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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
Easy Baked Ziti Casserole
- 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
- 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!