This easy, from-scratch spin on Baked Ziti is comforting, filling, and just oozing with cheesy goodness!
If you ever have a baby and I offer to bring you dinner, odds are that I’ll be delivering a pan full of this hearty, cheesy Baked Ziti (along with this as a side dish and this for dessert). Why, you might ask? Well, the reasons are a-plenty, but I’ll give you five:
1. This Baked Ziti is universally enjoyed by young and old. Whether it is to be inhaled solely by adults or there’s a picky toddler in the mix, there aren’t many people who can resist a flavorful, saucy, meaty medley of pasta and cheese.
2. This recipe can be made completely from scratch of you can take a few shortcuts. Either way, it’s pretty quick to throw together. It basically involves the same initial steps as making spaghetti but it turns out so much more special! Brown your beef, mix in tomato sauce, herbs, and plenty of cheese (ricotta and mozzarella), toss with pasta, and scoop into a baking dish. Top with more mozz, bake until brown and bubbly, and serve to oohs and aahs!
3. You can put together this dish up to the final step of baking, cover and deliver it (unbaked) to its lucky recipients, and then it can hang out in the fridge until it’s time to pop it in the oven for dinner.
4. This recipe makes a ton. So much so that it’s easy to split a batch between two (small-ish) families. Or half can be eaten now and the other half can be frozen for later!
5. Did I mention how cozy and filling this meal is? Baked Ziti is comfort food at its finest, which is ideal when you’re feeding new, sleep-deprived parents, who are probably too busy and concerned with their recent arrival to worry about proper nourishment for themselves. Not to mention that Mama is most likely starving…
But don’t think for a second that delivering a dinner to new parents (or anyone else who could use the blessing of a meal) is the only reason to make this recipe! Baked Ziti is a family favorite at our house any night of the week, yet it’s also impressive enough to serve to company.
It’s easy to fancy up this dish with Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, a quick and simple from-scratch sauce, and fresh herbs, or you can keep it basic (but still delicious!) using ground beef, jarred marinara (homemade or store-bought), and grated mozzarella. Either way, it’s a meal worthy of sharing with friends…and it goes without saying that it deserves a spot on your regular dinner rotation!
So put this Baked Ziti on your menu and let me know what you think! And if you’re having a baby anytime soon, feel free to share that as well so I can send some right over… 😉
Adapted from Food Network.
More Italian favorites…
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