Classic Baked Ziti: A Comforting Pasta Bake

Classic Baked Ziti Recipe

If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming, cheesy pasta dish, then you’ll love this classic baked ziti recipe. It’s a comforting crowd-pleaser that’s surprisingly simple to make, making it perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion that calls for a generous pan of baked pasta goodness.


  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook the ziti pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. If using meat, cook the ground beef or Italian sausage in a skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain the excess fat and mix in the marinara sauce.
  3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  4. In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of the marinara sauce (with meat if used) on the bottom. Add half of the cooked ziti and spread it out evenly.
  5. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the ziti, then top with the remaining pasta. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the top.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the marinara sauce. You can also add the chopped basil here if desired.
  7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
  8. Remove the baked ziti from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy your homemade baked ziti with a side of garlic bread and a fresh salad for a complete meal that’s sure to satisfy any pasta lover’s craving!

Additional Tips:

  • To add extra flavor, you can incorporate chopped onions or garlic into the meat sauce, or sprinkle some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
  • Baked ziti can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake. Just be sure to add a few extra minutes to the baking time if it’s coming straight from the refrigerator.
  • Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to four days or can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *