Easy Baked Ziti

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Easy Baked Ziti

A Family Favorite

Easy Baked Ziti is a recipe I’ve been making for so long, I can’t even remember the first time I made it. It’s a go-to dish in my kitchen because it’s not too expensive, incredibly simple to make, and always a hit with everyone. Plus, it’s wonderfully filling!

simple baked pasta dishes

Choose Your Ingredients

I love starting out with protein pasta, though regular pasta works just as well. I prefer a protein pasta because I’m always looking for ways to get more protein into my meals. Typically, I will use ziti-style pasta but this penne pasta was the closest thing I could find in a protein version.

For the meat, I use extra lean ground beef, but any ground meat would work. Just be sure to drain the grease after it cooks, as some meats can have excessive amounts of grease.

in jamies kitchen

Ingredients for Easy Baked Ziti

  • 14.5 oz box pasta 
  • 1 lb ground beef – I like extra lean
  • 24 oz jar pasta sauce
  • 15 oz tub ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz block mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

*A printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this page

Easy baked ziti with ground beef

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cook the pasta one minute less than the package directions.  Drain.
  • Brown the ground beef over medium heat, crumbling the meat as it cooks.
  • Drain any grease from the meat (I like to use a paper towel and some tongs)
  • Season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Turn off the stove.
baked pasta recipes
Baked Ziti
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  • Mix in the sauce and the ricotta cheese.  Stir until just combined. 
Easy baked ziti recipe
Easy baked ziti with ricotta
  • Stir in the pasta. 
  • Top with shredded mozzarella cheese

If you’re not using an oven-safe skillet, transfer the meal to a casserole dish before topping with cheese

  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the cheese on top just starts to brown.

This non-stick cookware goes from stove top to oven to table to refrigerator. The handles are removable which makes them stack easily for storage and they come with lids. Shop Cookware on Amazon

easy baked ziti
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Simple Baked Pasta

The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. After cooking the pasta and meat, it’s basically just stirring together the pasta, sauce, meat, and ricotta. Then top it all off with shredded mozzarella and bake until ooey gooey. Serve it with a side salad and garlic bread for a complete meal.

Recently, I made this simple baked pasta for a friend of mine who is a new mother. It’s perfect for making ahead and then storing in the fridge or freezer. When you’re ready to eat, simply bake until heated through and the cheese is melted. It’s an easy and delicious recipe that is perfect all year long.

One Pot Meal

Reliable and Comforting

Whether you’re making it for a family dinner, a potluck, or a friend in need, Easy Baked Ziti is a reliable, comforting dish that everyone will love. Give it a try, and it just might become a staple in your kitchen too!

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Easy baked ziti with ground beef

Easy Baked Ziti

Al dente pasta is combined with meat sauce and creamy ricotta then topped with mozzarella and baked for a deliciously, filling dinner.
5 from 2 votes
Course Dinner

Ingredients
  

  • 14.5 oz box pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef – I like extra lean
  • 24 oz jar pasta sauce
  • 15 oz tub ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz block mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cook the pasta one minute less than the package directions. Drain.
  • Brown the ground beef over medium heat, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain.
  • Season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Turn off the stove.
  • Mix in the sauce and the ricotta cheese. Stir until just combined.
  • Stir in the pasta.
  • *If your skillet is not oven safe, transfer to a casserole dish
  • Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake until cheese is melted and gooey.

Video

@injamieskitchen

Baked ziti is a quick and easy dinner recipe that is perfect for meal prep. Plus – no one can resist a cheesy pasta dinner. #bakedziti #potsandpans #potswithremovablehandles #spacesavingpots

♬ original sound – In Jamie’s Kitchen
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7 Comments

  1. Sue Lambrix

    Question
    Can you use cottage cheese or cream cheese instead of ricotta? Its not a taste we like but would the substitutions change the consistency of the casserole?
    Thank you
    Sue

    Reply
    • Jamie

      I haven’t tried that. We love the ricotta. Let us know if you decide to try it.

      Reply
    • Jamie

      5 stars
      we used cottage cheese, it tasted great and worked fine for us. I let the sauce simmer a while and then added the cottage cheese while the noodles were cooking… then I baked it at 350 for about 15 minutes just to melt the cheese a bit and to avoid crunchy noodles.

      Reply
  2. Leigh

    Would cottage cheese work in this recipe instead of ricotta?

    Reply
    • Jamie

      I haven’t tried it but it’s worth a shot.

      Reply
  3. Jamie

    5 stars
    Am I baking it after preparation? How long and at what temperature?

    Reply
    • Jamie

      Yes, after you mix everything together and top with cheese, bake at 350 until hot and bubbly and the cheese just begins to brown.

      Reply

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