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Baked Ziti

Overhead view of baked ziti casserole
15 min
35 min
6-8 servings
Overhead view of baked ziti casserole
Overhead view of baked ziti casserole

This is an Easy Baked Ziti recipe that you definitely need to add to your quick go-to dinners. It’s a great mix of classic spaghetti flavors with all the melty cheese throughout and on top. I’m a sucker for that melty cheese pull. 

Only a few ingredients and done in about 30 minutes. Also, a perfect freezer meal to make ahead. 

What are the Ingredients in Baked Ziti?

The ingredients in this Easy Baked Ziti are super simple. Nothing fancy, but make up a delicious dinner. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ground beef
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Ziti pasta
  • Ricotta cheese
  • egg
  • garlic powder
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • shredded mozzarella

How to Make Easy Baked Ziti?

Easy Baked Ziti is super simple to make in only about 30 minutes. You’ll make the three different portions of the baked ziti casserole which are: boil the ziti, cook the ground beef with spaghetti sauce, and mix together the Ricotta with the spices. Then you’ll mix everything together right in the casserole or baking dish. (I have this baking dish I use all the time and love it it.) Top everything with lots and lots of shredded mozzarella cheese and then bake.

What kind of variations are good for Baked Ziti?

This Baked Ziti Casserole is a great dish with lots of variations you can do based on preferences or what you might have on hand in your kitchen already. 

  • Pasta: This baked casserole works with all kinds of pasta variations. Try it with mostaccioli, penne, spaghetti, fettuccine
  • Sauce: Make it meatless and leave out the ground beef
  • Protein: try a ground chicken or turkey or ground sausage
  • Cheese: Mix mozzarella with parmesan, use cheddar cheese

How to make Baked Ziti Casserole into a Freezer Meal?

Easy Baked Ziti Casserole is a great dish to make ahead and freeze for later. Also, a great one to gift to a family who just had a baby, a loss, or just needs an easy meal to help them out. 

To make this baked casserole into a freezer meal, you’ll prepare everything the exact same way. Then pour and mix in a foil pan. Cover the casserole dish first with a layer of tight aluminum foil. Then cover the foil with a layer of saran wrap or press and seal. Make sure everything is nice and tight, then place in the freezer. 

To Bake: You can either remove the casserole from the freezer in the morning to thaw and bake in the evening. Or you can bake straight from the freezer, but increase the baking time to 40 minutes. 

I love this Easy Baked Ziti Casserole, a great recipe to use on a busy weeknight or for a Sunday family dinner. 

Easy recipe and video tutorial below. Leave a comment to let me know what you think!

Also be sure to check out these other easy dinner recipes below. 

Overhead view of baked ziti casserole

Easy Baked Ziti

Easy, one pan Baked Ziti is a simple recipe with classic spaghetti flavors in a cheesy casserole. Perfect for a busy night or as a make ahead freezer meal.

Overhead view of baked ziti casserole

Prep time: 20 min  |  Cook time: 15 min  |  Total: 35 min

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1 lb ground beef

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce (24 oz)

1 box Ziti pasta (16 oz)

1 container Ricotta (15 oz)

1 egg

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 Tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup shredded mozzarella (in the mixture)

1 cup shredded mozzarella (topping)

1 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot, boil water and cook the Ziti until just before fully cooked. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef on medium high until cooked all through, Drain grease. Add the spaghetti sauce to the ground beef and stir together. Move temperature to low and let the mixture simmer.

3. In a large bowl, add the Ricotta, egg, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix together until smooth.

4. In a casserole dish or oven safe baking dish, pour ziti noodles in then add the ricotta mixture and the ground beef mixture over that. Using a large spoon, mix all together in the casserole dish.

5. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese over top the entire dish. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

6. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes then serve. Add a side salad or garlic bread and enjoy!



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