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Grandma’s Meatless Baked Ziti

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.

My grandma's meatless baked ziti will quickly become a family favorite. Requires only 5 ingredients! Easy comfort food that you can make ahead or freeze for later.

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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:

This baked ziti will quickly become a family favorite. Easy comfort food that you can make ahead or freeze for later!

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!

What's your “signature dish?”

Yield: 8

Grandma's Baked Ziti

This baked ziti will quickly become a family favorite. Easy comfort food that you can make ahead or freeze for later!

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!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb box of ziti
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce, (or 3 cups homemade sauce)
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Boil/cook ziti according to package instructions.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, eggs and 1 package of the shredded cheese. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Add the rest of the ziti, and layer remaining 1 cup sauce over it. Sprinkle the other package of mozzarella cheese on top.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
  8. Serve with italian bread and salad.

Notes

*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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Like this ziti recipe? You might also like: Spinach Baked Ziti

 

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XO

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

i just made this last night for a dinner i made for friends - it was SO GOOD!

i’ve never made baked ziti before - but i am a very good cook - so i was searching lots of recipes for what i thought would taste best

i used more ricotta cheese than was listed I bought the 24 ounce container and used over 3/4 of it I’m not sure of the exact amount maybe 20 oz I added maybe 3/4 of a cup of pasta water to the ricotta mixture to loosen it up and make sure it wasn’t going to be dry I also added Larry’s garlic salt and freshly ground tricolor pepper to the ricotta mixture to taste

i used one 24 ounce jar of Classico fire roasted tomato sauce and I used about 2 cups of peeled diced fresh tomatoes and mixed that together

The pasta I used was from Trader Joe’s from Italy I used rigatoni and I only cooked it for 10 minutes so it was super al dente but it came out perfectly cooked not overcooked or undercooked after baked at about 45 minutes at 350 then i rested it at least 20 min - and it cut perfectly did not run or ooze i used a glass 13x9 pan and it fit perfectly

I put parchment paper on the top - and I don’t like it super brown - so I did not brown the top it came out phenomenal!!! way better than I thought it was going to be it was light fluffy airy moist and perfect balance of all layers and flavors it was definitely some of the best baked ziti I’ve ever had in my life made by anyone

try this recipe you won’t regret it!!!

Angelique

Monday 18th of November 2019

I just made this recipe and my family loved it ! I am thinking about making it again for a potluck at work . Is it ok to assemble the night before , keep in fridge and bake the next day ? I am a little worried about the raw eggs in there ... and would it make the dish too dry ? Thanks so much for sharing this yummy recipe .

Kelly

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

I think that would be completely fine! I've frozen it for periods beforehand so refrigerating the night before should work great. If you're worried about it getting too dry, just have some extra marinara sauce on hand to add right before baking.

Diana

Monday 10th of June 2019

I added 1 cup of fresh spinach & 1 cup of fresh baby Bella mushrooms & it makes it even yummier, as well as extra tomato sauce as 1 person commented. Thank you for wonderful recipe!.

Terre

Sunday 30th of December 2018

Just made this again tonight. I’ve made baked ziti forever, but not like this. It’s so delicious! Next year, to give Mom/Mom-Mom more time watching kiddos open gifts and less time in the kitchen, Grandma’s Baked Ziti is going to be our Christmas dinner! Thanks, Kelly.

Kelly

Monday 31st of December 2018

Thanks Terre - this is a popular recipe for a reason! Easy to put together and enough for the whole family to enjoy. So glad to hear it's on your holiday menu for next year already!

Talia

Tuesday 11th of December 2018

Hi! I tripled this recipe for a big Christmas party and I filled the pan up to the brim! Do you think it will bubble over? If so I will dish some out into a separate pan :)

Thanks!

Kelly

Thursday 13th of December 2018

Even with a normal recipe it fills up my large casserole dish! I don't know what size you used but I hope it worked for you!