Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is a simple one-pot meal that is the ultimate comfort food. Packed with lots of gooey cheese and delicious pasta sauce, what’s not to love?

If you love the idea of lasagna, but don’t want to have to put in all the effort it takes to make it, Baked Ziti is for you! Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious though. My kids ask for Baked Ziti once a week, but since it’s so easy to make, Chloe has started making it on her own. The joy of your kids getting older! If your kids can boil pasta, they can most likely make this recipe which is a win in my book. 

I made this recipe for my girlfriend who just had a baby a few weeks ago. As busy and overwhelmed as she must be after having her third little one, she still found time to email me asking for this recipe. She told me it was beyond scrumptious, made her whole family so happy and that she wanted to recreate it for them ASAP. I love making dishes like this because you can do most of the work the day before and drop it off at a friend’s (or put it in your own oven) for a quick bake before dinner.

This is a vegetarian Baked Ziti, which is great for my family since we’re a mix of vegetarians and meat eaters. If you wanted to add meat you totally could! It’s up to you and your family’s preference. If you’re looking for more easy pasta recipes to make try my Chicken Pesto PastaKid Friendly PuttanescaVeggie Bolognese Sauce or Lemon Spaghetti with Toasted Walnuts to name a few. 

This recipe is a great weeknight or weekend dinner. Plus, depending on the size of your family, there should be enough for some leftovers for lunch the next day. Round out the meal with a bright and colorful Summer Garden Salad or Winter Farmers Market Salad (depending on what produce is in season) and get ready to eat! 

Baked Ziti

Ingredients
  

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 28 oz. can, diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz. box, ziti pasta, cooked al dente (the pasta should be firm, not hard. The pasta will cook a bit more when you bake it, so our rule of thumb is about 2 minutes less than the directions call for)
  • 2 cups mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Saute the onion, bell pepper and salt for 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook the sauce for 15 minutes over medium heat. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the sauce, pasta and 1 1/2 cups in a large bowl or pot and pour into a lightly oiled 9 x 11 casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Can be prepared at this point the night before.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.