Easy Baked Ziti Recipe | Wow Them With This Classic Baked Ziti Recipe

Savor the ultimate comfort with our Baked Ziti Recipe – a perfect blend of cheese, pasta, and sauce for an easy, delicious meal the whole family will love.
Easy Baked Ziti

We’ll show you how to make a delicious Baked Ziti recipe. This classic Italian dish is perfect for big gatherings or cozy family meals. Baked Ziti combines pasta with a tasty tomato sauce and melted cheese, creating a rich, filling dish that satisfies.

If you love the traditional style or want to try it with veggies or meat, we have a recipe for you.

cheesy baked ziti

Key Takeaways

  • Baked Ziti is a classic Italian-American pasta casserole with layers of pasta, sauce, and cheese.
  • The key ingredients include ziti pasta, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and a flavorful tomato sauce.
  • This recipe can be customized to be vegetarian or include meat for a meat-lover’s version.
  • Baked Ziti is a crowd-pleasing, comforting dish that’s perfect for family dinners or entertaining.
  • The Baked Ziti Recipe provides step-by-step instructions for making this delicious pasta bake at home.
homemade baked ziti dinner

What is Easy Baked Ziti?

Baked Ziti is an Italian-American favorite made with ziti pasta, rich tomato sauce, creamy ricotta cheese, and a mix of mozzarella and Parmesan. The Baked Ziti Recipe brings layers of flavor and loads of cheese.

easy baked ziti

A Classic Italian Pasta Comfort Food

This classic Italian baked ziti is a comfort food favorite. It mixes al dente pasta with rich tomato sauce and creamy cheeses. It’s a taste-bud-tingling meal that everyone loves. The dish has found its place in many homes.

Layers of Flavor and Cheesy Goodness

The secret to great baked ziti is the layering. Cook the pasta until it’s just underdone, mix it with tomato sauce and three cheeses, then bake until the cheese is golden brown. The result is irresistible.

yummy baked ziti

Ingredients for Homemade Classic Baked Ziti

To make a scrumptious homemade Baked Ziti, you’ll need a handful of crucial items. They blend together perfectly, creating a delicious mix of flavors and textures.

Pasta and Cheese: The Foundation Penne or Ziti Pasta

The backbone of Baked Ziti includes ziti pasta and a combo of rich cheeses. Use ziti pasta, a short tube-like type that captures sauce and cheese. For lush layering, add ricotta cheese. For a stretchy, cheesy topping, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Flavorful Sauces and Seasonings: Marinara Tomato Sauce

Your ziti sauce begins with a tasty tomato base, like marinara or a homemade red sauce. Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, and basil for an Italian touch. You might also stir in sautéed ground beef or Italian sausage for extra flavor and protein.

baked ziti

How To Make Baked Ziti

Ready for a delicious Baked Ziti? This Italian favorite is loved by families. It includes ziti noodles, tomato sauce, and cheese. All blended together and baked just right. Use our easy Baked Ziti Recipe to make this meal at home. It’s tasty and comforting.

cheesy baked ziti recipe


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or olive oil.
  2. Boil a big pot of salted water. Add ziti pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Cook ground meat in a skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned. Drain excess fat.
  4. Mix in marinara sauce, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings (garlic, onion, herbs) to the meat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. In a big bowl, mix ricotta cheese, some mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and an egg. Combine well.
  6. Spread a bit of the ziti sauce in the baking dish. Layer half of the ziti noodles, half of the ricotta mix, and more sauce.
  7. Repeat layers of pasta, cheese mix, and sauce. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
  9. Let the Baked Ziti cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. This firms up the layers.

Enjoy your homemade Baked Ziti fresh from the oven. Top with basil or parsley if desired. Our step-by-step recipe will be a hit with your family!

Variations on the Classic

Many love the classic Baked Ziti, but some cooks may want to change things up. This dish is open to different twists. You can mix in new flavors or adjust it to fit your diet.

Vegetarian Baked Ziti Options

Vegetarian or want a meat break? Skip the beef or sausage. Add veggies like eggplant and bell peppers. Mushrooms are great too. Try a ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone mix, or a creamy, plant-based cheese.

baked ziti lunch

Adding Protein: Meat-Lover’s Baked Ziti

Looking for more protein? Add ground Italian sausage or beef to the sauce. Crumbled sausage or pepperoni work well. For something different, try shredded chicken or turkey. It’s a tasty way to change up this classic dish.

restaurant quality baked ziti

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe FAQ

What is Baked Ziti?

Baked Ziti is an Italian-American favorite. It features ziti pasta mixed with a hearty tomato sauce, creamy ricotta, and a cheese combo of mozzarella and Parmesan. The golden bubbly cheese on top is a true comfort food.

What ingredients do I need for homemade Baked Ziti?

Making your own Baked Ziti calls for ziti or any short, tubular pasta. You’ll need ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Don’t forget a tasty tomato sauce, plus seasonings like garlic and herbs.

baked ziti recipe

Can I make a vegetarian version of Baked Ziti?

Yes, a vegetarian Baked Ziti is an easy fix. Just leave out the meat and choose a veg-friendly tomato sauce. Add veggies like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers for a great meatless meal.

How can I add protein to Baked Ziti?

To up the protein, include ground beef or Italian sausage in the tomato sauce. This makes a heavier, protein-rich dish for those who love meat.

What is the best way to assemble and bake Baked Ziti?

Assembling Baked Ziti starts with cooking the pasta. Then, layer it in the baking dish with sauce and cheeses. Top with more cheese and bake until it’s warm, bubbly, and gooey.

homemade baked ziti

The Best Baked Ziti Pasta Recipe You Ever Did Try!

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

Easy Baked Ziti

This Baked Ziti recipe features ziti pasta, a flavorful tomato sauce, and a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, baked to golden perfection. Customize it with optional ground meat or vegetables for a hearty, comforting meal.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: baked ziti recipe, easy baked ziti, easy baked ziti recipe, homemade baked ziti, homemade baked ziti recipe
Servings: 8 servings



  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage optional
  • 4 cups marinara sauce or homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or nonstick spray for the baking dish


  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Boil salted water, cook ziti pasta 8-10 minutes. Drain.
  • Cook ground meat, drain fat.
  • Mix in marinara sauce, tomatoes, and seasonings. Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • Combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and egg in a bowl.
  • Layer sauce, pasta, and cheese in a baking dish.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  • Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.


  • Add veggies like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers for a vegetarian version.
  • For extra protein, add ground beef, Italian sausage, or shredded chicken.
  • Top with fresh basil or parsley for garnish.
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