Freshen up your daily dinner routine with our quick and easy baked ziti recipe. This dish comes together in less than an hour, so cranking out a tasty weeknight meal is a piece of cake. If you have guests on the weekend, this dish will also feed a crowd.
It’s okay if you undercook the pasta just a bit because the noodles will soak up the marinara sauce and soften in the oven. Also make an effort to drop the cheese within the ziti to create ‘pockets’ within the finished dish instead of thoroughly mixing it in. This will ensure that every bite is cheesy pasta perfection!
Baked Ziti Recipe
- 1 lb dried penne pasta, or dried mostaccioli or rigatoni
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups marinara sauce
- 3/4 cup provolone cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded, plus extra for topping
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- fresh basil leaves, torn
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta then cook for half of the amount of time as instructed on the package. Drain and rinse under cool water then set aside.
- In a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and cook onion for 3–4 minutes until tender. Add garlic then cook for an additional 30 seconds. Next, pour in both bottles of marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low then simmer 10 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Remove sauce from heat. Add the partially cooked pasta and stir to combine. Combine the shredded cheeses and stir into the mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Top the mixture with grated Parmesan cheese and a little extra mozzarella cheese if desired. Place skillet in the oven and bake 35-45 minutes or until cheeses are melted and the sauce is bubbly. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with torn basil leaves and allow ziti to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.
We chose not to put meat in our baked ziti, but you can always add ground beef to bulk up the dish and feed a hungry crowd.