Foodieobsessed's Blog

Favorite baked ziti

This is my go to dish when it comes to helping out neighbors, friends, etc. It is easily vegetarian or with meat. It freezes well, reheats well, and can be given in it’s “raw” state or already baked. If you need something delicious for a pot luck or for someone who just had a new baby this is IT! This recipe is simple to double or even triple and makes a ton of food (if you don’t live in my house, Hubbs can eat half a pan in a sitting!).

This recipe is EASILY converted to your favorite kind of baked pasta. Do you like italian sausage and peas? Go for it! Do you like tons of fresh vegetables (spinach, zucchini, peas, etc) are great. You could make this into a “pizza” ziti by adding pepperoni, olives, and peppers. You will notice that I use a lot of sauce in this recipe–I am a big fan of “saucy” baked pasta. Also because you do not cook the pasta all the way before you add it to the dish it will absorb a lot of the sauce.

Favorite Baked Ziti


1lb ziti (or penne) pasta

4 cups simple marinara sauce (or two jars of your favorite sauce)

1 small container part skim ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)

1 egg

1 TBS italian herb seasoning (I use Penzeys, you can use your favorite herbs including oregano, basil, fennel, etc).

1/4 cup chopped parsley (you can add fresh basil or oregano to this as well)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided in half

2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided in half

salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large sauce pan cook pasta for about 8-10 minutes. It should still have a lot of bite to it. It will continue to cook in the oven.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1 cup mozarella cheese, italian herb seasoning, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Add about 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce to flavor the sauce.

3. Spray a large lasagna pan (I use a 9×13 baking dish) and add 1 cup of sauce on the bottom.

4. After draining the pasta, combine with the cheese and sauce mixture (if you are not baking this right away let the pasta come to room temperature so that the egg doesn’t cook from the heat of the pasta). Layer on top of the sauce in the pan. Top with remainder of sauce (about 2 cups), Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

5. Bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on your oven, check after 45) until cheese is brown and bubbly. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve.


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