One of my all-time favorite Italian dishes is baked ziti. It’s one of those meals that is just so comforting, yet so satisfying. Every time I make it, my friends and family are always so excited to dig in. It’s cheesy, delicious, and a great way to bring everyone together to share a hearty meal. It also makes great leftovers so you can enjoy it any time of the week.
Truly, there’s nothing quite like a pan of warm, cheesy, saucy-baked ziti! Today, I’m going to share my special recipe—including an extra layer of cheesy goodness, which is totally optional but highly recommended. So, let’s get cooking!
- 16 oz dry ziti pasta
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese divided
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt & black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook ziti pasta al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg.
- Place half of the cooked ziti into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the sausage mixture and top with half of the cheese mixture.
- Repeat layering with the remaining ziti, sausage, and cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
When you’ve got a craving for Italian comfort food, this easy Baked Ziti recipe is the perfect answer. With its layers of cheese, hearty sauce, and of course the deliciousness of Italian sausage, you’ll definitely be coming back for seconds! It’s a meal that is sure to please and doesn’t take a lot of time to pull together. It’s definitely a must-make dish that you’ll be adding to your weekly dinner rotation! Bon Appetit!