This easy Baked Ziti recipe with sausage and ricotta is a delicious cheesy Italian pasta casserole dinner that is packed with flavor.
Servings 8 servings
- 1 pound ziti pasta penne or rigatoni work just as well
- 1 tablespoon salt for boiling only
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 large yellow onion minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 28 ounces marinara sauce
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil thinly sliced
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese grated, roughly 2 cups
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
Make the meat sauce:
Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat.
Once the meat is starting to brown, add onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. The onions should absorb any excess oil in the pan. Add garlic and seasonings, stir to combine and cook for a few more minutes.
Add sauce and bring to a simmer.
Bake the Baked Ziti casserole:
Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole pan.
Combine a large spoonful of the sauce with the cooked ziti and add the pasta to the casserole dish.
Spoon about half of the ricotta cheese onto the pasta and spread to create an even layer.
Spread the remaining meat sauce onto the pasta.
Top with remaining ricotta cheese and fresh basil.
Add the remaining pasta. Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta and cover casserole with the mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese.
Bake in oven at 350°F, covered with foil or an oven safe lid, for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the top is lightly browned and the cheese melted.
- I highly recommend using the highest quality ingredients. Whole milk ricotta and mozzarella taste the best. Real Italian parmesan that you grate yourself will give you the best results. Be sure to use your favorite marinara sauce too.
- Make ahead directions: You can make this recipe all the way up to the point where the Baked Ziti is put into the oven. Instead, you can cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat. If you freeze, be sure to thaw to room temperature before baking.
- Storage: Keep leftover Baked Ziti in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Best if eaten within a few days.
- Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave on 50% power until heated through or you can reheat in the oven, covered, until the cheese is melted.
Calories: 683kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 2241mg | Potassium: 737mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 472mg | Iron: 3mg