This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES, and I’m sure it will become yours too!
Everyone in my family declares this a favorite and for good reason, it’s easy to make, delicious and perfect for all occasions. It has been a favorite since I was young.
I can remember my mom making it often and I just loved how the Mozzarella Cheese would stretch out long, like on pizza.
I baked this in a 13×9 pan, but it can also be made into individual dishes (not small dishes but, in white porcelain boat like dishes) which is how I remember my mom making it. Either way, it’s delicious.
It’s an easy dish to make and is great to serve a crowd, I’ve made it when we’ve had parties of 20+ guests and it’s just PERFECT!
This is a great meal to make for the family, there is sure to be some leftovers and they reheat beautifully!
This is the meal I make for Pot Luck Dinners, as a Thank You, yes I make dinner as a thank you… everyone loves comfort food as a thank you.
I have MANY Baked Ziti Recipes… take a look at my
Hot and cheesy and oh so yummy…
Cook pasta until it’s al dente (do not overcook the pasta) When baking pasta undercooking the pasta for a minute is so much better than overcooking it for a second.
While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef in a pan until it’s thoroughly cooked.
In large bowl place pasta, marinara sauce.
Add to it the ground beef, salt, and pepper to taste along with oregano.
In a 13×9 pan create 2 layers of the pasta mixture topping each with a cup of grated Mozzarella Cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
This dish is great for parties, you can bake it in disposable aluminum dishes for easy cleanup.
- You can add 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese to the sauce for a cheesier baked ziti.
- Top dish with grated parmesan cheese if you want the cheese to brown on top
- Cover the baked ziti with non-stick foil or foil sprayed with an oil spray so it doesn’t’ stick to the cheese, remove foil last 5 minutes of baking to brown the cheese a bit.
I often make two trays of Baked Ziti and allow one to cool completely, wrap it well and put it in the freezer.
It’s wonderful to have a tray of Ziti all prepared, just thaw and reheat.
If I’m unable to find ZITI noodles, I have used penne instead, but I really love ziti noodles and prefer them since the dish is baked, ziti noodles are thicker than penne.
Here is my recipe for Homemade Tomato Sauce
- 1 pound ziti noodles (or penne)
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 2 cups grated Mozzarella Cheese
- 1½ teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper
- Cook pasta until it's al dente (do not overcook the pasta)
- When baking pasta undercooking the pasta for a minute is so much better than overcooking it for a second.
- While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef in a pan until it's thoroughly cooked.
- In a large bowl place pasta, marinara sauce.
- Add to it the ground beef, salt, and pepper to taste along with oregano, mix well.
- In a 13x9 pan create 2 layers of the pasta mixture topping each with a cup of grated Mozzarella Cheese.
- Cover the baked ziti with non-stick foil, or foil sprayed with oil so it doesn't stick to the cheese.
- Remove the foil the last 5 minutes of baking.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.
- (If the pasta, sauce, and meat are hot going into the dish it will only take 15-20 minutes to bake)
- If the pasta is made a bit ahead of time and has cooled off if the sauce if cold, or room temperature it will take longer to cook 30-45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and when you stick a knife into the center of the dish, the food is hot.