Classic Baked Ziti

Warm and comforting this is an easy-to-make classic Baked Ziti recipe filled with Italian Sausage, tomato sauce, and cheese to the max! This recipe is especially indulgent with a side of Homemade Garlic Bread.

baked ziti in baking pan

Baked Ziti | A Classic Dinner

Love Lasagna but hate the time it takes to make it? Baked Ziti offers all of the same flavors and comforts that lasagna does but with way less effort. Meaty tomato sauce, filling pasta, and all of that melted gooey cheese! Today’s classic Baked Ziti recipe makes a large 9×13 pan which is perfect for large families or to use as leftovers! While I have my Instant Pot Baked Ziti on the blog (that is super popular), I thought I should post a more classic recipe that everyone can make. No special equipment needed!

Main Ingredients Needed

With a couple of pantry staples you can have this Baked Ziti recipe ready for dinner tonight! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ziti Pasta – this is just a specific pasta shape, penne would work perfectly well in its place.
  • Sweet Italian Sausage – I used sweet Italian Sausage here but feel free to use mild or hot!
  • Olive Oil, Onion + Garlic – these three are used with the sausage to add some subtle flavors.
  • Marinara Sauce, Tomatoes + Water – these three make up the sauce. I used storebought marinara sauce (Rao’s). It’s a little expensive but so worth it.
  • Oregano, Basil, Bay Leaves, Salt + Pepper – these herbs and seasonings help flavor the sauce.
  • Mozzarella + Part-Skim Mozzarella – I used a blend of full fat and a lower fat mozzarella in this recipe. Don’t worry, it still tastes great.
  • Parmesan – I also used parmesan for a little bit more cheesy oomph!
melting cheese into ziti

Baked Ziti Variations

Everyone has their secret tips and tricks in making Baked Ziti their own and in this house, I encourage it! Feel free to use my recipe as a base then customize to your liking. Here are a couple of options to get you started:

  • Vegetarian Baked Ziti: feel free to make this a vegetarian meal by leaving out any meat products and then supplementing with more veggies!
  • Adding Vegetables: you can absolutely use/hide vegetables in this dish. Consider wilting spinach, adding shredded zucchini, or shredded carrots to this dish! Or serve your vegetables on the side!
  • Using Different Meat: although I use a pork Italian sausage for this baked ziti recipe, you can absolutely replace it with ground beef or ground turkey.
baked ziti in baking dish before baking

How to Make Baked Ziti

For full details on how to make baked ziti can be found in the recipe card down below 🙂

Step 1: Boil the Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Brown the Meat

In another pot or deep skillet with high sides, heat the pan over medium heat. Brown sausage, breaking apart as it cooks. Drain if desired. Replace back in the pan. To the cooked sausage, add olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute until mostly tender.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

Stir in diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, water, basil, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves.

Add cooked ziti to the sauce and stir to coat. Add in fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Stir to melt slightly.

Step 4: Bake

Pour into lightly greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, cover with lightly greased foil and bake. Top with chopped parsley (optional) and serve hot.

baked ziti topped with cheese in baking dish before baking

Storing Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti will last in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 4-5 days! Which means it’s great for leftovers and meal prep. Alternatively you can make a double batch and freeze one portion for later!

Freezing Instructions

One of the best parts about Baked Ziti is that it can be frozen to last even longer and make a super easy dinner for the future, I love when that happens!

Simply double the recipe, bake one portion, and with the other store in a freezable container before baking (those aluminum casserole dishes found at the grocery store would work great for this). Be sure to cover tightly with aluminium foil and then plastic wrap before freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to bake, thaw in the fridge overnight then bake as accordingly!

spooning baked ziti onto white plate

Try this Baked Ziti soon, I just know you’ll love it!

The recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂

baked ziti in baking pan

Print

Classic Baked Ziti

Warm and comforting this is an easy-to-make classic Baked Ziti recipe filled with Italian Sausage, tomato sauce and cheese to the max!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked ziti
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 665kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1.25 lbs Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 25 oz marinara sauce I used Rao’s
  • 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella drained and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella shredded

Instructions

  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In another pot or deep skillet with high sides, heat pan over medium heat. Brown sausage, breaking apart as it cooks. Drain if desired. Replace back in the pan. To the cooked sausage, add olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute until mostly tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, water, basil, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves.
  • Add cooked ziti to sauce and stir to coat. Add in fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Stir to melt slightly. Pour into lightly greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, cover with lightly greased foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Top with chopped parsley (optional) and serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1370mg | Potassium: 817mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 356mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Classic Baked Ziti appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Sausage Tortellini Soup (30 Minute Meal)

Soup is the perfect belly-warming meal in a bowl and this sausage tortellini soup is both quick and delicious.

It’s a one-pot soup packed with Italian sausage, cheese tortellini, and a handful of veggies. It comes together in no time and satisfies even the heartiest of appetites!

Sausage Tortellini Soup in bowls

A Hearty Favorite

  • This soup is ready in just over 30 minutes start to finish.
  • We love the robust flavor of Italian sausage but you can swap it out for your favorite ground meat.
  • This recipe is great with extra veggies including bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach, and kale.
  • Just one pot means less mess, less dishes.

ingredients for Sausage Tortellini Soup on a marble board

Ingredients

MEAT Ground Italian sausage is used in this recipe. If you use other ground meats, you’ll want to boost the seasonings a bit! Fennel is the spice that gives Italian sausage it’s flavor so add a little if you have it.

BROTH I prefer a low sodium beef broth in this recipe but any kind will work.

VEGGIES Onion adds flavor. The canned tomatoes add great texture and flavor the broth and zucchini adds freshness.

TORTELLINI Because of the Italian sausage makes this soup meaty, we prefer cheese tortellini in this recipe but feel free to use your favorite. Mini ravioli works too.

Pro Tip: Adding a little bit of cornstarch to the broth doesn’t thicken it but it does add a silky feel!

How to Make Sausage Tortellini Soup

You’ll love how easy it is to make this tasty Italian-style soup!

  1. Cook sausage & onion. Drain fat, if needed.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, & seasonings; simmer to blend flavors.

sausage & tomatoes in a pot for Sausage Tortellini Soup

  1. Add tortellini & zucchini and simmer until tender.
  2. Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve.

ingredients for Sausage Tortellini Soup in a pot

Kitchen Tips

  • To make prep quick, while the sausage is cooking prepare the other ingredients. While the soup is simmering, slice the zucchini.
  • Leftover meats and veggies can be added. If they are already cooked add them in the last few minutes since they just need to heat through.
  • Add the juices from the canned tomatoes.
  • Boost the flavor of this soup by adding a parmesan cheese rind (or vegetable juice like V8) to the broth as it simmers. Discard the rind before serving.

Sausage Tortellini Soup in a pot with a ladle

Make Ahead & Leftovers

  • Pasta doesn’t keep well in soups, it can get mushy. If you plan for leftovers, cook the tortellini separately.
  • Keep tortellini soup covered in the refrigerator and it will last about 4 days.
  • Double the base of this soup (without tortellini) and freeze half for another day. Add any fresh pasta once thawed.
  • Freeze portions of soup in zippered bags or muffin tins without pasta. Add tortellini or pasta once thawed

Sausage Tortellini Soup in a pot with bread on the side

More Fresh Soups

Did you love this Sausage Tortellini Soup? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Sausage Tortellini Soup in bowls

Sausage Tortellini Soup

This hearty soup is loaded with Italian sausage, fresh veggies, and cheese-filled tortellini!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 226
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • ½ pound Italian sausage hot or mild
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 oz fresh cheese tortellini about 3 cups uncooked
  • 1 medium zucchini sliced
  • shredded parmesan cheese and parsley for serving

Instructions

  • Cook sausage and onion until no pink remains. Drain fat.
  • Combine water and cornstarch and add to the pot along with broth, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Bring to a boil. Add tortellini and zucchini and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 6-7 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Top with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese for serving.

Notes

Note: If you plan to keep leftovers, cook the tortellini separately and add to each bowl while serving.

This recipe is great with extra veggies including bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach, and kale. A can of white beans can be added too.

To make prep quick, while the sausage is cooking prepare the other ingredients. While the soup is simmering, slice the zucchini.

Leftover meats and veggies can be added. If they are already cooked add them in the last few minutes since they just need to heat through.

Boost the flavor of this soup by adding a parmesan cheese rind (or vegetable juice like V8) to the broth as it simmers. Discard the rind before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.33cups | Calories: 226 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 752mg | Potassium: 654mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg
Sausage Tortellini Soup in a pot with a ladle and ingredients for Sausage Tortellini Soup with a title
Sausage Tortellini Soup in white bowls with writing
Sausage Tortellini Soup in a bowl with text
Sausage Tortellini Soup in a white bowl with a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies