Easy Baked Ziti With Three Cheeses

Baked Ziti with Ricotta Recipe
The Spruce
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 58 mins
Total: 73 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
547 Calories
19g Fat
61g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 547
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 206mg 69%
Sodium 1110mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 31g
Calcium 367mg 28%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This delicious baked ziti recipe is made with plenty of sauce and cheese. Ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan make this a hearty, satisfying casserole and, if you use a meat-free sauce, it's a vegetarian dish.

Baked ziti with ricotta and the melted cheese topping is similar to lasagna, but is made with ziti noodles and is not layered like lasagna, making this an easier dish to put together for a weeknight meal.

There are many variations you can do with this baked ziti dish to make it your own creation. Feel free to make a meat sauce to add to the pasta bake or use a store-bought marinara or traditional spaghetti sauce. Not a lover of ricotta cheese or don't have any in the fridge? You can use cottage cheese in its place. While this recipe calls for 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, with half for the pasta and half for the melty topping, you can omit the cheese topping if you'd like.

Serve it with a tossed salad and some garlic bread for a complete meal.

 

1:15

Click Play to See This Easy Baked Ziti Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) box pasta (ziti, rigatoni, or penne pasta)
  • 1 (16-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded, divided)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce (homemade or from a can or jar)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for baked ziti
    The Spruce
  2.  Heat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas 4. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

  3. Cook the ziti or similar pasta in boiling salted water following the package instructions. Drain well.

    Cooked ziti pasta
    The Spruce
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Add the egg and blend well.

    Bowl of ricotta cheese, egg, and seasoning
    The Spruce
  5. Stir in the drained pasta and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Pour the spaghetti sauce over all.

    Ziti noodles with cheese
    The Spruce
  6. Bake in the heated oven for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the mozzarella cheese has melted.

    Baked ziti with cheese topping
    The Spruce
  7. Serve the ziti casserole and enjoy!.

    Baked Ziti with roasted peppers on the side
    The Spruce

Tip

  • This is a great picnic or potluck dish. It can be made in advance and freezes well.

Recipe Variations

  • With Meat Sauce: ​In a skillet over medium heat, sauté 1 pound of lean ground beef in a few teaspoons of olive oil until beef is no longer pink. Add the spaghetti sauce to the browned beef and pour over the ziti before baking. If desired, sauté about 1/2 cup of chopped onion with the ground beef.
  • With Onions and Peppers: ​In a large skillet over medium heat, saute 1 cup of chopped onion and 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper until the onion is translucent and bell pepper is tender. Add the mixture to the ziti with the cheeses.
  • Use half ricotta and half cottage cheese in place of the full amount of ricotta cheese. Or just use cottage cheese instead.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Baked ziti can be kept in the fridge for three to five days. Make sure it is wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil; or placed in an airtight container.
  • A great dish to freeze and have ready for later use, make sure your baked ziti is cool first, then place it in a freezer-safe dish. Frozen baked ziti is good for up to three months.