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Classic Baked Ziti Recipe


Classic Baked Ziti Recipe



Baked ziti is a beloved Italian-American dish that combines the comforting elements of pasta, cheese, and a savory tomato sauce.

It’s a versatile dish that can be customized with different types of meats, vegetables, and cheeses, making it perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re hosting a family gathering, a potluck, or just craving a warm, hearty meal, baked ziti is sure to satisfy.

This article will guide you through the process of making a delicious and cheesy baked ziti that will become a favorite in your home.


Classic Baked Ziti Recipe



1 pound ziti or other short pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage

1 small onion, diced


3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce


1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 large egg

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish (optional)



Cook the Pasta:

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Prepare the Sauce:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef or Italian sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.

Add the diced onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.


Stir in the dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook for another minute.

Pour in the marinara sauce and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Combine the Pasta and Sauce:

Add the sauce to the pot with the cooked pasta and stir until the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.

Prepare the Cheese Mixture:

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, half of the shredded mozzarella cheese, and half of the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Assemble the Baked Ziti:

Spread half of the pasta and sauce mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking dish.

Dollop the cheese mixture over the pasta layer and spread it out gently.

Top with the remaining pasta and sauce mixture.

Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.


Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the top is golden brown.


Remove the baked ziti from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Serve hot and enjoy!


Baked ziti is a classic comfort food that brings together the rich flavors of pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce in a warm and satisfying dish.

This recipe is easy to follow and can be customized to suit your taste, whether you prefer adding vegetables, different meats, or extra cheese.

Perfect for feeding a crowd or enjoying as leftovers, baked ziti is a versatile and beloved dish that will quickly become a staple in your meal rotation.

Enjoy the process of making this hearty casserole and the delicious results that are sure to please everyone at the table.

This article provides a comprehensive guide to making a classic baked ziti, ensuring that readers can successfully recreate this delicious and comforting dish in their own kitchens.

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