Friday, March 4, 2011

Baked Ziti thats Easy Peasy

Baked Ziti is always a huge hit for a weeknight dinner in our Casa.  Its easy, delicious and for some reason never gets old.  My mom and brother even like it so much they always request it for Christmas dinner when I am back in home NY.  Wow, now thats definitely a compliment!

Nom Nom Nom
I am going to share the receipe here since its such a big hit with my family I hope it is with yours too!

First pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Boil some some salted water and once boiling throw in your pasta.....for some reason I cant find actual ziti ANYWHERE here in Austin, whats up with that??? So I have to use rigatoni, which totally gets the job done but I really prefer ziti.  I do not however reccomend substituting penne...for some reason its too small and dries the dish out.
While thats all boiling and cooking you want to prep the rest of the ingredients.  Start by cutting your block of Mozzerella cheese in 1/2
You want to cube 1/2 the cheese and slice the other 1/2 very thinly - it helps if you have a cheese slicer for this, if you make the dish a lot I totally recommend buying one, its def worth it.
Next up grab a mixing bowl and empty a jar of your favorite marinara sauce into it plus some italian seasoning (you can also put in some parmsean cheese I am not a huge fan so I usually skip this, but if you like it go for it)

Then throw in the cheese you cubed (set aside the sliced cheese for a few)

Once your ziti (rigatoni grrr) is al dente strain and throw into the bowl.  Mix up everything really well

Pour a small amount of olive oil into a 13x9 pan and spread it around, this will help the ziti not stick too much when your taking it out

Then spread your mixture into the pan and cover with the slices of cheese you set aside
Pop into your 400 degree oven for about 25mins or until cheese on top is melted and its hot, bubbly and just a smidge brown.

As always here is the short & quick version:

  • 1 box ziti or rigatoni
  • 1 jar of your fav marinara sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (or eyeball it) Italian Seasoning
  • 1 block Mozzerella Cheese
  • Parmesean cheese (if you want, I leave it out)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Start boiling your water and cooking the pasta to al dente.
  3. Cut block of cheese in 1/2, cube 1/2 and thinly slice the other half
  4. In mixing bowl combine jar of marinara sauce, italian seasoning and cubed cheese (add the parmesean here if your using it).
  5. Once pasta is al dente strain and add to bowl, mix all ingredients.
  6. Pour bowl mixture into a lightly oiled 13x9 pan.
  7. Lay cheese slices on top of ziti mixture.
  8. Cook for about 25 minutes or until hot, bubbly and slightly brown.


  1. Yummo! I love this easy recipe. Thanks for joining my newbie party.
    Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing. I would love if you added the link so we can see it, I am not sure what linky linky is?

  2. Jen,

    It looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    I'm here from Debbiedoo's party and your newest follower.

    Have a great day.

  3. That sounds so great! Thanks for the recipe, my hubby loves pasta, so that would go over well here.
    Hugs, Cindy

  4. Hi Jen,
    I am visiting from the Sundae Scoop party! This dish looks delish! I can't wait to give it a try! I am going to follow you and look forward to what else you have to share! I too blog about crafting, cooking and decorating. Stop by for a visit sometime!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,
    Amanda - One Girl in Pink

  5. Looks Delish! I'll have to try it!!
    I'm here from Debbie's party, and I'm also your newest follower!!

  6. I love Italian and this looks delish! Thanks for sharing - bookmarked.

  7. We love baked 'ziti' at our house too... but have the hardest time finding actually ziti in the store too!


    Thanks for stoping by and commenting on my new wreath!


  8. Looks sooo good! I'll definitely try this out, thanks!

  9. Looks delicious! thanks for the recipe and your nice comments!

  10. That looks so good and easy! Thanks for the recipe and linking up to scrumtrulescent saturdays!


  11. Looks good! Thanks for sharing!


Thanks so much for your comments, I love getting them!!