Baked Ziti
Baked Ziti
5 from 1 vote
Embark on a delightful culinary journey with this heart-warming Baked Ziti recipe, a dish that promises to bring comfort and a taste of Italian cuisine right into your kitchen. Perfect for family dinners or potlucks.
Baked Ziti

Baked ziti is a comforting classic that never fails to satisfy cravings for hearty, cheesy goodness. Originating from Italian-American kitchens, this dish has become a staple on family dinner tables and potluck gatherings alike.

Despite its indulgent flavors, baked ziti is surprisingly simple to prepare, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced cooks.

With a perfect balance of pasta, rich tomato sauce, and creamy cheeses, baked ziti promises a deliciously comforting meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Expert Tip: Experiment with different cheese combinations for a unique twist on this classic dish. Fontina, provolone, or asiago can be delicious substitutes or additions to the traditional cheeses.

Ingredients

Pasta Ziti: This pasta ziti provides the perfect shape and texture to hold onto the rich sauce and cheeses.

Tomato Sauce: Canned tomato sauce forms the flavorful base of the dish, infusing every bite with savory goodness.

Ricotta Cheese: Creamy ricotta cheese adds richness and depth to the dish, creating a luscious filling that complements the pasta perfectly.

Mozzarella Cheese: Shredded mozzarella cheese melts into gooey strands of cheesy goodness, adding irresistible stretch and flavor.

Parmesan Cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese delivers a nutty, salty kick that enhances the overall taste of the baked ziti.

Oregano and Basil (Dried): These aromatic herbs bring a burst of Mediterranean flavor to the dish, elevating its taste profile with their savory notes.

Garlic Powder: Adding a hint of garlic powder infuses the dish with subtle yet impactful garlic flavor, enhancing its depth.

Salt and Black Pepper: To taste, salt and black pepper round out the flavors, ensuring a well-seasoned dish.

Basil Leaves (Fresh, optional): Fresh basil leaves make for a vibrant and fragrant garnish, adding a pop of color and freshness to the finished dish.

Expert Tip: Don’t overcook the pasta before baking, as it will continue to cook in the oven. Cook until just al dente to avoid mushy ziti.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the baked ziti hot straight from the oven, allowing guests to dig into its cheesy goodness while it’s at its most bubbly and indulgent.
  • Pair the baked ziti with a crisp green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the dish.
  • For a complete meal, add some garlic bread or breadsticks on the side to sop up any remaining sauce and cheese.

Expert Tip: For extra flavor, you can add cooked ground beef or sausage to the tomato sauce mixture before combining with the pasta.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to use fresh basil leaves for garnish?

Fresh basil leaves add a delightful freshness to the dish, but they are optional. You can skip them if you don’t have any on hand.

Can I prepare baked ziti in advance?

Yes, you can assemble the dish ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just be sure to increase the baking time slightly if baking it directly from the refrigerator.

Can I use different types of pasta for this recipe?

While ziti is traditional for this dish, you can certainly experiment with other tube-shaped pastas like penne or rigatoni if that’s what you have available.

How do I know when the baked ziti is done baking?

The cheese should be bubbly and golden brown on top, and the edges of the dish should be slightly crispy. You can also insert a knife into the center – if it comes out hot and the pasta is tender, it’s ready.

Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, baked ziti freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer individual portions to freezer-safe containers or wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then bake in a preheated oven until heated through.

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Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

by Nabeela Kauser
Embark on a delightful culinary journey with this heart-warming Baked Ziti recipe, a dish that promises to bring comfort and a taste of Italian cuisine right into your kitchen. Perfect for family dinners or potlucks, it’s a recipe that speaks to the soul.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 352 kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 g Pasta Ziti
  • 400 g Tomato Sauce Canned
  • 250 g Ricotta Cheese
  • 150 g Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
  • 50 g Parmesan Cheese Grated
  • 1 tsp Oregano Dried
  • 1 tsp Basil Dried
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste
  • Basil Leaves Fresh, garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Cook the ziti pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese, half of the Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti pasta and tomato sauce. Mix well.
  • Add the cheese mixture to the pasta and sauce mixture. Stir until everything is well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.

Notes

Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 20gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 644mgPotassium: 369mgFibre: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 715IUVitamin C: 5mgVitamin D: 0.2µgCalcium: 335mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Baked, Cooking, Food, Pasta, Recipe, Ziti
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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