My kids have always been huge pasta fans, and baked ziti is definitely their favorite meal for dinner. When they all lived at home they asked for this dish what seemed like every other night. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to make. That’s why it’s been a favorite recipe of mine for a long time, even though I’m not a huge casserole person this baked ziti always hits the spot. After you put the ingredients together and get it in the oven, sit back and enjoy the aroma of fresh baked ziti cooking in the oven.
What’s even better? You can make this baked ziti ahead and keep it in the fridge or freezer to enjoy later. Just like this Pizza Sandwich Casserole, this is a perfect casserole to bring along to a potluck or to a school banquet as a dish to pass.
I used my own homemade spaghetti sauce for this recipe, you can find that below. Otherwise, canned sauce will do the trick as well.
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Ingredients you’ll need for Baked Ziti
- 4 cups prepared spaghetti sauce (homemade or jar)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1-pound box ziti
- 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
Ingredients for Amanda’s Sauce
- olive oil
- small onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
- 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 6 tomato paste cans of water
- pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- garlic salt to taste
Heat oil, onion and garlic in large saucepan, cook until tender. Add water, tomato sauce and tomato paste to garlic and onion. Mix well. Add basil, garlic salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.
Makes enough sauce for two family size servings (family size = 4 adults or 2 adults and 4 children with leftovers).
Helpful Kitchen Tools
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cooked 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 cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
I hope you enjoy this classic casserole dinner as much as my family and I did. What’s your signature casserole dish?
Find more delicious casserole inspiration with these mouth-watering recipes:
- Macaroni and Cheese Casserole with Ham and Peas
- John Wayne Casserole
- Italian Lasagna
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole
- Taco Casserole
- Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
This post was originally published on this blog on May 2, 2010.