family’s preference. If you’re looking for more easy pasta recipes to make try my Chicken Pesto Pasta, Kid Friendly Puttanesca, Veggie Bolognese Sauce or Lemon Spaghetti with Toasted Walnuts to name a few.
This recipe is a great weeknight or weekend dinner. Plus, depending on the size of your family, there should be enough for some leftovers for lunch the next day. Round out the meal with a bright and colorful Summer Garden Salad or Winter Farmers Market Salad (depending on what produce is in season) and get ready to eat!
What are you making this week for dinner? Give this Baked Ziti a try and let me know what you think!
- olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 bell pepper, chopped fine
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 16 oz. box ziti pasta, cooked al dente (The pasta should be firm, not hard. The pasta will cook a bit more when you bake it, so my rule of thumb is about 2 minutes less than the directions call for.
- 2 cups mozzarella, grated or 4-5 mozzarella cheese sticks cut into 8 pieces each
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Saute the onion, bell pepper and salt for 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add the tomatoes and cook the sauce for 15 minutes over medium heat. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the sauce, pasta, parmesan and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella in a large bowl or pot and pour into a lightly oiled 9 x 11 casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Can be prepared at this point the night before.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
The baked ziti recipe calls for Parmesan cheese but does not mention it in the preparation of the dish. It does say to use “1 1/2 cups cheeses” so I think I am to mix the 1/2 cup Parmesan with the 2 cups mozzarella but I’d like to be sure. Thank you!
Nope, that’s ziti.
Very good !! Easy to put together. The only changes I made was to add 1 lb of ground beef and 1 tsp of oregano to the sauce. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Hi u cook the pasta before in a pot with boiling water and then when its almost done take out and put in dish?
This was absolutely delicious! So simple but very tasty! I wish I had read the comments about freezing before I baked the whole dish, but I still put the left-overs in the freezer :).
Personally I love the red ones. My kids enjoy the green ones so I have been trying to use those more and more. It really depends on your taste!
Do recommend one color pepper over another? Thank you!
The noodles in the picture look like penne, not ziti.
About 1 week!
How long is this good in the fridge for?
In the oven now…looks amazing! I added fresh mushrooms 🙂
[…] ones for her hubs filled with sauteed mushroom, onions and peppers. Black Beans & Rice Cakes Baked Ziti Deep Dish Spinach Pie: The original post doesn’t include instructions for freezing and […]
Yes, that should work just fine!
My kids and hubby won’t like to see tomatoe chunks…can I use tomatoe sauce instead?
I’m so excited about this website. So far I’ve made the Crockpot lasgana and the Baked Ziti is now in the oven. I’m so happy that everything is simple and I didn’t have to go out and buy a ton of ingredients. 🙂 P.S. I added ground turkey to my ziti. Fingers are crossed.
I would freeze it before baking!
Can you freeze this after baking and it still be good later??
What you said was cool. God will decide heaven or hell and it’s not lie we are on his advisory board, so voting to send someone to hell here has no bearing on the fate of their souls.
ive been searching for a simple yet delicious recipe for baked ziti & soooo happy to find this! Im so stoked for finding your site as ive found a lot of recipes ive been looking for that is easy to make & healthy! Thankyou So much! im gonna try it nxt week for my mom’s bday! can’t wait! will update u 😀 anyway, can i add fresh chopped basil for fresh herb kick? thanks!
Confession time; this did not even make it into the oven!! I tried a bite just before I was going to put it in, and it was SO good I decided not to wait another 30 minutes to dig in! A real winner! I subbed mushrooms for the peppers because my husband can’t eat them, turned out delish all the same.
I would definitely freeze before baking and as you said, add baking time. 🙂
Making this for dinner tonight with your delish pesto meatball.. yumm!! Question for you.. I am splitting the ziti into two meals (one for later) Would you freeze before baking and just add baking time when made or bake then freeze?
THanks for you ALL of your wonderful meal ideas!
This was delicious and will be added to my favorite recipes for sure! Even my husband who thinks every meal should include meat ate it up. Thanks!!!
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Thank you! Can’t wait to try it!
I made this and added some chopped zucchini and some chopped spinach–it was delicious and and a way to work in some extra veggies for a picky 19 month old–he ate it up! 🙂
I’m soo happy your family loves it! You can also try the White Chicken Chili, Turkey Veggie Chili, Rice Cooker Mac N Cheese, and our Slow Cooker Chicken!
I make this dish over and over again – it’s a real winner! Can you recommend any other ‘one pot meals’ past or future?
You add the entire can of with the juice itself 🙂
When you add the can of tomatoes, is the juice added as well or do you drain it?
[…] with Apricot, Peach and Raisin Puree Lunch: Elvis Panini and Strawberry Spinach Salad Dinner: Baked Ziti and Steamed Asparagus Snack: Dark Chocolate […]