Best baked Ziti ever

This is seriously the best baked Ziti ever. Your family will love the homemade meat sauce and that ricotta and cream cheese topping takes it to the next level!

Baked ziti in a white deep baking dish with a spoon

Baked pasta is something special; they are in their own classification of comfort food because they are just so dang good. Ziti has been a tradition since the Renaissance, often served at special gatherings, weddings and celebrations. Also known as Ziti al Forno, this traditional oven-baked pasta is more a method than an exact science. Depending on the region of Italy, it can be a veggie-heavy meal or it can be put into hearty meat and fat.

This classic Baked Ziti is all about the simple whole ingredients. Ziti can be hard to find in stores, but there is something special about the history of Ziti pasta. Made from ground meat sauce may seem tiring and unnecessary, but don't start wrong, your time and effort will be worth it when you first take the first bite. Go ahead and serve this with some garlic bread, then have a party yourself!

  • Can I use cheese with fat content?

    There are some things you just shouldn't touch on, and cheese with fat is one of them. Does everything you need to do with regards to cheese, but the taste and texture of whole milk diet can't be beat!

  • Pasta options:

    Ziti is the traditional pasta that has been used for this dish, but we know how hard it can be to find! If you need to replace, go for the Penne pasta or rigatoni. They both have a similar shape and size and work well in this dish.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other great pasta recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will guide you through each step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch or our Facebook page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Best baked Ziti ever

This is seriously the best baked Ziti ever. Your family will love the homemade meat sauce and that ricotta and cream cheese topping takes it to the next level!

Prep Time30 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Servings: 8 servings


Meat Sauce

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, cubes
  • 8 ounces sliced ​​mushrooms
  • 5 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 6 ounces can tomato paste
  • 28 ounces can crush tomatoes
  • 15 ounces can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Baked Ziti

  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  • Pour olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and brown for 5 minutes. Add the dice onions and mushrooms (optional). Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent and the ground beef is cooked through.

  • Add garlic and tomato paste and toast for 2 minutes. Pour crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce in. Stir in basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is ready.

  • Boil the paste in boiling water according to the packing instructions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Prepare the cheese filling in a small mixing bowl by combining cream cheese, ricotta and parmesan. Mix together until smooth.

  • When the pasta is done, add it to the meat sauce and stir until combined. Pour it into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Spread the cheese mixture on top of the pasta.

  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.


Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 67 g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 30 g | Saturated fat: 13 g | Cholesterol: 88 mg | Sodium: 1026 mg | Potassium: 1244 mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1304IU | Vitamin C: 20 mg | Calcium: 285 mg | Iron: 6 mg

Course: Main course

Food: Italian

Keywords: Baked Ziti

A portion of baked ziti sprinkled with parsley on a white plate

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