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A serving of baked ziti with meat sauce and ricotta cheese.

Baked Ziti

This baked ziti recipe is layers of pasta with meat sauce and three types of cheese, all cooked together to golden brown perfection. A hearty dinner option that's perfect for feeding a crowd!
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 699kcal
Author Sara Welch


For the sauce

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the ricotta mixture

  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

For assembly

  • 16 ounces ziti pasta cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • cooking spray


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray.

For the sauce

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and sausage to the pan. Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the meat for 3 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces with a spatula. Add the onion to the pan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until meat is browned and cooked through and onion is tender. Drain any excess grease from the pan.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the marinara sauce and tomato sauce to the pan and bring the sauce to a simmer.
  • Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes.

For the ricotta

  • While the sauce is simmering, stir together the ricotta, egg, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Mix until thoroughly blended.

For assembly

  • Place 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 the pasta on top of the sauce.
  • Place dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture over the ziti, along with 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Add another layer of ziti pasta, then the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle 2 cups of mozzarella cheese over the top.
  • Bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until pasta is bubbly and cheese is melted and browned.
  • Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.


Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 711mg | Potassium: 943mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1090IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 450mg | Iron: 4mg