A close up of baked ziti with melted cheese and herbs.

Easy Baked Ziti

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
Keyword baked pasta, baked ziti, easy baked ziti
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 448 kcal
Author A Simple Palate


  • 1 lb ziti or penne pasta
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 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)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cook pasta according to box directions with a generous pinch of salt. Drain pasta and reserve 1/4 to 1/3 cup of pasta water. 

  2. Add pasta and pasta water back into pot and stir in 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, 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 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano. 

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

Recipe Notes


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.