If you are looking for the Best Baked Ziti recipe – this is it! It is my go-to recipe when I want to bring a meal to a friend!
I have tried so many traditional baked ziti recipes but they are just bland and borning! Most of the time it was the sauce, ricotta, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and the pasta. I had to figure out what other ingredients to use to make it taste like a traditional Italian Baked Ziti recipe.
Can you believe this baked ziti recipe doesn’t have ricotta cheese? You could also make it meatless – but I really love the texture the meat adds to the meal. Some people may also call this Baked Penne – but you can use any noodle you want in this meal. Baked spaghetti would be amazing too!
You even make your own homemade tomato sauce for this easy baked ziti – so if you like some spices more than others, you can change it up. You can easily double the recipe and it would serve a lot of people.
Easy Baked Ziti Recipe
Bake Ziti Sauce Ingredients:
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 onion diced (I really love the precut frozen onions)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes in puree
- 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 1 Tablespoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
Baked Ziti Ingredients
- 1 (16oz) box of pasta
- 8 slices Provolone cheese
- 1-½ cup sour cream
- 3-4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- ¾ cup fresh parmesan or pecorino romano cheese (I like it like a powder)
- In a large pot, boil water and cook the pasta according to the package direction. (You want it to be al dente so the pasta isn’t mushy because it will still cook in the oven.)
Make the sauce:
- In a large pot add the ground beef and onions and cook over medium heat. When it’s all cooked, drain the liquid and add the garlic and stir it for about a minute.
- Add all the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
Assemble your Baked Ziti:
- Preheat the oven to 350*.
- Mix the pasta with the sauce.
- Add half the past mix, then top with all the provolone cheese and sour cream and half the mozzarella cheese. Then add the rest of the pasta and top it with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. You can broil it for a few minutes to brown the cheese.
Serve and enjoy with your favorite bread and a side salad!