Baked Ziti

This has been a favorite recipe of mine for a long time. I’m not a big casserole person, but I love baked ziti. It’s so easy to put together and it’s delicious. You can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge or freezer to make later.

This is a quicky post with a not so fabulous photograph, but the brood was hungry and howling for dinner… so it goes.

Baked Ziti
printable version

1 lb box of ziti
4 cups prepared spaghetti sauce (homemade or jar)
1 lb ground beef
15 oz container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli & Smoked Gouda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook the ziti pasta per package directions, drain.

Brown the ground beef until no longer pink, drain. Stir in the ricotta, parsley, egg, salt, pepper and 2 cups of the spaghetti sauce. Add cooked ziti and toss to coat.

Put ziti mixture into a 13×9 baking pan and cover with the remaining 2 cups of spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.


Sauce note: I use a homemade sauce which consists simply of 1 14-oz can tomato sauce, 2 6-oz cans of tomato paste, 2 14-oz cans water, 2 tablespoons dried basil and some fresh ground pepper. I usually saute a couple cloves of garlic and some minced onion in olive oil first, then add the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a 20 minutes or so.

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  1. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme says

    Who doesn't love a great ziti bake? Add a salad and some garlic bread and I'm happy as I can be. Thanks for sharing a great recipe, Amanda.

  2. Bob says

    This looks wicked good, backed ziti is the bomb. I'd been tinkering with my recipe, although I haven't made it in a while. I think it's well past time. Heh.

  3. Anonymous says

    way too much ricotta and way too much meat. I'd use 1/4 lb of beef and 7 oz ricotta instead and add 2 to 3 more cups of sauce. Otherwise this becomes a meat dominated pasta with no sauce taste.

  4. Amanda says

    Hi Anonymous – Everyone has different tastes :) That's what nice about a recipe, you can adapt it to fit your own and your family's preference. We prefer it as written.

  5. Anonymous says

    I dont like pasta but thought I would make this for my kids..You dont mention when to use the parmesan cheese…

  6. Amanda says

    Oh right you are, so sorry about that! I edited the instructions, but you simply sprinkle the parmesan along with the mozzarella.

  7. Gila says

    Thanks for the recipe, Amanda! I found it from your list of Top 10 Recipes of 2010 and made it this weekend. I did tweak the recipe a bit– I used macaroni since I didn't happen to have any ziti on hand. I also used Romano cheese instead of Parmesan, and Morningstar Farms Recipe Crumbles instead of the ground beef since I'm a vegetarian. For a healthier dish, I used nonfat cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Finally, I used dried parsley flakes instead of fresh. It came out great! I used jarred marinara sauce because I was pressed for time, but next time I want to try your homemade version. I did notice that the yield was very large. I had to use a wok to stir everything together, and then the mixture barely fit into my 13×9 pan. But aside from that, I was very happy with the recipe :-)

  8. Melanie says

    This looks delicious! I am going to make it with my Morningstar crumbles instead of beef! Thank you!


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