My grandma’s vegetarian baked ziti will quickly become a family favorite. Requires only 5 ingredients! Easy comfort food that you can make ahead or freeze for later. Hands down the best baked ziti recipe.
There are affiliate links below.
I’m kind of surprised this wasn’t the very first recipe I ever posted to the blog. (Though my first post was not surprisingly still in the carb family).
This baked ziti recipe used to be my signature dish.
Whenever I would invite people over for dinner, this was my go-to casserole.
The recipe comes from my grandma (though she wants me to clarify it came from my grandpa’s side of the family in NY) and is so simple and fool-proof, I never saw a need to make anything else.
I still have the original email from her from over a decade ago, which would have been when I moved into my first college apartment.
I would pop this in the oven along with some Sister Schubert dinner rolls, maybe buy a frozen vegetable dish to heat up to go along with it and I was done.
Even after I started to branch out more and started this blog, I have still made this recipe a handful of times and it is always a home run.
(Now I’ve just upped my game with homemade marinara sauce, homemade bread, and homemade veggie sides.)
How to make this easy baked ziti:
Prep time is minimal and feeds an army, or at least 6-8 very hungry people. For dinner parties I usually just make one big casserole dish (14×10 “), but you can also split it into two and freeze one or both to bake later.
The layers seem like a mouthful (get it? aren’t I funny?) but it’s pretty easy: a little sauce, half the (cooked) ziti, ricotta cheese mixture, a little more sauce, the rest of the ziti, the rest of the sauce, sprinkle shredded cheese. No meat. Pasta perfection.
See it in action:
Not only is this great for a holiday meal or family gathering, but it also is perfect for any Meatless Monday comfort food meal. So easy and delicious!
This pairs well with a crusty bread, side salad or a veggie dish. One of the natural low-sugar red wines from Dry Farm Wines is also a great complement to this meal!
Grandma's Baked Ziti
My grandma's recipe for baked ziti will quickly become a family favorite. Only five ingredients to make this easy, meatless comfort food that you can make ahead or freeze for later!
- 1 lb box of ziti
- 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce, (or 3 cups homemade sauce)
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese (full-fat works best)
- 3 eggs
- 2 (8-ounce) packages shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Boil/cook ziti according to package instructions.
- In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, eggs and 1 package of the shredded cheese. Set aside.
- In a casserole dish (I use a 14x10 " dish, or you can use 2 8x8 " dishes), spoon a small amount of sauce to slightly cover bottom of dish.
- Spoon in half of ziti, then evenly spread the ricotta cheese mixture on top. Pour more sauce over ricotta cheese (saving about 1 cup of sauce for final layer).
- Add the rest of the ziti, and layer remaining 1 cup sauce over it. Sprinkle the other package of mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
*If freezing for later, prepare the layers as listed before baking and cover securely before putting in freezer. When ready to bake, you can pull it out to let thaw in the refrigerator the morning of, or increase baking time by 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serving suggestions: Italian bread, salad or a vegetable side dish. This also pairs well with a natural wine from Dry Farm (affiliate).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically by an online tool at Nutritionix. It is not always accurate. Please use your own tools to check if you rely on this information.
Like this ziti recipe? You might also like: Spinach Baked Ziti
Monday 6th of June 2022
This looks fantastic! I can't wait to try to make it! Can it be doubled?
Tuesday 7th of June 2022
You can absolutely double it if you have enough pans - it won't all fit it one! I sometimes even split the original recipe into 2 baking dishes, so you'll definitely need big ones.
Tuesday 19th of April 2022
I love this recipe, it's proven itself over and over. I recommend baking covered for 1/2 the time, then uncovered. I also add a pinch of itialan seasoning in the ricotta/cheese mix. Enjoy!
Thursday 31st of March 2022
Soo FOIL on dish b4 it goes in will stop all the dryness & cheese will melt better. Cottage cheese can be used if you don’t want to use foil. I also added Parm. Was good alt to stuff shells!
Monday 29th of November 2021
Very excited to make this! Do you bake covered or uncovered?
Tuesday 7th of December 2021
I always do uncovered - allows for the cheese to get crispy.
Monday 30th of August 2021
This is the New York style Italian Baked Ziti recipe that I grew up with. Perfect!