HomeRecipesEasy Baked Ziti

Easy Baked Ziti

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This simple baked ziti is reassuring, scrumptious and excellent for feeding a crowd! It combines tender ziti noodles and greens with a floor turkey marinara sauce all topped with mozzarella cheese.

In the event you’re searching for a comforting, hearty dish that’s each simple to make and a crowd-pleaser you’ve come to the suitable place as a result of this simple baked ziti recipe is simply that!

It’s a improbable possibility for these busy weeknights whenever you desire a satisfying meal with out an excessive amount of fuss, or for these events when you must feed a crowd. The mixture of tender pasta, flavorful floor turkey, and wealthy, tacky goodness makes this dish irresistible. Plus, the addition of recent veggies like zucchini and bell pepper provides a nutritious twist to this traditional Italian-American favourite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Scrumptious – The combo of pasta with a floor turkey tomato sauce, veggies and many tacky goodness is so tasty! It’s assured to be successful with each adults and kiddos.
  • Feeds a crowd – This baked ziti recipe makes an enormous batch so it’s the right dinner for feeding a crowd and doubles as an amazing meal prep recipe.
  • Comforting – This baked ziti is the definition of consolation meals!
  • More healthy – I used floor turkey as a substitute of floor beef, added veggies and used much less cheese than traditional baked ziti recipes. It’s a tricky lighter, however nonetheless scrumptious!

Substances Wanted

  • ziti pasta – the star of the present, ziti is ideal for holding onto all of the scrumptious sauce and cheese.
  • olive oil – for sautéing the veggies and floor turkey.
  • yellow onion – brings a refined sweetness and depth to the dish when cooked.
  • zucchini – provides a recent, barely candy contact, and an effective way to sneak in additional veggies.
  • purple bell pepper – for a pop of shade and a barely candy taste.
  • garlic – a should for that fragrant, savory depth that’s key in cooking.
  • floor turkey – a leaner different to beef that also packs a ton of taste. I used 93% lean floor turkey, however be happy to make use of leaner floor turkey if desired.
  • Italian seasoning – this mix of herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, sage and rosemary brings the traditional Italian flavors to the dish.
  • salt and floor pepper – two important seasonings!
  • child spinach – an effective way so as to add some greens, wilting completely into the sauce.
  • marinara sauce – I used Rao’s marinara sauce, however be happy to make use of your favourite model or make selfmade sauce.
  • cottage cheese – as a substitute of ricotta cheese I went with cottage cheese for a lighter, protein-packed possibility that provides creaminess to the sauce.
  • parmesan cheese and recent mozzarella cheese – two important components for baked ziti. I like to recommend utilizing freshly shredded cheese as a substitute of pre-shredded cheese for the very best outcomes.
  • recent basil – the right recent herb to serve with this dish.
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The best way to Make

Step 1: Warmth the oven to 375°F and put together a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Step 2: Cook dinner the ziti pasta till al dente, drain it, and place it within the baking dish.

Step 3: In a skillet, sauté onion, garlic, and bell pepper in olive oil. Add floor turkey, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, cooking till the turkey is totally cooked.

Step 4: Add chopped zucchini and half the marinara sauce to the skillet. Simmer till the zucchini softens, then flip off the warmth and stir within the spinach to wilt.

Step 5: Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the pasta within the dish. Add the turkey combination, cottage cheese, and parmesan. Combine nicely and high with mozzarella cheese.

Step 6: Bake for 20-25 minutes till bubbly. Optionally, broil for 2-3 minutes for a golden high.

Step 7: Take away from the oven, let it cool barely, and serve with recent basil.

Ideas for the Excellent Baked Ziti

  • Don’t overcook the pasta: Cook dinner your pasta al dente as it’ll proceed to prepare dinner within the oven. Overcooked pasta can turn into mushy.
  • Let it relaxation: Permit the baked ziti to relaxation for a couple of minutes after eradicating it from the oven. This helps it set and makes serving simpler.
  • Season nicely: Don’t overlook to season every part – the meat, the sauce, and the cheese combination. Layering the flavors is vital to a scrumptious baked ziti.
  • Cheese issues: Use freshly shredded cheese for the very best melting high quality. Pre-shredded cheeses usually include anti-caking brokers that may have an effect on how they soften.
  • Customise your veggies: Be happy so as to add or substitute greens primarily based in your preferences or what you’ve available.
See also  Cottage Cheese Quiche

Substitutions & Notes

  • Making an attempt Completely different Pasta: This recipe is all about ziti, which completely holds the sauce and cheese. In the event you swap it with one other sort of pasta, simply understand that the feel and sauce distribution may change a bit. Penne might work as a detailed substitute, however I’d say follow ziti to maintain the dish genuine.
  • Dairy-Free Ziti: On condition that this recipe depends closely on dairy (cottage cheese, parmesan, and mozzarella), making it dairy-free can be difficult. In the event you’re up for an experiment, although, strive plant-based cheese options and let me know the way your vegan model seems!
  • Including a Meat Different: The bottom turkey provides an amazing taste and texture to this dish. In the event you’re contemplating an alternate, floor beef or Italian sausage can exchange floor turkey for a unique taste.
  • Cheese Selections: I’d attempt to maintain the cheese choice as talked about within the recipe, however in the event you desire ricotta cheese over cottage cheese, it might make a very good substitute for its creaminess.
  • Including a Kick: In the event you’re a fan of spice, contemplate including some purple pepper flakes to the turkey because it cooks, and even some chopped jalapeños with the veggies.

What to Serve with Baked Ziti

This pasta dish is hearty and filling by itself, but it surely pairs splendidly with a wide range of sides to make a well-rounded meal. Listed here are some strategies:

  • Salad: A easy inexperienced salad can add a refreshing distinction to the wealthy pasta. Do this kale caesar salad for one thing tasty, but easy. This caprese salad and antipasto salad don’t have any greens however each would make for an exquisite aspect dish to this baked ziti.
  • Roasted veggies: You possibly can by no means have too many veggies, am I proper?! A baking pan filled with your favourite roasted greens can be the right aspect to this pasta. Some choices: roasted broccoli, roasted candy potatoes or air fryer brussels sprouts.
  • Garlic Bread: Garlic bread is a traditional accompaniment to pasta dishes. Go for complete grain bread for a more healthy twist.
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Make Forward of Time

Planning forward can flip making a dish like baked ziti from a prolonged course of into a straightforward, breezy, ziti expertise. In the event you’re prepping for a busy weeknight dinner or a big gathering, these make-ahead ideas to your baked ziti is not going to solely prevent time but additionally assist make your dish as scrumptious as if it had been made recent.

  • Meeting in Advance: One of many beauties of baked ziti is that you could put all of it collectively a day earlier than you want it. Simply cowl your assembled however unbaked ziti and pop it within the fridge. If you’re prepared, bake it as directed, maybe including just a few further minutes to the cooking time because you’re ranging from chilly.
  • Partial Cooking: If you wish to reduce down on baking time the day of serving, you possibly can precook the pasta and the meat sauce. Retailer them individually within the fridge, then mix with cheese and bake whenever you’re prepared.
  • Reheating the Baked Ziti: Reheating is simple. Cowl the baking dish with foil to maintain the moisture in and reheat within the oven till it’s piping sizzling all through. The time will fluctuate however anticipate round 20-Half-hour.

The best way to Retailer Leftovers

This baked ziti makes an enormous batch so it’s good for meal prep! Right here’s how you can retailer leftovers:

  • Within the fridge: Permit the ziti to chill to room temperature. Then cowl the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or switch the leftovers to an hermetic container. It’s going to final 4-5 days within the fridge.
  • Within the freezer: Baked ziti freezes superbly. As soon as cooled, switch to a freezer-safe container or wrap the baking dish nicely in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. It may be frozen for 1-2 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge earlier than reheating.
  • Reheating: Reheat within the oven at 350°F till it’s heated by way of. If it’s frozen, prolong the heating time, and contemplate masking with foil to stop the highest from drying out.

Extra Pasta Dishes to Attempt

Make sure to try the total assortment of dinner recipes on EBF!

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