This quick and easy baked ziti recipe uses jarred pasta sauce so you can get dinner on the table in just over 30 minutes. Try it!
- 1 pound ziti or penne (standard or gluten-free)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1 hot Italian sausage link
- 1 sweet Italian sausage link
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
- 24-ounce jar marinara sauce (I prefer Raos)
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded or fresh
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until it is just al dente (about 9 minutes). Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- While the pasta is boiling, add olive oil to a skillet. Saute onion and garlic until softened (2-3 minutes).
- Add ground meat, removing sausage from casing. Add crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning blend and salt & pepper. Cook over high heat for 3 – 5 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spoon.
- Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour the meat sauce over the cooked pasta and stir to coat thoroughly. Add the ricotta cheese in dollops and stir gently. It does not need to be fully combined.
- Pour half of the ziti mixture into a casserole dish*.
- Top with half of the mozzarella and and Parmesan cheese. Repeat with the remaining ziti and cheeses.
- Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes until it is bubbling and slightly browned.
- You can make this recipe in a 9 x 13 casserole dish or split it into two smaller sized dishes (8 x 8 or 9 x 9″) depending on how many people you are feeding.
- This recipe can be prepared in advance (through step 8) and refrigerated or frozen. Bring to room temperature before baking.
- You can use ziti, penne, mostaccioli, shells, or even elblow macaroni. Any small tubular pasta that will catch the sauce and cheese will work. Feel free to substitute gluten-free pasta.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: recipe
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: italian
Keywords: baked ziti, baked pasta, italian food, weeknight dinner, pasta bake, baked penne