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Sunday, September 6, 2020

MiMi's Baked Ziti

Baked ziti is a perfect family friendly fill them up kind of meal.  It can be made ahead and baked to creamy, cheesy perfection.

plate of cheesy baked ziti in front of casserole dish


        Nothing says delicious quite like baked pasta. This baked ziti is always popular at our dinner table and those of our friends as well.  It can be assembled ahead of time if you'd like, making it a great make and take.  So it's perfect for bringing to families with new babies as well!  Of course you can also make and bake it all in one foul swoop, then dinner is ready in under an hour.  It is a great way to fill everyone's belly and enjoy every bite.


        After taking a bite of this baked ziti, Little Dude's first reaction was this is a lot like lasagna. In a lot of ways that is true.

     Of course it is a layered baked pasta fish with lots of sauce and cheese. Plus there are so many different ways to make this Italian-american classic.

      Most likely the way your mom made it is how you would like for it to be. This recipe is how my mom made it, so it is perfect as far as my family is concerned.

close up of baked ziti on dinner plate with garlic bread and zucchini


      There are a few things about it that were surprising to me the first time I made it. The first was that it is difficult to find actual ziti at my grocery.

     They have a thousand shapes of pasta, everything from the spaghetti rings to make spaghettios to the classics. But somehow despite baked ziti being such a popular recipe, there is no ziti to be found.

    Ziti is a smooth tubular pasta. Though the dish very specifically mentions it, don't despair if you can't find it either.

     I actually ordered some just so I could show you the correct pasta in the pictures, but have made the recipe tons of time with other pasta shapes. Usually I stick to larger tubular pasta, but you can use whatever you'd like.

dinner plate with helping of baked ziti made with rigatoni, salad and garlic bread

     Rigatoni is my usual fallback and last time I shared this recipe that is what I used.  Penne is another great tube shaped pasta option.

     The second big surprise with the recipe was the use of sour cream.  Not ricotta, not cottage cheese... sour cream.

     It sounds so strange and still throws me off a little because I don't put sour cream in any other Italian inspired pasta recipe that I can think of. Somehow it just works though, so you should give it a try.

Make it for now or make it ahead


    One of the reasons I love this recipe is how easy it is to put together.  Even better, it is almost no more work to make two of them at once.

      That is one of the many reasons it is a favorite of mine to bring to friends who are new moms.  Or you can just make one for now and freeze one for later.

   It can be assembled ahead, covered and refrigerated until it's time to eat. Then just let it sit at room temperature while the oven preheats and add ten to fifteen minutes to the bake time.

     There is no work other than popping it in the oven. Give them some garlic bread and a bag of salad and dinner is done.

first serving of baked ziti on plate with remaining past in background


     To avoid drying the pasta out, I would bake it covered for the first half hour.  Then remove the foil and let it finish baking open to help brown the cheese.

    Eating it one handed is easy enough too. You can stab a noodle and eat it while comforting baby.

     You can also make it meatless easily enough.  Just leave the ground beef out.

     I have made it for Catholic friends during Lent and it was still a hit. It is easy to customize to your needs and tastes.

     You could also make an extra and freeze it for later. Just place the frozen casserole in the refrigerator the night before you plan to eat it to let it thaw.

ziti and zucchini on plate


    Again, you will want to let it sit at room temperature while the oven preheats and let it bake a little longer than you would if you made it fresh.  Much like the refrigerated version, I would cover it with some aluminum foil for the first half hour of bake time.

      Once the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted it should be done.  Give it a few minutes of rest and it is ready to serve and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite make and take meal?  Or maybe a comfort food specialty that you love to make during the cold weather?

You may also like:


If you love baked pasta recipes, creamy beef and noodle casserole is another great option. It would be a great take and bake meal as well. 

Or if you love baked pasta dishes, but hate the prep, check out my no boil pasta bake.  You don't have to boil the noodles or brown the sausage. Just layer it all in the pan and let it bake to perfection. 

Watch me make this on YouTube:

thumbnail for youtube video

This is our absolute favorite baked ziti recipe. It is easy, creamy, cheesy and delicious. It's is a great make and take for new moms or you can make it ahead for your own family. Or make it, bake it and enjoy it in under an hour at home!


baked pasta recipe, family friendly casserole recipes, Italian casserole, creamy baked ziti
Dinner
American
MiMi's Baked Zitihttps://youtu.be/J6Cm5YcORsYThis is our absolute favorite baked ziti recipe. It is easy, creamy, cheesy and delicious. It's is a great make and take for new moms or you can make it ahead for your own family. Or make it, bake it and enjoy it in under an hour at home!https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vGD-eWErmCE/X1BQ3QfMIwI/AAAAAAABBAQ/mitM5yH1mXk1oe9S5Ob_OgAkXsKeSQ5JgCNcBGAsYHQ/s400/MiMi%2527s%2BBake%2BZiti%2BThumb.jpg2020-09-06
Yield: 12 servings
Author: Cooking With Carlee
Print
MiMi's Baked Ziti

MiMi's Baked Ziti

Warm and hearty baked ziti is sure to fill up your heart and your stomach. A family friendly dinner that is sure to leave them all happy and satisfied!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 55 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta (ziti was surprisingly hard to find here, but rigatoni or penne works fine)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 (24 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and butter a 9x13" baking dish.
  2. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook ziti until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, 1/2 of sauce mixture, provolone cheese, sour cream,  remaining ziti, remaining sauce mixture, then mozzarella cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheeses are melted. (If you made it ahead of time, pull casserole out of the refrigerator while the oven preheats and bake 40 minutes or so or until heated through and bubbly.)
Calories
299.78
Fat (grams)
19.16
Sat. Fat (grams)
9.88
Carbs (grams)
10.09
Fiber (grams)
1.04
Net carbs
9.05
Sugar (grams)
3.55
Protein (grams)
21.19
Sodium (milligrams)
473.49
Cholesterol (grams)
79.25
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @carleecooks on instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithcarlee
Created using The Recipes Generator


Nothing says delicious quite like baked pasta. This baked ziti is always popular at our dinner table and those of our friends as well.  It can be assembled ahead of time if you'd like, making it a great make and take.  So it's perfect for bringing to families with new babies as well!  Of course you can also make and bake it all in one foul swoop, then dinner is ready in under an hour.  It is a great way to fill everyone's belly and enjoy every bite.

Shared at The Weekend Potluck

40 comments:

  1. Ooooh, I love baked ziti! There's something so comforting and not to mention delicious about all that cheese!

    Have a great day Carlee! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! It is really hard to go wrong with a bunch of melted cheese, that is for sure!

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  2. Hi Carlee :)

    What an easy dish to make and who doesn't like cheese? :)

    I hope you have a great, safe trip.

    xo,
    rue

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    1. Hi Rue! Thanks, I got home late last night. I used to enjoy travel for work. I still kind of do, but leaving the little guy behind makes it harder. He was surprised to see me this morning and we got lots of extra cuddles in before I took him to daycare. I can't wait to play with him tonight!

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  3. Can you believe I have never made baked ziti? but you've inspired me so all these ingredients are going on the list! That's what I love about your yummy cooking blog, you always give me ideas and my family loves you for it!

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    1. That is so sweet, Andrea! I hope you love this baked ziti, it is one of my sister's favorites!

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  4. I love the new ideas from you fellow foodies. This baked ziti has been a favorite of Kristie's. I made it often.

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    Replies
    1. I still need to check them out, this week has been crazy! I can't wait to see what they made!

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  5. Baked Ziti with Cheese all the way sounds nothing short of delicious Carlee <3

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! We love our baked pasta dishes and it was fun to make the two slightly different versions side by side. I hear that vegetarian version I dropped off was a hit!

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  6. Nothing beats baked pasta and it makes a perfect casserole to take to a friend.

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    Replies
    1. I was happy to be able to take them something they could just throw in the oven and not have to worry too much about. Plus the leftovers should have made a few good lunches for her as well. Wins all the way around ;-)

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  7. Ooh, pinning right now. It has been too long since I have had baked ziti. Yours looks incredible.

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  8. Such a yummy. I love any type of baked pasta. Easy, delicious and can even be prepped early and froze. :)

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    1. I love how easy baked pasta is and it's always so darn good! Plus is was a great make ahead to take to our friends!

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  9. I love baked pasta! I will have to pin this for a future try!

    The Old Fat Guy

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  10. I love baked ziti and look at all that cheese. You can never have too much cheese. This looks really, really great.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure there is a thing as too much cheese! Thank you!

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  11. This sounds perfect for our family. I can use gluten free noodles, so that solves my problem. My daughter is also a vegetarian so I'm going to try the version you made for Ro. We love pasta too and I love making enough that we have leftovers for another dinner or a few lunches. This looks perfect!

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    Replies
    1. With enough cheese the meat eaters don't miss the meat, so it should be a hit all the way around. I hope you all love it! Thanks so much, Nikki!

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  12. I had a friend bring us something like this after the birth of our second child and it was delicious! I don't know why I never think to make dishes like these myself. Yum.

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    Replies
    1. It really is perfect for dropping off to friends with new little ones! Maybe you'll have to put it into your regular rotation.

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  13. What a great recipe! Looking forward to seeing you again at Full Plate Thursday tonight!
    Hope you are having a great day!
    Miz Helen

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Miz Helen, see you shortly!

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  14. Ziti is always a hit at our house too, in fact I recently made a batch, both of your versions sound wonderful, love the addition of spinach in the meat free one! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!

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    Replies
    1. It is definitely one of those dinners that will be eaten without complaints. I don't know why I don't make it more!

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  15. I realize I replied before but I have since made this and soooo good! I love that Mimi kind of rhymes with Ziti!!! All over this! Happy weekend beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. YAYAYAY! I am glad you liked it, that makes my heart smile <3

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  16. Delicious!! This is what I like eating during the week - simple and tasty! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party!

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    Replies
    1. That's how we like to eat too! Not too fancy, but super delicious!

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  17. Definitely a meal the whole family would love! Thanks for linking up at Friday Frenzy Link Party! PINNED!

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    Replies
    1. It's a hit with our clan, that's for sure! Thank you!

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  18. I have never tried sour cream in my baked ziti; this sounds like an amazing dish. Pinned.

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    Replies
    1. I thought it was a little strange when MiMi shared her recipe with me as well, but it's soooo good!

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  19. I love this ingredient list! Looks delicious!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!