Baked Ziti – A Beautiful Mess

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This baked ziti recipe is essentially a casserole that is incredibly easy to make and tastes similar to classic lasagna. This is a great option for weeknight dinner that may leave enough leftovers for lunch the next day, too.

This baked ziti has layers of noodles, marinara with sausage and plenty of cheese. This is a comforting meal that comes together quickly and everyone will love!

Related: If you love this recipe, next up, try Overnight No-Boil Lasagna

Ingredients

  • Ziti noodles
  • Sausage
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Marinara sauce
  • Salt
  • Cayenne
  • Italian seasoning
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan

Directions

Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until softened, 2 minutes. Then remove from the pan.

In the same pan, brown the sausage until no pink remains. Then add back in the onion and garlic plus marinara sauce, salt, cayenne and Italian seasoning. Turn the heat off.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions for al dente. Drain, then mix into the marinara sauce mixture. Add in half of the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.

Lightly oil a 9×13 pan. Add the mixture to the pan. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the edges begin to bubble.

Top with a few chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro or chives. Serve warm.

Tips for Making

  • While I have used ziti noodles in this recipe, they could easily be replaced/substituted with the same amount (16 ounces) of a similar shaped noodle such as rigatoni, penne, or even bow ties.
  • I love marinara sauce for this recipe, but any flavorful tomato sauce will work, including if you’d like to use a homemade tomato sauce.
  • If you’d like to substitute the sausage for another ground meat such as beef or turkey, you can!
  • Save any leftovers by covering the casserole pan in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerating for at least 3 days. Rewarm in the microwave.

More Delicious Pasta Recipes


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Get the Recipe

Baked ziti is an easy to make casserole that tastes similar to classic lasagna.

Yield 8

Prep 15 minutes

Cook 30 minutes

Total 45 minutes

Instructions

  • Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic.

  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until softened, 2 minutes. Then remove from the pan.

  • In the same pan, brown the sausage until no pink remains.

  • Then add back in the onion and garlic plus marinara sauce, salt, cayenne and Italian seasoning. Turn the heat off.

  • Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions for al dente.

  • Drain, then mix into the marinara sauce mixture.

  • Add in half of the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.

  • Lightly oil a 9×13 pan. Add the mixture to the pan. Top with the remaining cheese.

  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the edges begin to bubble.

  • Top with a few chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro or chives (optional). Serve warm.

Notes

While I have used ziti noodles in this recipe, they could easily be replaced/substituted with the same amount (16 ounces) of a similar shaped noodle such as rigatoni, penne, or even bow ties.
I love marinara sauce for this recipe, but any flavorful tomato sauce will work, including if you’d like to use a homemade tomato sauce.
If you’d like to substitute the sausage for another ground meat such as beef or turkey, you can!
Save any leftovers by covering the casserole pan in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerating for at least 3 days. Rewarm in the microwave.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Baked Ziti

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.

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