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Baked Ziti Recipe

Baked Ziti Recipe

From Kalamazoo Michigan, Kim Neer makes this comforting Italian dish with a from-scratch spaghetti sauce, ziti pasta and a generous combination of cheeses.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + simmering Bake: 1 hour YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar (28 ounces) reduced-sodium meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1 package (16 ounces) ziti or 16 ounces small tube pasta
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • 1. In a large saucepan, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, basil and 1 teaspoon oregano. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • 2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg substitute, salt and pepper.
  • 3. In two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes coated with cooking spray, spread 1 cup of meat sauce. In each dish, layer a fourth of the pasta, 1 cup meat sauce and a fourth of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers of pasta, sauce and cheese mixture.
  • 4. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and oregano. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until heated through. Yield: 2 casseroles (12 servings each).

Nutritional Facts

One serving (about 1-1/3 cups) equals 324 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 38 mg cholesterol, 796 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 26 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 3 vegetable, 1 starch.

Reviews for Baked Ziti

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Reviewed Dec. 25, 2015

"Not sure it was worth all the time.. I prefer my pasta with less meat and more cheese."

Reviewed Aug. 5, 2014

"A homemade sauce doesn't start with jarred spaghetti sauce. This is not 'from scratch'."

Reviewed Dec. 18, 2011

"This is very good. Almost like lasagna. I like the homemade sauce however, it is very time consuming. I would also like to know if egg beaters is what was meant by egg substitute. I ended up using the egg beaters because I could not find the actual egg substitute which is a powder. The egg beaters worked just fine though. Thank you for the great idea."

Reviewed Oct. 28, 2011

"Great flavor and not as filling/bloating as most pastas."

Reviewed Oct. 25, 2011

"This recipe was super fun to make. My fiancee can't cook at all so it was really fun watching him try to layer the noodles, sauce and cheese like a little 7 year old. It was very tasty and it made me feel very accomplished because we made a homemade sauce. Really, very good traditional recipe for ziti!"

Reviewed Feb. 24, 2011

"This is great. Everyone that I have served it to they really like it. It will be made again and again.

I also like this because I can put one hotdish in the freezer and use it later."

Reviewed Jan. 10, 2011

"I like that this recipe makes 2 casseroles. Having one in the freezer is great for those really busy days. Is it just me, or does adding tomato paste just make it more acid? Next time I'll try leaving it out and see how it tastes."

Reviewed May. 14, 2010

"Very good recipe. My husband loves it!"

Reviewed Oct. 4, 2009

"Lovely, now my teenage son wants me to make this everyday. I made it with hot Italian sausage too, it was outstanding"

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.