Stupid-Easy Recipe for Easy Baked Ziti (#1 Top-Rated)


This dinnertime favorite is easy to make, feeds a crowd, and is great for making ahead or freezing.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy-to-make recipe for Easy Baked Ziti.

1. Info for Easy Baked Ziti

  • Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Servings: 10
  • Calories: 602.17 kcal

2. Ingredients for Easy Baked Ziti

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 lb. ziti
  • salt
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp. salt (divided, plus more for pasta water)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (divided)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (divided)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning (divided)
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 24oz. low-moisture ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • italian seasoning
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • fresh parsley

3. Directions:

3.1 Preheat

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

3.2 Prep

Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

3.3 Stove

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the ziti to the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, 9-10 minutes. Drain the pasta in a large colander, and rinse thoroughly with cold water. While the pasta cooks, prepare the meat sauce.

Spray an extra-large skillet generously with nonstick cooking spray, then set over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to the skillet. Cook the beef, breaking it up with a spatula, until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes.

Drain the fat from the skillet. Return the skillet to the stove, and reduce heat to medium-low. Pour the marinara sauce over the meat and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes. While the sauce simmers, prepare the cheese mixture.

3.4 Prep

Place the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine.

Return the drained ziti to the pot. Add the meat sauce and stir to thoroughly coat the noodles.

Transfer 1/3 of the sauced pasta to the prepared baking dish. Drop half the ricotta mixture by spoonfuls over the ziti, and gently spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over the ricotta. Repeat with another 1/3 of the noodles, the remaining ricotta, and another cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with the last 1/3 of noodles. Sprinkle the last cup of mozzarella cheese in an even layer over the top of the dish.

Cover the baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil.

3.5 Oven

Bake the spaghetti on middle rack of oven for 40 minutes.

Remove the aluminum foil and continue baking until cheese on top is golden brown, 15 minutes.

3.6 Check

Check to see that ziti is done. Remove from oven or add time as needed.

3.7 Serve

Allow the ziti to rest for 20 minutes. Before serving, top with parsley if you like.


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