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Easy Ziti Bake

I enjoy making this baked ziti recipe for family and friends. It's easy to prepare, and I like to get creative with the sauce. Sometimes I might add my home-canned tomatoes, mushrooms or vegetables. —Elaine Anderson New Galilee, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 45 min. + standing
  • Makes
    6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces uncooked ziti or small tube pasta
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta cheese, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Drain pasta; add to cheese mixture and stir until blended.
  • Spoon a third of the meat sauce into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; top with half of the pasta mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining meat sauce.
  • Cover and bake 40 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Baked Ziti Tips

What goes with baked ziti?

Many dishes can go with bake ziti. For a fresh component, serve a green salad. And don’t forget a warm loaf of Italian bread or garlic bread!

Why is my baked ziti dry?

Baked ziti can become dry for several reasons. When assembling the dish, be sure to cover the pasta with enough of the sauce so that the noodles don’t dry out. Also, to prevent moisture from evaporating while cooking, cover the dish tightly with foil.

What can I add to this recipe?

You can add just about anything you want to this recipe! Feel free to add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning for extra flavor, ¼ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick and extra spaghetti sauce for those who like it more saucy. You can also substitute fresh Italian ground sausage for the ground beef. Check out some other Italian pasta recipes. Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 630 calories, 30g fat (15g saturated fat), 164mg cholesterol, 878mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 3g fiber), 45g protein.