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A super comforting pasta dish, this Easy Baked Ziti is a classic that takes minimal ingredients. You can have this on your dinner table in about an hour, and it’s perfect for the whole family.

Plated Easy Baked Ziti Recipe on plate with glass of tea in background.

I’m a pasta gal by heart, I pretty much will not pass up any pasta dish – especially if it is easy. That is why I absolutely love this Easy Baked Ziti!

This is one recipe that we have had on our menu rotation for years, it takes minimal time to throw together, and the oven pretty much does all the work for you.

With easy ingredients that no one really complains about, this is the perfect meal that your whole family will be begging for more of.

Filled with pasta, meat, sauce, and cheese, it is the perfect combination of flavors. The spices in the ground beef really amp everything up, plus it is homemade.

We like to use a jar of marinara sauce in this recipe as we love the flavor, but if you are not a marinara fan, you can use regular spaghetti sauce of your choice!

If you are looking for a tasty dinner meal that you know that your whole family will like, then you have to try my Easy Baked Ziti Recipe.

Some of our other favorite pasta dishes that we have on our site include: Bacon Ranch Pesto Pasta, Chicken Broccoli Pasta and Creamy Chicken Fry Diavolo.

Serving spoon holding up some of the Easy Baked Ziti from pan.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  • Common ingredients help this come together easily.
  • This makes enough to feed a whole family.
  • You can add and change things to your liking.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (FULL RECIPE BELOW):

Ziti
Lean ground beef
Grated parmesan cheese
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Dried oregano
Kosher salt
Pepper
Red chili flakes
Marinara sauce
Ricotta cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese

Ingredients needed to make Easy Baked Ziti.

HOW TO MAKE EASY BAKED ZITI:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until combined. 
  3. Place a dutch oven or large skillet with deep sides on the stove over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the meat mixture and brown it, stirring occasionally until no longer pink, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the marinara sauce to the meat and bring to a simmer. Reserve ¼ of the sauce on the side.
  5. Add the ziti to the remaining sauce in the pot and stir it until the noodles are coated. Take off the heat.
  6. Add half of the ziti mixture to the bottom of the prepared dish. 
  7. Top with dollops of half of the ricotta cheese. Add about 1 cup of the mozzarella on top.
  8. Add the remaining ziti and spread the reserved sauce on top. Dollop the rest of the ricotta all over. Top with the remaining mozzarella. Add a sprinkle of dried oregano.
  9. Place in the oven, uncovered for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Turn the broiler on high and brown the cheese (keep an eye on it!). Serve immediately.

Step by step photos on how to make Easy Baked Ziti.

DO I HAVE TO USE ZITI?

No, obviously, we use ziti since it’s Easy Baked Ziti, but you can use any smaller pasta that you like including: elbows, penne, spirals, bowties, and more.

Just use what you have on hand or what you like best, it will still taste the same in the end, and everyone will be satisfied.

CAN I USE ANOTHER MEAT?

You can use half Italian sausage or switch out all of the ground beef and seasonings for Italian sausage and brown it just like the recipe states.

This dish will go together even faster if you do so. Make sure to drain any excess fat off of the sausage.

I like to use lean ground beef so I don’t have to drain off any excess fat. But, use whatever kind of ground beef you like and drain the fat. 

WHAT CHEESE IS BEST FOR THIS?

We like to use parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta in this recipe. It is best to freshly grate your cheese from the block, they melt better as they do not have any extra preservatives.

Overhead of Easy Baked Ziti on plate topped with basil.

HOW TO STORE:

This can be stored in the pan covered with plastic wrap or foil or placed in an airtight container where it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

This can also be frozen, wrap your pan in plastic wrap and then foil and place in the freezer where it will keep for up to 3 months.

To defrost, remove from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, warm in the oven at 350 degrees F covered with foil until heated through.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • You can use other pastas, see some of my suggestions above.
  • This can be halved and made in a 9×9-inch baking dish to serve a smaller family.
  • Switch up your meats, see above on what I like to do.
  • We like to use marinara in this but you can use your favorite spaghetti sauce as well.
  • The meat is seasoned like meatballs, I would not skip this step as it really adds flavor to the dish.
  • Using freshly grated cheese is best.
  • This can be frozen, see above on how to do that.

Fork holding up a bite of pasta from plate.

Love a good pasta and are looking for that perfect weeknight meal? Look no further, this Easy Baked Ziti will solve all your dinner problems!

If you like this recipe you might also like:

If you’ve tried this EASY BAKED ZITI let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 3 votes

Easy Baked Ziti

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
A super comforting pasta dish, this Easy Baked Ziti is a classic that takes minimal ingredients. You can have this on your dinner table in about an hour and it's perfect for the whole family.
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until combined.
  • Place a dutch oven or large skillet with deep sides on the stove over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the meat mixture and brown it, stirring occasionally until no longer pink, 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the marinara sauce to the meat and bring to a simmer. Reserve ¼ of the sauce on the side.
  • Add the ziti to the remaining sauce in the pot and stir it until the noodles are coated. Take off the heat.
  • Add half of the ziti mixture to the bottom of the prepared dish.
  • Top with dollops of half of the ricotta cheese. Add about 1 cup of the mozzarella on top.
  • Add the remaining ziti and spread the reserved sauce on top. Dollop the rest of the ricotta all over. Top with the remaining mozzarella. Add a sprinkle of dried oregano.
  • Place in the oven, uncovered for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Turn the broiler on high and brown the cheese (keep an eye on it!). Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. You can use other pastas, see some of my suggestions above.
  2. This can be halved and made in a 9x9-inch baking dish to serve a smaller family.
  3. Switch up your meats, see above on what I like to do.
  4. We like to use marinara in this but you can use your favorite spaghetti sauce as well.
  5. The meat is seasoned like meatballs, I would not skip this step as it really adds flavor to the dish.
  6. Using freshly grated cheese is best.
  7. This can be frozen, see above on how to do that.

Nutrition

Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 1087mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 842IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 564mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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