Baked Ziti

This is a favorite dish in our house!  It's easy and delicious.  The best part about it though is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it!  I typically make 3 full size versions worth of ingredients, make 6 half size trays out of it and freeze them!  Sometimes, one of those pops into the oven that night for dinner though because it's yummy :)

1 box ziti (we like the regular size & mini)
1 jar of marinara sauce
1 lb ground beef
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic Powder

Brown ground beef with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some garlic powder.
Heat marinara sauce on top of the stove.  
(I mix in garlic powder to taste and a few pinches of sugar to take the bitter taste from the tomatoes)
Drain the meat and mix in with the sauce.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer while the pasta is cooking.
Boil ziti until al dente.  (You do not want it overdone because it will cook more when baking)
Drain pasta.
Pour pasta in a 9x13 baking dish.
Cover with marinara and meat mixture and stir it all together.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top to cover.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese on top is melted.

If you are going to freeze this meal, after sprinkling the cheese on top let the whole pan cool for a few minutes before covering with several layers of Reynolds wrap.  I write on the top of the wrap what's inside and when I made it.

I break this recipe in half and it's plenty for the two of us.  This is an easy weeknight meal if you're making the whole thing and even easier if you already have several of them frozen.  We put ours in the fridge around lunchtime to start letting it defrost and then pop it in the oven at 350 for around 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Typically halfway through I stir it up some and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.


  1. Yum! This would be a great cheat night meal! Believe it or not, I've never had baked ziti!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  2. One of my favorites for this Italian girl!!! Yummy! I'll take a bowl right now :)

  3. Our recipe is a little different and calls for a jar of alfredo! Freezes oh-so well!

  4. This sounds so easy and delicious! We add a little ricotta to ours, too. Now I want Italian this weekend ;)