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How to Make Baked Ziti

Avert Your Eyes, Dieters: This is How to Make Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is a cheesy, yummy, and perfect comfort food. Here are a few easy and delicious recipes.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017
The moment someone mentions Italian food, I picture a sumptuous cheesy and creamy meal, that will leave a lingering smile on the faces of many. The best part about Italian meals is that if you modify these dishes a little to your own taste, it only keeps getting better. That is why a lot of people just love this cuisine. Baked ziti is also a sort of modified Italian American casserole. Here are a few simple recipes with a variety of different types of cheese.

With Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients
  • Ziti, 16 oz.
  • Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tsp.
  • Pasta Sauce, 28 oz.
  • Egg, 1
  • Ricotta Cheese,1 cup
  • Parmesan Cheese, ¼ cup (grated)
  • Mozzarella Cheese, 6 oz.
Method

The oven should be preheated to 350° F. Boil the ziti separately in a bowl with a pinch of salt and some olive oil. Drain the excess water. Take another bowl and mix the boiled pasta with olive oil. Now, add the pasta sauce and mix it well. The baking dish must be coated with nonstick cooking spray. Pour half of the mixture in the baking dish. Beat an egg and add the ricotta and Parmesan cheese to it. Spread this mixture over the pasta in the baking dish and add half the mozzarella cheese. The remaining pasta is then to be added to the baking dish. After this, top the dish with the remaining mozzarella. Bake this for 20 minutes and your dish is ready to be served.

With Ground Beef

Ingredients
  • Beef, 1 lb. (lean and ground)
  • Bell Pepper, 1 (chopped)
  • Onion, ½ cup (chopped)
  • Tomatoes, 1 can (diced)
  • Tomato Sauce, 1 can
  • Basil Leaf, ½ tsp. (dried)
  • Oregano, ½ tsp.
  • Garlic Powder, ½ tsp.
  • Salt, 1½ tsp.
  • Pepper, 1¼ tsp.
  • Ziti, 8 oz. (cooked and drained)
  • Mozzarella, 2 cups (shredded)
Method

The beef has to be sautéed along with onions and bell pepper, till they become tender and the beef turns into a light shade of brown. The fat that is leached out should be drained, after which you must add tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix this well. Add the ziti and a cup of mozzarella. Stir well and add this mix to the casserole. Add the remaining cheese to the casserole and bake it in a preheated oven at 350° F for 25 minutes.

With Chicken

Ingredients
  • Ziti, ½ lb.
  • Olive Oil, 2 tbsp.
  • Chicken Breasts, 2 (chop them into cubes)
  • Zucchini, 1
  • Onion, 1
  • Red Bell Pepper, 1 (chopped)
  • Tomatoes, 3 (diced)
  • Red Pepper, 1 pinch (crushed)
  • Garlic Cloves, 2 (minced)
  • Basil, 3 sprigs
  • White Wine, ½ cup
  • Fontina Cheese, ¼ lb. (shredded)
  • Provolone, ¼ lb.
  • Asiago, ¼ lb. (shredded)
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Pepper, ½ tsp.
Method

Cook the ziti as described earlier. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Cook the chicken breasts in this oil and season it with salt and pepper, till the chicken turns a little brown. Take out the chicken from the skillet and add onions, zucchini, bell peppers, and cook until the vegetables become tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and a pinch of crushed red pepper to the vegetables and cook for a little more time. Take out the vegetables in a bowl and add wine to the skillet. De-glaze the skillet and allow the wine to reduce to half its quantity. Add the chicken, vegetables, wine, and basil along with ¾ of the cheese. Season this again with salt and pepper. Bake the dish at 400° F for 15 minutes by covering it and another 15 minutes without the cover.

The ingredients may seem a bit too much, but as I said earlier, you can easily modify the recipe and reduce the types of cheese and vegetables, in order to make it as per your requirements.
Ground Beef
Ricotta Cheese