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Cheesy Baked Ziti

Pasta, meat, marinara, and plenty of melty cheese—what’s not to love? As a bonus, our recipe serves up plenty of leftovers you can reheat in the microwave for a quick and easy lunch. 
Servings: 8
Total Time: 55m
Prep Time: 20m
Cooking Time: 35m
Cheesy Baked Ziti

Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked ziti or penne pasta
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef, ground Italian sausage or combo of both
  • 1 large jar of marinara sauce (32 ounces) or make your own (link to 30-Minute Spaghetti Sauce recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil—or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preparation Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta—Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until almost al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the meat—In a large skillet over medium heat, cook meat until mostly browned, about 8 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  3. Make sauce—Add onions to meat and sauté until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, basil, and Italian seasoning. Cook for another minute, then stir in tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, adding salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Assemble the pasta—Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bottom of an oven-safe casserole pan, add half the pasta and half the sauce and stir gently to combine. Dot pasta with half the ricotta and sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layering (no stirring this time). Sprinkle Parmesan evenly across the top.
  5. Bake the pasta—Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Tips

A Freezer Favorite

Add this to your make-ahead menu—stash the unbaked ziti in your freezer, and you’re set for an effortless meal. Just preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake frozen ziti covered with aluminum for about an hour. Remove foil and continue baking till cheese is bubbly, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Make it Easier

Our GreenPan Ceramic Nonstick Casseroles easily double as a casserole dish for this cheesy ziti. Plus, the extra nonstick coating makes cleanup incredibly simple—no soaking required.