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Five-Cheese Ziti al Forno

After having the five-cheese ziti at Olive Garden, I tried to make my own version of it—and I think I got pretty close. I always double this when I'm making it and freeze the second one for another meal. —Keri Whitney, Castro Valley, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + standing
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1-1/2 pounds (about 7-1/2 cups) ziti or small tube pasta
  • 2 jars (24 ounces each) marinara sauce
  • 1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Minced fresh parsley or basil, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine marinara sauce, Alfredo sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and the ricotta, provolone and Romano cheeses. Heat over medium heat until sauce begins to simmer and cheeses are melted. Stir in cooked pasta; pour mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan, bread crumbs, garlic and olive oil; sprinkle over pasta.
  • Bake, uncovered, until mixture is bubbly and topping is golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil if desired.
    Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover casserole with foil; bake 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°, 15-20 minutes longer.

Test Kitchen tip
  • If you have a few extra minutes, you can make a homemade Alfredo sauce that's rich and creamy.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 449 calories, 15g fat (8g saturated fat), 32mg cholesterol, 960mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 4g fiber), 21g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • wintermom9597
      Nov 3, 2020

      We loved this! And it is a good thing - since we have LOTS of leftovers. I used cottage cheese in place of ricotta because that's what I had on hand. I also realized I didn't put the top layer of cheese on before the bread crumbs, but honestly, it wasn't missed. Planning to make it again for my daughter and her roommates - as freezer meals.

    • Meghan
      Oct 17, 2020

      This was great! I left out the garlic cloves this time and it still was delicious. The sauce kind of reminded me of Spaghettios, but overall I really liked this dish! Will definitely be making this again.

    • Deidre
      Aug 30, 2020

      This was excellent, I added some riced cauliflower to mine for extra veggies and also ended up substituting cream cheese for the ricotta since I couldn't find it my fridge even though I know I bought some. It was delicious will definitely make again and adding to my saved recipes.

    • suefalk
      Jun 23, 2020

      FANTASTIC! Great idea to combine marinara and afredo. However, I only use full-fat Ricotta because it's creamer - less grainy. Definitely enough to feed a crowd! I also like a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

    • cbenne12
      Jun 19, 2020

      So tasty and easy to make!!!

    • curlylis85
      Oct 26, 2019

      This is so good! It is easy to make, makes a lot, and is a great comfort food. I made the full recipe, but divided the mixture into two different square dishes. I cooked one and froze the other for later and am happy to say that it tasted just as good using the directions for the freeze option.

    • cynandtom
      Sep 20, 2019

      I LOVE THIS DISH!!!! I did use a quality jar sauce, I think that is probably important. The only change that I made was adding cooked Hot Italian Sausage, which I’m sure didn’t hurt in its success either. ?? I highly recommend this one!

    • rock111
      Aug 19, 2019

      I cut the recipe in half and that still is a lot. I used fine shreds of fresh basil on top after baking. All 4 of us loved it and called it a keeper, really good find! Family took leftovers home for another dinner! We'll be enjoying that recipe in the future, and it goes together very quickly and easily..

    • bonito15
      Aug 13, 2019

      I made this for our neighborhood picnic, because it makes a huge amount and it was gone in a flash - love both the Marinara and Alfredo sauces - flavor is astonishing