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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.

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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.

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!

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

Ingredients

  • 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

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.

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.

Serving suggestions: Italian bread, salad or a vegetable side dish. This also pairs well with a natural wine from Dry Farm (affiliate).

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.

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

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Erin

Monday 29th of November 2021

Very excited to make this! Do you bake covered or uncovered?

Thanks!!

Gary

Monday 30th of August 2021

This is the New York style Italian Baked Ziti recipe that I grew up with. Perfect!

Lori

Saturday 22nd of May 2021

I can’t believe how this can be so good while being so simple! I’ve made it several times, and it reheats well, freezes well, and everyone loves it. Thank you for posting this delicious and easy recipe!

Heather McClenahen

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Great recipe... I would add another 1/2 jar of marinara sauce. It’s a little dry!

Jean

Sunday 11th of April 2021

Have this in the oven right now for dinner. Smells delicious. Made exactly as described except used a 9x13 pan as that was all I had. Will serve with Italian bread and extra sauce. I know In my family, some like dishes like this drier and some like it saucier so they can add extra to the top. I’m not one who likes meat in her lasagna or ziti so this was perfect

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