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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.

fully baked ziti in casserole pan

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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.

small portion of grandma's baked ziti on white plate with remaining casserole in background

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.)

scooping out a serving of grandma's baked ziti

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:

picture video showing how to add the layers of ziti -  sauce, half of ziti, ricotta cheese mixture, more red sauce, remaining ziti, remaining sauce, shredded cheese to top

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!

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


  • 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


  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.


*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).

Nutrition Information:



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

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Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Oh yeah! I made this yesterday as I had a hankering for cheesy pasta. This did not disappoint! I had some for lunch, dinner, evening snack and even had to sample when I made it early in the morning, breakfast? My grandson, 19, is still a picky eater joined me in our pasta feast. He told me to make this again, and I will. Having a potluck at our school and guess what I am brining? Yup! Grandma's Baked Ziti! Yum, yum, yum.


Thursday 30th of November 2023

Can you add cooked sausage? Would it change anything besides the flavor?


Friday 1st of December 2023

This has always been made meatless in our family!


Saturday 8th of July 2023

I’ve made this several times, very delicious! Do you cook before freezing?


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!

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