Cheesy Baked Ziti

Cheesy Baked Ziti is perfect for those nights when you might be tempted to order pizza or hit the drive thru. Preparation is minimal and in the 30 minutes while it is baking you can prepare a salad (or enjoy a glass of wine).

Quick and Easy Baked Ziti

Using pasta sauce from a jar saves time, but if you have tomatoes on hand and would rather make your own sauce, you can substitute your preferred recipe. I like to use fire-roasted tomatoes for depth of flavor, and fresh basil will grow in a south-facing window all year long.

Cheesy Baked Ziti freezes well, so if you’d like you can double the recipe and put one in the freezer. Don’t put the shredded cheese topping on before freezing, but you can put it in a separate baggie and place it under the wrapping so that it is handy when you are ready to bake the dish.

Quick and Easy Baked Ziti on a white plate with garlic bread

Cheesy Baked Ziti

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 1 (12 oz) box ziti or penne
  • 2 (25 oz) jars pasta sauce
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (16 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray


Spray a 3-quart baking dish. Cook pasta according to package directions but slightly undercooking; drain. In a medium bowl combine pasta sauce and Italian seasoning. Remove 2 cups and set aside. Stir remaining sauce into cooked pasta.

Place half of the pasta mixture in baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese on top.

In a medium bowl, beat egg and stir in ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, and salt until blended.

Place over the mozzarella cheese by dolloping with a spoon and gently spread. Top with remaining pasta, then sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Spread remaining pasta sauce evenly to edges of dish, coating all pasta.

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes or until very hot in center and edges are bubbly.

Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts.

  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 490

Quick and Easy Baked Ziti

More delicious pasta recipes:

About Mary Ann

Mary Ann Kelley has been creating meal plans online for over 15 years, first as part of TheHomeSchoolMom's cooking resources for busy moms and later on Menus4Moms, which has been highlighted by "Diner's Journal," The New York Times' Blog on Dining Out, and PBS Parents' "Kitchen Explorer."

Mary Ann loves cooking and she loves planning/organizing, so meal planning is a natural intersection of the two. She believes her mission for the meal plans is being fulfilled when visitors let her know that she has helped them save time and money by teaching them to plan ahead and become more efficient in the kitchen.

When Mary Ann is not cooking or publishing, she enjoys reading, researching genealogy, and traveling.

Share Your Thoughts


Disclaimer & Disclosure Opinions expressed by contributing authors, commenters and reviewers are solely the responsibility and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of contains outbound links to websites offering resources related to cooking or the home. may be offered compensation for these links, either in the form of commissions or flat advertising fees. [ Read more ]