This recipe for Baked Ziti is the ultimate comfort food. Made with ground sausage, tomatos, and loaded with cheese. This warm and cheesy dinner recipe is best served with homemade garlic bread and a dinner the entire family will love.
What is Baked Ziti
Baked Ziti is classic American comfort food. It's made traditional with a meat sauce, ziti pasta, and loaded with cheese.
Step one: Get started by preheating your oven to 350° F. Then go ahead and prepare a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Step two: Next cook your ziti according to package directions. Once it's cooked drain and set aside.
- Tip: Other pasta can be used and is discussed below in the FAQ.
Step three: Now in a separate bowl mix together your ricotta cheese, egg, and oregano. You can go ahead and set aside for later.
Step four: Now you are going to work on your simple meat sauce. Start by heating your oil on the stovetop in a large skillet or pot.
Then add in your mild Italian sausage and cook and crumble. While cooking go ahead and drain fat as needed. Draining will depend on how much fat is in your meat.
Step five: To your sausage add in crushed tomatoes and petite diced tomatoes. Then you want to season it with basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. You can add more or less of each to taste.
Once it's all seasoned allow simmering for 10-15 minutes
Step six: Now we want to start layer the ingredients starting with ½ of tomato sauce. Then we are going to add ½ of ziti on top of the sauce. Next, add all ricotta cheese mixture and spread evenly over pasta.
Step seven: To finish off your recipe add the remaining cooked ziti and then the remaining tomato sauce to the casserole. And last we just top it with shredded mozzarella.
Step eight: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Then you can remove it from the oven and serve.
Tips and FAQ
Can I uses Ground Beef instead? Yes, you can use ground beef in the place of ground sausage. You can even do a half and half mixture.
Can I use another pasta? Yes, you can easily use penne pasta in the place of ziti. You can really toss any pasta you enjoy with this or use whatever you have on hand.
How to make it ahead of time: Cook your sauce and pasta then allow them to cool completely. Once they are cooled assemble your ingredients and place it in a fridge or freezer-safe casserole dish.
Cover it and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. Once your baked ziti is thawed you can bake it according to the directions until it is warm throughout.
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- 16 oz ziti
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp basil
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 3 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook ziti according to package directions. Once cooked drain and set aside.
- In a seperate bowl mix together ricotta cheese, egg, and oregano. Set aside for later.
- Heat oil on the stove top in a large skillet or pot. Add mild Italian sausage and cook and crumble. Drain fat as needed.
- To your sausage add in crushed tomatoes and petite diced tomatoes. Season with basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Start layer your ingredients starting with ½ of tomato sauce. Then ½ of ziti on top of sauce. Then add all ricotta cheese mixture and spread evenly over pasta.
- Add the remaining cooked ziti and then the remaining tomato sauce to the casserole. Last top with shredded mozzarella.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve and enjoy.