Easy Baked Ziti Casserole

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This easy baked ziti recipe is a layered Italian casserole full of noodles, ground beef and creamy cheese. It makes a large casserole and is great for leftovers!

This easy baked ziti recipe is a layered Italian casserole full of noodles, ground beef and creamy cheese. It makes a large casserole and is great for leftovers!

Baked Ziti Recipe

Sickness has hit our house. It’s wintertime, so after all, we should expect it. I’m thanking God that it’s just runny noses and little coughs. That’s tolerable.

Wintertime means sickness, but sickness means comfort food. And today’s recipe is all about traditional comfort food in the form of an easy baked ziti casserole. Why do I love this baked ziti recipe? This is one of my favorite Italian recipes because it is simple, makes a large serving, and is perfect for sharing with family and friends. And it’s easy! Almost as easy as our ravioli lasagna.

How to Make Baked Ziti

  • Brown the ground beef and onions, then drain off the fat.
  • Cook the ziti noodles according to the package directions while the meat is browning.
  • Add the spaghetti sauce to the ground beef.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Layer half of the noodles, the provolone cheese, sour cream and half the sauce in the pan.
  • Then top with the remaining noodles and 6 ounces of mozzarella cheese.
  • Finish with the sauce, parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until the casserole is cooked through.

We like to place this casserole under the broiler (set on low) for 2-3 minutes so the cheese gets a little browned and bubbly. This step is optional!

This easy baked ziti recipe is a layered Italian casserole full of noodles, ground beef and creamy cheese. It makes a large casserole and is great for leftovers!

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

The blend of cheese includes provolone, parmesan and mozzarella. A triple-cheese-threat. With all of the cheese and sour cream, you end up with a creamy, cheesy casserole with a classic lasagna-style flavor. Because I love pasta sauce, I usually end up topping my portion with additional sauce. Just for that extra punch of slow-simmered flavor.

Potluck Casserole

This easy baked ziti easily serves 10-12 people making it a great potluck casserole. Don’t have that many to serve?  Split it into two smaller 8×8 pans and give one away. Divide the remaining casserole into lunch portions and freeze for your hubby to take to work or children to take to school.

Freezer Meal

Freeze this Italian casserole to bake at another time. If you do this, allow the casserole to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. If you try to bake it when it is completely frozen, it may dry out. You can also freeze the casserole after it has been baked. Either way you decide to do it, just wrap it well. several times in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

Q: What are some of your traditional pasta dinners?

This easy baked ziti recipe is a layered Italian casserole full of noodles, ground beef and creamy cheese. It makes a large casserole and is great for leftovers!
This easy baked ziti recipe is a layered Italian casserole full of noodles, ground beef and creamy cheese. It makes a large casserole and is great for leftovers!

Easy Baked Ziti Casserole

4.70 from 43 votes
This easy baked ziti recipe is a layered Italian casserole full of noodles, ground beef and creamy cheese. It makes a large casserole and is great for leftovers!
Servings 15 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds ground beef round (at least 85% lean)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 48 ounces spaghetti sauce
  • 16 ounces mini ziti noodles
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Brown the ground beef and onion together. Drain off the fat.
  • Add the spaghetti sauce and stir to mix.
  • Cook mini ziti noodles according to package directions.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  • Spread half the noodles in the bottom of the dish.
  • Layer the provolone cheese, sour cream and then half the sauce on top.
  • Add the rest of the ziti.
  • Sprinkle 6 ounces of shredded mozzarella over top the ziti.
  • Top with the remaining sauce, parmesan cheese and the remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  • If you'd like the top to get a touch of brown, broil the casserole for 2-3 minutes on high. Watch carefully!

Video

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe being divided into 15 servings, with 1 serving being 1/15 of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

Nutrition

Serving: 295g | Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 868mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 332mg | Iron: 2.9mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Calories 434

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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LADY
3 years ago

Tasted Amazing. We added this recipe to our recipe card box. The only suggestion I would have for those making this dish is to treat “12 slices or provolone” as 6-8 ounces, “slice” is an arbitrary measurement. Also when you get to step 7 the order you should layer is sauce, sour cream then provolone cheese lastly. the reason for this is if you put provolone first over noodles the the sauce and sour cream sits on top of provolone and does not have a chance to fill in the space in and around the bottom layer of noodles. this… Read more »

Patty
3 years ago

5 stars
Best baked ziti that I have ever eaten. Love the sour cream instead of ricotta! I added some garlic, but other than that, it’s delicious!!!

Shelli
2 months ago

How long should you bake it if it’s been frozen?

Amber Hanley
1 year ago

5 stars
Is ricotta a good sub for the sour cream? I personally do not like sour cream so I think this may be a good idea! Thoughta?

Kate
3 years ago

Great recipe. But Alert!! The 9 x 13 pan is too small or you need to use a DEEP dish 9 x 13!!! I used the exact amounts and it is about an inch too high:-)

Bernice
4 years ago

5 stars
Made this for dinner just to have something different and my grandson who is a very picky eater enjoyed it so much he ate 2 helpings.

Boymom
4 years ago

5 stars
I don’t normally comment on recipes, but when my toddler, husband and I gobbled this meal up faster than you can imagine you know it’s a hit. Easy to make, good for a group and delicious!

Cassidy Okenica
4 years ago

Hi! If I’m going to use your homemade sauce recipe for the Ziti, should I not add the ground beef to both? Thanks!

Jill Lane
5 years ago

5 stars
Love this recipe! My son always request this for his Birthday dinner!

Bri
5 years ago

5 stars
SO good. I doubled this recipe and made it for our baseball potluck. It came out better than expected. I did not use any meat or onions though. I used Pregos chunky Tomato, garlic, onion spaghetti sauce and it came out delicious!

Alison
5 years ago

Do you think it’s possible to pre-make this but let it sit in the fridge overnight and bake the next day?

Kristyn
5 years ago

5 stars
Has anyone ever commented that the dish is too shallow? I just premade everything and will bake it in about another 2 hours–the pasta is almost over the brim. I have a 9×13 Pyrex dish. I’m so wondering what’s going to happen in the oven!!! Lol. I might put foil or a pan underneath. I’m excited to try it, though.

Chrischelle Pickett
6 years ago

5 stars
This recipe was great. Very easy to prepare and the taste is awesome. I used turkey instead of beef and I also added Italian sausage. Will prepare again.

Shannon
7 years ago

5 stars
Delicious! Had to use a bigger than 9×13 pan tho. My husband told me this was the best baked ziti I’ve ever made! Thank u!!

theresa easton
7 years ago

Love the sour cream in this recipe! I have never heard of using that!! I usually use cream cheese, but that is a bit rich. Thanks for sharing! This is a #10!!