10 Baked Ziti Recipes You Need in Your Life
There's a reason baked ziti is a family favorite—this hearty, cheesy, pasta dish has something for everyone. An fairly easy dinner that tastes like a labor of love, this classic bake is the perfect comfort food to serve a crowd. Whether you prefer meaty or vegetarian, classic or contemporary, we have the baked ziti recipe for you.
Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti
This hearty pasta bake is the ideal dish of cheesy comfort food for cooler weather. We love the depth of caramelized flavor roasted veggies bring to this dish; plus, and you can swap in your favorite vegetables to make your own perfect pan of baked ziti. In fact, this dish is also a delicious way to utilize leftover roasted vegetables you might have hanging out in the fridge. In order to keep the dish entirely vegetarian, be sure to double check the labels on your cheese (especially the Parmesan) to make sure you pick up a package that is free of rennet and vegetarian-friendly.
Meatball and Ziti Bake
Whole-wheat pasta holds up well in this cheesy, saucy pasta bake.
Want to Host a Holiday Feast? This Brunch Baked Ziti Benedict Recipe Is Your Ticket
If you are currently jockeying with family or friends for an annual event to host, you should absolutely be fighting for the right to nab brunch. Brunch is the unsung hero of affairs, the sleeper hit of the shindigs. Lunches and dinners require so much more than godly cleanliness. It is not enough to be cleaning, cooking, and wearing pants—you now have to consider guest towels and decorative soaps. Brunch? It’s cool if your house is just a little bit messy. We’re just chillin’ all cazh, no need to hurry or get to anything, just enjoying the day. Nobody’s got the time to be uptight when they’ve got an excuse to drink vodka and eat a Brunch Baked Ziti Benedict Casserole at 10 a.m. Brunch sounds warm and hospitable, yet expectations are lower than other holidays.
Consider your other choices:
Thanksgiving. You've seen this on TV, pored over a thousand magazines designed to make you think that hosting this feast will be the single most soul-defining moment of your life. What food pros know that you don’t: You will screw this up. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got every Thanksgiving edition of Martha Stewart Living dating back to 1984, or own a closet full of holiday-themed china you’ve been collecting to use only one day a year. Thanksgiving calls for a multitude of dishes that are all supposed to be prepared in the oven, so you’ve already been set up to fail. You may knock 95 percent of things out of the park, but one thing—inevitably someone’s absolute favorite dish—will end in disaster. Regardless of your successes, you will be able to see nothing but scowls and utter disappointment for the entire night. Don’t do this to yourself. Let some other idiot claim this one and allow yourself to be the party disappointed over improperly creamed pearl onions.
July 4th, Memorial Day, or any other “barbecue” holiday. These always seem like a such a fun idea until family gets wasted from drinking in the sun and pour potato salad and barbecue sauce all over your lawn. Then the ants come. They inch closer and closer to the house every minute. You will spend days trying to destroy any barbecue residue that may be hiding the crevices of your property, but you’ll never find them all. But the ants will. And they are coming for you.
Mother’s Day. I have two kids and I do not want to be doing jack shit on Mother’s Day, so if you make me dress up and come to your house to have “a light luncheon” I will punch you right in your Pinterest-loving face.
You want to score brunch. It doesn’t matter the holiday, it doesn’t even need to be a holiday, you just need to get people over once a year and write a big fat “X” in the “annual gathering” box on your proper adulting checklist. For one, you don’t have to dress fancy. I’ll wear nice pajamas, because I did not go out and spend all that money on them to have no one understand how good I look in them. Wearing pants in my own house is my person equivalent of black-tie, so this is an all around win for me, and everyone who has to look at me. It’s my time to shine in so many ways.
The biggest problem with hosting brunch is that many breakfasts need to be made hot to order. Yes, there are fritters and baked French toast, but where’s the WOW factor? Where’s the “Oh my, what’s this? This most certainly takes my mind off the lack butterfly-shaped geranium soaps in the bathroom!”
Everyone is impressed by eggs Benedict, but it’s a pain in the ass to make even without the crowd factor. Luckily, that’s hackable. There’s no reason we can’t take those same exact flavors, use them in a different way, and add the most important element in the world, the element of surprise!
Baked pastas are the answer to most cooking-for-a-crowd-quagmires, so why not use it here? You can even make this the night before so you can sleep in, or spend a little bit more time primping to make people believe that you really do look that good in the morning.
Barbecues are for suckers. Brunch is the answer.
Baked Pasta Benedict
Skillet-Baked Ziti with Andouille, Tomatoes, and Peppers
This spicy, heavily smoked pork sausage is seasoned slowly and cooked over pecan wood and sugarcane to achieve its distinctive flavor and firm texture. Andouille is sold ready-to-eat, with or without heating. Although it is fully cooked, it must be refrigerated. Commonly associated with jambalaya and gumbo, andouille can be used in place of any spicy sausage, like hot Italian sausage or pepperoni. An Italian-American classic gets a dose of Southern flavor. Other than cooking the pasta, you can pull this casserole together in a single skillet, making it ideal for busy weeknights.
Greek Baked Ziti (Pastitsio)
In the Greek version of baked ziti, the noodles are mixed with two sauces: a lamb-and-tomato sauce and a milk-and-cheese sauce. I lightened the cream sauce by using 2% milk and fewer eggs. The casserole keeps for days in the refrigerator and cuts into neat little squares for reheating.
Baked Ziti With Italian Sausage
This is a quick and easy recipe that's perfect for busy weeknights.
Company Baked Ziti
Layers of sour cream and two types of cheese make this pasta classic extra rich and cheesy.
Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti
Spinach and a blend of three cheeses shine in this family-friendly casserole.
Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies
Add pops of color to this 40-minute baked ziti with summer veggies like squash, zucchini, and tomato.