A close up of baked ziti with melted cheese and herbs.
Easy Baked Ziti
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

An easy and flavorful baked ziti made from scratch! So cheesy, saucy, and a one dish meal that the whole family will love. Takes only 30 minutes to make and is all things delicious and cheesy! 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tags: baked pasta, baked ziti, easy baked ziti
Servings: 6
Calories: 448 kcal
Author: A Simple Palate
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ziti or penne pasta
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1 cup Italian cheese blend (parmesan, asiago, provolone)
  • 1 cup Mozzarella
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped ( opt for 2 teaspoons dried basil)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme ( opt for 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano ( opt for 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cook pasta according to box directions with a generous pinch of salt. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. 

  2. Add pasta and pasta water back into pot and stir in 3/4 cup Italian cheese blend, 1 cup of tomato sauce, and all of herbs (basil, thyme, and oregano). Pasta should have a creamy and cheesy consistency. 

  3. Transfer pasta to a 13x9 baking dish. Layer with rest of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Italian cheese blend over top. 

  4. Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbling and browned. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy!

Notes

Tips

Extra things to add to your baked ziti

The great thing about baked ziti is it's so versatile. Some of my favorite things to add to this recipe is roasted vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli), ricotta cheese for more creaminess and cheese, and cooked sausage or ground beef. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Baked Ziti
Amount Per Serving
Calories 448 Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.9g 11%
Cholesterol 18.4mg 6%
Sodium 495.3mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 71.6g 24%
Sugars 7.6g
Protein 24.9g 50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.