Baked Ziti Recipe Easy No Meat
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Putting It All Together
To make the ziti, I start by par-cooking the pasta in salted boiling water until about halfway cooked.* Then I toss it with sauce, the mozzarella cheeses, and some of the pasta cooking water. It needs to be a little wet here, since the pasta is still underdone and will absorb more water as it bakes.
*I tried my hand at the method Kenji used in his American Chop Suey recipe, in which the pasta is soaked first, and then finishes cooking in its sauce. For some reason mine kept coming out starchy and gummy, but I suspect I was doing something wrong . Anyway, par-cooking the pasta is easy enough.
I scrape it all into a baking dish, and then follow another tip of Kenji’s, which is to spoon a little more sauce on top. That top layer of sauce makes a good contrast, both in terms of flavor and appearance, with the fresh mozzarella that melts on top of it.
I stared the ziti out covered in a 400Â°F oven, to prevent the top from scorching as it bakes. Then uncover it, raise the oven temperature and continue cooking it until it’s just starting to lightly brown in spots. A little bit of fresh basil on top adds some great aroma.
The ziti may look a little dryâhonestly, it kind of freaked me out at first, and I was sure I was going to have to re-test it with more sauce. But then I ate it and I promise it doesn’t taste dry at all.
And once the Parmesan cream sauce is drizzled on top…pretty soon you’ll forget about the ricotta altogether.
How To Make Easy Baked Ziti
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook the ziti noodles in a large pot, according to the package and drain. Pour the ziti noodles back into the pot.
In a large bowl, add half the mozzarella cheese, the full container of ricotta cheese and the pasta sauce and mix well.
Pour the ziti noodles into the bowl with the mixture and mix well.
Spray a large baking dish with nonstick spray and pour the pasta into the baking dish.
Sprinkle remainder of mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
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Get The Same Ingredients For This Baked Ziti Without Meat
I got the fresh produce for this recipe from my garden and from my Misfits Market box they sell all organic produce at a super discounted price, and its purchased direct from the farmers. We get Misfit Market boxes every month and love picking out our favorite seasonal produce for delivery. You can get $10 off your first box by clicking here!
As always, if you make this vegetarian and gluten free baked ziti recipe be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe, and tag me so I can feature you. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!
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Easy Baked Ziti Recipe
Often, we use the phrase blond Italians in our home.
No, we are not Italian, but by the way we inhale all things considered to be Italian food, we need to be.
We LOVE our pasta! Theres nothing yummier to smell than homemade sauce simmering on the stove, but in my stage of life, Ive had to let go of always serving homemade pasta sauce and have chosen to doctor up some of the store bought ones available.
For our family, baked pastas top the list of our comfort food selections, and this one is very simple, cozy, meatless choice. This meal went so fast that I didnt even have time to snap a picture of the entire dish.
No, stop eating. I havent gotten a picture yet.
So, this is a scaled down version of what I made.
This makes a wonderful Cooking with Kidsmeal since we are not cooking our noodles first,. My nine year old can mix this up, since she doesnt have to worry about pre-cooking the noodles and transferring them on her own.
Remember that you may vary your choices of quick cooking pastas. We used traditional ziti noodles, but try curly rotini, bow ties, tri colored varieties or angel hair. All of them will vary the look, but still give you the delicious end result.
The basic meatless recipe that I am sharing is wonderful as written, but feel free to add in some ground sausage or small pieces of cooked chicken as an option. Serve with the 5 Minute Artisan Style Homemade Bread, and you will be the new food hero in your home.
Enjoy! Its so yummy.
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How To Make This Easy Baked Ziti:
Prep time is minimal and feeds an army, or at least 6-8 very hungry people. For dinner parties I usually just make one big casserole dish , but you can also split it into two and freeze one or both to bake later.
The layers seem like a mouthful but its pretty easy: a little sauce, half the ziti, ricotta cheese mixture, a little more sauce, the rest of the ziti, the rest of the sauce, sprinkle shredded cheese. No meat. Pasta perfection.
See it in action:
Not only is this great for a holiday meal or family gathering, but it also is perfect for any Meatless Monday comfort food meal. So easy and delicious!
This pairs well with a crusty bread, side salad or a veggie dish. One of the natural low-sugar red wines from Dry Farm Wines is also a great complement to this meal!
Vegetarian Baked Ziti Faq
What can I substitute for ricotta cheese in baked ziti?
You can substitute ricotta cheese for cottage cheese, mascarpone cheese or for a dairy-free option a vegan creamy cheese.
Should baked ziti be covered or uncovered?
When baking pasta for a long time, you usually cover it with foil to prevent it from drying out. Since this baked ziti only goes in the oven for 10 minutes, there is no need to cover it up.
How do you keep baked pasta from drying out?
Covering your baked pasta with foil will help prevent it from drying out in the oven when cooking it for a long time. You also want to make sure to be using enough sauce to keep the noodles moist.
What pasta can I substitute ziti with?
You can substitute ziti with penne or rigatoni for a similar shape and texture.
What type of dish should I bake my ziti in?
Any casserole dish or baking dish will work. For this recipe, I recommend one sized about 9×13, however, using slightly different sizes will work too.
Should I rinse baked ziti pasta?
No! You dont want to rinse the ziti pasta after cooking as this will rinse all the starches off the noodles. These starches are important to help the sauce cling onto each ziti noodle.
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Do You Like Pasta Like Me
In my family, there is no person who doesnt like pasta, so I cook it almost every day. But when I first cooked this easy Baked Ziti recipe, I immediately fell in love with this extraordinary combination of ingredients.
I especially like the combination of cheeses in Baked Ziti. Ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella what can be better if all of these cheeses are in one dish?
Baked Ziti Recipe
Try to cook this easy Baked Ziti recipe at home, it isnt as difficult as it might seem at first. This super-dish is cooked for about an hour, and it turns out to be very nourishing, piquant, tender, and yummy.
This recipe is perfect for homemade lunch or dinner as an independent dish. Baked Ziti is really nourishing, so a large party can be fed from the specified quantity of ingredients.
Im sure not many people have heard about the Baked Ziti, and if anyone has heard of it, they probably didnt cook it.
If you like lasagna, you will definitely like this easy Baked Ziti recipe. This is a completely different dish, but even tastier and easier. You can also cook it in advance and freeze it.
Feel free to experiment with any filling, cheese, and sauce, but we suggest you begin your experience with Baked Ziti with this Easy Baked Ziti recipe.
WHAT YOUll NEED TO MAKE BAKED ZITI RECIPE:
- 1 pound ziti pasta
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 32 oz marinara sauce
How To Make Baked Ziti Vegetarian Style
Add the garlic to a pot with some olive oil on medium-high heat and let saute for just a minute. Then add in a jar of tomato sauce, mix together and reduce the heat to low, letting the sauce simmer on the stove for 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper until well combined.
Boil according to the package directions in a large pot then add the cooked pasta to the pot of tomato sauce and stir together until the noodles are evenly coated.
Tip: you want to cook the pasta to be al dente as it will continue to cook in the tomato sauce and when its baked.
Now its time to layer our baked ziti! Grab a 9×13 inch baking dish and layer some pasta into the dish, followed by dollops of the ricotta mixture.
Add more pasta over the ricotta filling and then top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Top with some fresh basil and serve immediately.
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Why You Should Make This Easy Baked Ziti
This ziti is so easy, mainly because it only uses shredded mozzarella for cheese. Oh and maybe some grated Parmesan for topping, but thats it.
I have never liked any soft cheeses EVER. But ricotta and cottage cheese are on the top of my list for cheese I despise.
Maybe its the lumps? Of course it has to be the lumps
I make this all the time for my family and prepare it ahead of time and place it in the refrigerator until its ready to cook. It doesnt get much easier than this.
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How Do I Make This Baked Ziti Recipe Meatless
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Easy Meatless Baked Ziti Recipe
Looking for an easy weeknight dinner that will surely become a family favorite? This Easy Meatless Baked Ziti recipe is it! This recipe is a fantastic pasta bake that’s super flavorful and a great dish to serve your hungry family.
This dish makes a lot, so it’s a great recipe for leftovers, too. I’ve got all the tips for how to reheat baked ziti easily and perfectly!
Disclosure: I have included links to some great products and services that I think youll love. I use them myself and only recommend them because I love them. If you purchase via the links I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Why Youre Going To Love This Recipe
Baked meatless ziti has been served at family dinners, parties, and holidays on endless occasions. Guests love the comforting baked pasta layered with sauce and mozzarella, while it is a breeze to make!
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Baked Ziti With Spinach
Baked pasta casseroles are the perfect no-fuss dinner for busy weeknights.
This Baked Ziti with Spinach is loaded with vegetables and fresh herbs, then topped with a combination of three cheeses.
The flavors are so delicious that you can sneak in whole-wheat pasta for extra fiber and nutrients without the kids noticing!
Baked ziti is a classic family favorite, but if youre cooking for just one or two you can count yourself lucky youll get to enjoy scrumptious leftovers and call them meal prep!
Get creative with this baked ziti recipe by using any variety of vegetables. Chopped kale or broccoli would work instead of spinach.
You could choose to omit the fresh basil and use fresh parsley instead.
Also, if youre unable to find dried ziti pasta, penne noodles work just as well .
This recipe can be made in advance so that all you need to do on the night-of is pop the dish in the oven.
Prepare all the steps except the final bake.
Cover the assembled casserole dish with aluminum foil, and place in the fridge overnight.
Then, pop the dish into the oven removing the aluminum foil at the end so that the cheese can bubble and brown.
Meatless Baked Ziti Recipe
This Meatless Baked Ziti recipe is a classic pasta dish in a rich tomato sauce thats so cheesy and full of flavor, itll have your family begging for seconds! Its the perfect easy recipe for Meatless Mondayand tastes amazing every other day of the week too!
If youve never had baked ziti, you have no idea what youre missing! This classic Italian comfort food is made up of pasta, tomato sauce and of course, lots of cheese to make the perfect pasta bake. Its the kind of meal everyone loves, and the whole family will come running when they know youll be serving it.
This easy baked ziti is similar to homemade lasagna but even less work because there are no layers to deal with. You know me, Im all about the easy recipes, especially when they taste this good!
For a couple other family favorite pasta dishes, be sure and check out this Philly Cheesesteak Pasta and this Chicken Pasta Bake with Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
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Why Youll Love This Recipe
- Perfect for company, holidays and easy weeknight meals. Baked ziti is great if youve got a variety of eaters at the table, vegan and otherwise.
- Family-Friendly: This recipe is a hit with the kids!
- Budget-Friendly: This recipe is made with readily available, inexpensive ingredients.
- Easy to make in a few simple steps. Ready to serve in about 40 minutes.
- Vegetarian, vegan and can easily be made gluten-free.
- Customize by adding vegan ground meat, sausage, extra veggies or topping with dairy-free cheese.
- High in protein and fiber.
- Can be prepared in advance. Great for meal prep!
How To Make This Recipe
Step 1: Preheat the oven and cook and drain your pasta according to package directions.
Step 2: In a large bowl, mix all of the ricotta cheese with part mozzarella and part parmesan along with the eggs, garlic, parsley, and Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine. The remaining mozzarella and parmesan will be used as the top layer just before baking.
Step 3: In a 9×13 baking dish, add half of the sauce and spread evenly all around the dish. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese mixture make sure its all coated evenly. Then spread that pasta mixture over top the sauce in the baking dish and top with remaining sauce, then remaining cheeses.
Step 4: Bake in the oven until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly brown. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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