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Easy Baked Ziti

Easy Baked Ziti

I call it “lazy lasagna” because it tastes like lasagna but without all the work. Using the leanest beef and part skim cheeses makes this easy casserole light and healthy. There are many different brands of sauce so taste your meat sauce and add salt or spices if you like. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

Easy Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces ziti pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup copped onion
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 24-ounce jar marinara sauce (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounces part skim mozzarella, shredded by hand
  • 6 teaspoons grated parmesan

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Start the water for pasta.
  3. In a big pan sauté onion & garlic in oil over med-high heat for 2 min.
  4. Add meat, stirring to break it up. Cook for 3 min. until the pink is gone.
  5. Add sauce & pour 1/4 cup water into the jar, cover & shake, and pour the rest of the sauce into the pan. (meantime, start the pasta)
  6. Cook sauce for 10 minutes. Taste for salt & add extra spices if you like.
  7. Drain pasta, return to pasta cooking pot & stir in ricotta.
  8. Spread 1/2 cup sauce into a large baking pan.
  9. Add 3 layers as follows: 1/3 of the ziti, 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1/3 of the mozarella, and 1/3 of the parmesan.
  10. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Notes: For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

Easy Baked Ziti

29 Comments on "Easy Baked Ziti"

  1. Ann

    Hi Jenny, what size pan can I use please. Thank you!

    • Jenny

      I use a Corning 2.8 liter (3-quart) pan that measures about 8 by 10 inches.

  2. FoodLoveCritic

    Jenny,
    That was an awesome recipe. It will be a regular my house. DELICIOUS!
    Thanks Jenny

  3. Sarah Vermilya

    Jenny,
    Ran across this recipe. ( Love your recipes, thank you so much.) I followed your recipe with a few changes. Wanted to share with you what I did. First of all, I am vegetarian so I left the meat out. I did not have any ziti but I did have a box of lasgna noodles. I took the lasagna noodles and randomly broke them into approximately 2×2 inch pieces. No need to be exact. Followed the recipe as you wrote it. Lasagna noodles instead of ziti…..made it a truly lazy lasagna. Turned out wonderful.
    Thank You again,
    Sarah, upstate new york

  4. Reenie

    Just made this tonight and it was really good!!!! I used about three cups of sauce altogether and only did two layers. Will be making this again; Thanks Jenny for a quick, easy and tasty recipe.

    • Reenie

      Forgot to mention I also used italian chicken sausage and it came out perfect.

  5. Brad

    I just made this last night and it was fantastic! It really does give you all the flavors of lasagne while keeping it easy and lighter in fat and calories. I made it with hot Italian chicken sausage which was delicious and gave it a spicy kick. When I was making it, it didn’t seem like enough pasta, but it cooks up really well and was awesome! I agree with Jenny in the video, don’t let the sauce cook down too much. You really need it to be a juicy sauce for it to not turn out too dry.

  6. Jo

    Jenny,
    Just found your site and have been experimenting with your recipes…
    Your recipes are fantastic!

    What would you suggest serving with the Baked Ziti?

    • Jenny

      I always serve a salad with it and sometimes I add some steamed broccoli on the side. I always try to eat fresh and cooked veggies at every meal.

  7. Joyce

    Could u use spicy chicken sausages in place of the hamburger I would cut the sausages up & brown in place of hamburger. What do u think? My son &a daughter in law don’t eat hardly any beef.

    • Jenny

      It’s hard to answer questions about changing my recipes since I usually only make them the way I post them. I have only made baked ziti with beef so I’m sorry I don’t know if you can use sausage. I’m just a home cook and not a trained chef so I don’t always have the answer. I guess you would have to try or look for a ziti recipe made with sausage. Sorry I can’t help here.

    • Brad

      Yes you can! I did it last night with chicken italian sausage and it was delicious!

  8. Alice Fong

    May I know 10 oz of pasta is how many cup or grams? 1 lb of meat isn”t 450g? The sauce can I use Italian sauce or pasta sauce? I can”t find ricotta cheese in my country can use cheddar cheese to replace it? 6 oz mozzarella is how many cup or grams?

    • Jenny

      The metric conversion chart in my blog (http://www.jennycancook.com/category/a-metric-conversion-chart/) will help you get through all my recipes. You can use any Italian-style tomato-based red sauce in this recipe, like marinara, spaghetti sauce, or pasta sauce. Cheddar cheese can not be used to replace ricotta cheese. Ricotta is a white cheese similar to cottage cheese so that would be a closer replacement. Good luck with it!

  9. Dave

    This Easy Baked Ziti was the best I have ever eaten. Thanks Jenny

  10. Rich

    Great. Recipe, but was a little bland so we added Italian Seasoning and added a little more marinara sauce.

  11. denise

    Awesome meal. It was really delicious. Tasted just like lasagna but not all the work. It’s a keeper! Thank you for sharing.

  12. Cheryl Adam

    Hi Jenny,
    I just made the ‘Easy Baked Ziti’ for dinner last night. Wow, was it ever good! This will be a regular dish in our household from now on. My husband commented how light it was, which is something that’s important to him in a comfort-style meal. And I just enjoyed my second helping as a quick work lunch.
    Thanks, Jenny.

  13. tricia

    It looks delicious!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe… can’t wait to make it during the weekends

  14. Aunt Saucey

    Another delicious recipe Jenny, big hit with my family 🙂

  15. Martha

    I made this last night and it was great. My guys really loved this meal. I did add some squash to get some vegetables in, but no one could tell and we almost ate the whole dish. Thanks Jenny.

  16. Linda

    This was excellent! Loved it more than my traditional lasagna and much less work. This is a keeper! Thank you <3

  17. Ewa

    I did it. Very good. And easy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  18. Eva

    Wonderful recipe, I will most certainly be making that, since my lasagnas don’t always have the texture and consistency I like. Thank you Jenny.

  19. Ewa

    Looks delicious. I have couple of technical questions. 1. The pasta needs to be cooked, first, right? 2. First layer ( “1/2 cup of sauce”)- you mean the meat sauce, right? And the last question: I understand that you repeat the layers 3 times ending with the parmesan. Am I correct? I will be grateful for the answers. Thanks again for your recepies. I love them.

    • Jenny

      1. The pasta DOES need to be cooked per package directions and drained first.
      2. The first layer is the meat sauce but I try to use more of the juice and less meat for the bottom layer.
      3. All three layers are the same so the last layer is pasta + sauce + mozzarella + parmesan.
      *p.s. my How-To video is coming soon…

  20. Ethan

    Been waiting for a baked ziti dish from you, Jenny–it’s possibly my favorite comfort food. And the meats make it sound even more delicious. Will there be a video tutorial for this one?

    • Jenny

      In response to reader requests, I will be doing a video soon.

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