Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

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I used to be a leftovers snob. If something wasn’t freshly made that day, I didn’t want it. I thought it was great to be able to make something fresh and new every day, because in my mind, food looked better and tasted better if you ate it right away.

Let’s just say since I became a mom, my thoughts on leftovers have changed drastically. Not only am I okay with leftovers…I love being able to make large quantities of something and freezing it to get a second meal out of it another day. I had the wonderful opportunity to stay at home with my daughter for 12 weeks after her birth. Now that it is time to go back to work I thought it would be a good idea to stock pile some meals in the freezer.

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

I decided to do this with one of my FAVORITE recipes…Baked Ziti. This is a recipe that I have adapted a bit from my favorite chef in the world…my own mother! She gave me some of the basics of what she puts in a Baked Ziti recipe and I decided the quantities and kinds of cheeses I wanted. I like to make a party-sized portion and then split it into two pans so we can have one for now and then one for later. I also use disposable pans for less mess!

Baked Ziti

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: This recipe will feed up to 8 people. You can also split it in half and make one ziti dish for now and freeze the other for later.

Baked Ziti


  • 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 (16oz) box Ziti Noodles
  • 1 large jar (45oz) of Pasta Sauce
  • 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese


  • Remove sausage from its casing (slide a sharp knife down the center of each sausage and then using your hands just push the meat out from the casing. Discard the casing)
  • Combine the sausage and ground beef in a pan. Cook over medium heat until browned, continually breaking up the meat and mixing it together.
  • Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box to make it al dente. (It is very important not to overcook as you will continue baking it in the oven later).
  • Pour your sauce into a large bowl or pot. Add the ricotta cheese and mix it in completely with the sauce.
  • Next, add 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese to the sauce. (Save the other 1 cup for later)
  • Add your meat and pasta into the sauce and cheese. Mix well.
  • Pour your pasta into a casserole dish. (Use a large pan if cooking the entire amount. OR split into two different smaller (1 and 1/2 quart) pans to cook one meal now and freeze the other one for later)
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on the top of the ziti. (if using two casserole dishes, sprinkle 1/2 on one dish and 1/2 on the other)
  • Cover your dish with foil.
  • Bake in 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the entire dish is hot and the cheese has completely melted on top.
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xoxo, Food Marriage