this easy, budget-friendly vegetarian baked ziti comes together quickly and is sure to please a crowd. serve up with a big salad, steamed veggies or some crusty bread to round it all out!
- 1 lb ziti (or other pasta of choice)
- 1–2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella (more or less as desired) – note, don’t buy pre-shredded cheese, it has anti-cake ingredients in it that will cause it not to melt as well. buy a block and shred it yourself for maximum gooey melt!
- 2 cups shredded parmesan (more or less as desired) – note, don’t buy pre-shredded cheese, it has anti-cake ingredients in it that will cause it not to melt as well. buy a block and shred it yourself for maximum gooey melt!
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta 1 minute less than directions state (you want it to be al dente). Drain and set pasta aside.
- Add 1 jar marinara sauce (and oregano and red pepper flakes, if using) to a dutch oven and heat over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add in pasta, stirring to break up any clumps of pasta. If desired, add more marinara then set aside.
- Mix together ricotta with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt & pepper.
- Pour half the pasta into the prepared baking sheet. Top with ricotta mixture and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and parmesan.
- Pour remaining pasta over ricotta and cheese then top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for ~25 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned & bubbling.
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil before serving.
- Baked ziti will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge
Keywords: baked ziti, pasta, vegetarian, dinner