A bite of Baked Ziti in a white bowl being lifted by a fork (with logo overlay)

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is a perfect meal when you are entertaining. It's easy to prepare and makes a large amount of food whether you add meat or keep it vegetarian.

Baked Ziti is a perfect meal when you are entertaining. It’s easy to prepare and makes a large amount of food whether you add meat or keep it vegetarian. For our little family, we usually have leftovers for days out of one batch of baked ziti.

I love anything with sauce and cheese, so this is one of my favorite meals. You can also freeze leftovers for another time, or even double the recipe to have some frozen for a quick meal. If you do freeze it, reheat your leftovers in a pot with a little extra sauce to keep it from drying out.

Baked Ziti can be made with or without meat. I generally don’t care for meat in my pasta, so I leave it out. Most of the time, sausage is the meat of choice to add to ziti. If you want to do that, brown the sausage and mix it in with the noodles and sauce before layering the dish. 

We like to buy large blocks of cheese and shred it ourselves. Sometimes I do only what I need for a meal. Other times I shred it all and add a bit of cornstarch to keep it from clumping together. My favorite side is homemade bread to dip in the sauce and cheese.

Young boy using a cheese grater to shred mozzarella cheese

Step by Step

Preheat the oven to 350F. Boil the pasta noodles for 8 minutes, until they are al dente. They will cook a bit more in the oven, so you don’t want them to get too soft right now. 

Ziti noodles boiling in a saucepot

After the noodles have cooked, drain them and return to the pot. Stir in the pasta sauce to cover the noodles. 

Ziti noodles covered in sauce in a saucepot

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese, basil, and pepper. 

Young boy stirring cheeses together in a stainless steel mixing bowl

Spoon half of the noodle mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Bottom layer of baked ziti in a glass baking dish

Spread the entire cheese mixture on top of the noodles. Carefully spread it out to try to cover most of the noodles. 

Layers of baked ziti with ricotta and mozzarella on top

Add another layer with the remaining noodles and sauce. 

Baked ziti layers in a glass baking dish

Top the noodles with the last half of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. 

Side view of glass baking dish showing layers of baked ziti

Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes to let the cheese brown slightly. 

A bite of Baked Ziti in a white bowl being lifted by a fork (vertical)


Originally Published On: March 23, 2017

Last Updated On: August 3, 2019

A bite of Baked Ziti in a white bowl being lifted by a fork (horizontal)

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is a perfect meal when you are entertaining. It's easy to prepare and makes a large amount of food whether you add meat or keep it vegetarian.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cheese, pasta, sauce
Servings: 8 servings
5 from 4 votes


  • 3 cups ziti noodles (uncooked)
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Boil pasta for 8 minutes and drain
  • Stir in spaghetti sauce and simmer 10 minutes
  • In medium bowl stir together ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and seasonings
  • In a 9×13 baking dish, spoon 1/2 pasta mixture
  • Spread cheese mixture on top
  • Layer with remaining pasta
  • Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
  • Cover loosely with foil
  • Bake 25 minutes
  • Remove foil and bake 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly
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Nutrition Facts
Baked Ziti
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 803mg33%
Potassium 437mg12%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 870IU17%
Vitamin C 6.4mg8%
Calcium 342mg34%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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36 thoughts on “Baked Ziti”

  1. So yours is a vegetarian version? Interesting! I always do baked ziti with hamburger mixed in. Have you ever tried it with, say, cannellini mixed in? Then it would have some protein and I could serve it when my vegetarian friend comes to visit us!

  2. I have a teenage son, so I wouldn’t know what leftovers are. Lol. Baked ziti is one of my favorites. Love this recipe!


    I love cheese too so this would be a great dish for me. Not tried ziti before so that would be a nice change.

  4. Andrew and I were just talking about wanting to try to make baked ziti becuase we both love it! I am totally sending him your recipe!

  5. I haven’t tried Baked Ziti before. The recipe looks super delicious, the best part is that you can prepare it in different versions. I’ll give it a try

  6. Ooooo yum!!!! I just love pasta dishes!!!! Definitely something everyone in the fam can agree is delicious. Must try this ziti recipe

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