Easy Peezy Baked Ziti
This baked ziti is a quick, no fuss recipe full of cheesy goodness! Great for those nights when you don’t have the energy to cook but still want a delicious meal that can feed a feast.
Vegetarian |Quick and simple
My husband introduced me to this baked ziti recipe when we first met. I always assumed that baked ziti was a fancy time-consuming endevor, but it turns out that, with all of the many modern conveniences in our grocery stores today, it's possible to make a really tasty baked ziti with virtually no prep work!
To make this recipe, you'll need:
- A 9x13 inch pan
- A 16 oz box of any type of tubular pasta (I usually use penne or rigatoni simply because I like the ribbed texture).
- A large jar of your favorite tomato sauce. I use a 45 oz jar of sauce but it's ok if your jar of sauce isn't quite that big. But I wouldn't use more than about 45 oz of sauce for this recipe.
- A 15 oz or 16 oz container of ricotta cheese (full fat or part skim, you do you 🙂
- An 2 cups of shredded mozzarella and a 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan. For the shredded cheese, I would do full fat, just because it will melt better and add more gooeyness.
- And 1 large egg.
First you preheat the oven to 375F and meanwhile, you boil the pasta on the stove until it is al dente, according to the directions on the box. You want it to be cooked just until al dente because the pasta will continue to cook in the sauce while it's in the oven. Overcooking the pasta in step one could cause a mushy end result.
Then you drain the pasta, add to it the sauce and cheeses, and finally the egg, and spread it out evenly into a 9x13 inch pan (no need to grease the pan). I add the egg last because the act of mixing in the other ingredients cools off the pasta. I'm always afraid that the egg will hit the hot pasta and start cooking, so I use the other ingredients to cool the pasta down first.
Sprinkle your mixture with cheese, pop it in the oven, and enjoy a half hour of sitting and not slaving over a steaming hot pot on the stove.
Finally remove the ziti when the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown around the edges. The most painful part of this recipe is letting it sit for about 10 minutes after it's out of the oven. It needs that 10 minutes to cool off enough that it sets a bit, and also so that you can eat it as soon as it hits your plate without burning all of your taste buds off. I've tried eating it straight out of the oven, and I have to say that trying to eat nuclear hot pasta is not fun, to say the least..
This baked ziti recipe uses simple ingredients and comes together quickly and easily. Plenty of cheese and lots of pasta, and it's great left over, who wouldn't love it?!
For the spices:
- 16 oz box of tube-shaped pasta (ziti/penne/rigatoni are my favorites)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 45 oz jar of your favorite non-chunky tomato sauce
- 16 oz (2 cups) ricotta cheese (whole fat or part skim)
- 1 cup (8 oz) shredded mozzerella
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) shredded parmesan
- 1 egg
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375F and put a large pot of water on the stove on high heat. When the water is boiling, add the salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box until the pasta is al dente
Drain the pasta and dump it in a large bowl, or back into the pot it was cooked in. Add the sauce and ricotta cheese and mix well
Add 1 cup of mozzarella and a 1/4 cup parmesan to the pasta mixture, along with the egg. Mix well until everything is well incorporated
Pour the ziti mixture into an ungreased 9×13 inch pan and sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella and a 1/4 cup of parmesan evenly over the top
Bake at 375F for 25 – 30 min, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown around the edges
Remove the baked ziti from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes in order for it to set and cool to an edible temperature. Serve and enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Have a question?
Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!