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Baked Ziti with Fresh Tomatoes Recipe

Baked Ziti with Fresh Tomatoes Recipe

I prepare the meat sauce ahead of time, so it saves precious moments when we come in after working out in the fields! —Barbara Johnson, Decker, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 70 min. Bake: 30 min. YIELD:6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 15 tomatoes)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces uncooked ziti
  • 2 cups( 8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, basil and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • 2. Cook ziti according to package directions; drain. Place in a large bowl. Stir in sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • 3. Cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 375 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 60mg cholesterol, 851mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein.

Reviews for Baked Ziti with Fresh Tomatoes

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DriaW User ID: 8894166 252815
Reviewed Aug. 17, 2016

"Made this last evening and family found it very enjoyable. It was an easily adaptable recipe which was great. Had 1 pound of ground turkey on hand and used 2 plum tomatoes along with a large can of whole peeled plum tomatoes and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Anticipating the recipe might be dry with the turkey, I added 2 Italian sweet sausage along with the meat, a bit wine to the pan. To the tomatoes, I added 3 chopped garlic cloves , onion and the other ingredients as mentioned. I reduced the salt down to 1 tsp. Instead of ziti I used whole wheat penne. This recipe is one that will be kept in my recipe box for future use and enjoyment."

Psalm127-3 User ID: 7749892 252769
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2016 Edited Aug. 17, 2016

"Working right now but this is going to be made exactly as written so I can judge what I think could be made better/worse/left alone. Usually I can't (for the life of me) leave any recipe alone but I find no fault in reading these written ingredients. I like salt and my local WinCo has affordable plum tomatoes-easy to peel/deseed/chop. WinCo also provides me with their UNBELIEVEABLE bulk section where I can scoop just the right amount of ziti instead of buying a bag. (no I have no affiliation with WinCo I am simply a sucker for bulk section availability). tomorrow night might be the night. will report back after making/eating/hopefully devouring :)

update: tonight 'is' the night-I decided to buy the ziti and more mozzo cheese because just had an end chub. plus upon looking had no ground beef even in freezer <what?
my results: My husband was over the moon as he likes simple flavors that speak for themselves. I personally often add many many herbs or spices all for the purpose of taking things to the next level of deliciousness. I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING.
thank you to the poster Barbara Johnson"

shp970 User ID: 6595069 233743
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2015

"I'm giving 5 stars because of how good this is, that it's easily adaptable to what one has on hand and the fact that I will make this over and over again.

I used chicken breast instead of ground beef because that's what I had. I used 6 garden tomatoes because I didn't grow Romas. I reluctantly omitted the Parmesan cheese because I didn't have any.
I read previous comments and added dried garlic to the meat/onion mixture. Also, I only added 1tsp of salt and it was perfect. I can see why others would comment that as written, the above recipe is too salty.. I have a spice called Italian seasoning and I added a few turns of the grinder as well. I also added 1 tsp of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
I don't own a Dutch oven so a big soup pot that I use for chili and stews worked fine.
Otherwise, I made it as written. I will definitely make this again, in fact it was requested! I will use Italian sausage next time because that sounds fantastic!"

MY REVIEW User ID: 3083886 224641
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"I didn't have 15 tomatoes, I had 2. I used those, one 15oz can organic tomato sauce and one can of diced tomatoes. I also added 2 large minced garlic cloves to the beef and onion. It was very good. As mentioned, it is salty - but we like salty - if you don't I'd cut back on what is recommended."

Allison_Suer User ID: 7505549 44658
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2013

"Tomatoes and pasta was good. The meat and salt together was a little too salty. Next time I'd either half the salt or take it out altogether"

Igraine32 User ID: 7006585 44363
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2013

"This was good after I anticipated the errors in this recipe and fixed them ahead of time. With this much acid, you need sugar. I added a tsp of sugar and Italian seasoning in addition to the basil. Also, I used canned diced tomatoes. Who has time to peel, chop & deseed tomatoes? Suppose if I had a garden this would be a good way to use my tomatoes."

pcinant User ID: 3231537 74083
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2013

"I really enjoyed this recipe and will be adding this to my recipe box. I did not change anything in the recipe."

HouseofYum User ID: 6538086 20439
Reviewed May. 19, 2013

"While fresh tomatoes are delicious, if you are pressed for time you can use drained canned tomatoes. Also I substituted sausage which added a little kick to it. It was delicious."

jasharpee User ID: 5091909 202071
Reviewed May. 10, 2013

"Made this with Italian Sausage and Burpee's Fresh Salsa that I froze last fall. Granddaughter gave 5 stars. I will make it this summer when I have fresh tomatoes. Uf Dah!"

zinzin User ID: 6746091 46056
Reviewed May. 9, 2013

"FYI, if you brown the meat until there is some caramelization and deglaze the pan with some red wine, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, you will have a richer flavored sauce. Use fresh herbs, oregano and basil, and you will be able to elevate this recipe from High School cafeteria style to something that will please a more sophisticated palate."

dublinlab User ID: 1682119 20026
Reviewed May. 9, 2013

"I used home canned tomatoes."

dschnell User ID: 1813559 14306
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2011

"This is an incredible dish. We season up the beef a bit more with onion powder, italian seasoning and some garlic powder to taste. I try and make this once a month!"

djbhoffman User ID: 5469229 40470
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2011

"we all love it"

cooking4-2healthy User ID: 4792034 14305
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2010

"since most felt not enough sauce I just added more tomatoes! only change added fresh garlic when cooking onions. OMG what a wonderful dish. well worth prep time. Can see many posibilities with adding olives, mushrooms or peppers, etc."

jjmtt7 User ID: 3308659 43681
Reviewed Aug. 26, 2010

"I adopted a few tips from previous rating posts and added one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes. I didn't have plum tomatoes, but instead used 3 farm fresh regular tomatoes, seeded but not peeled. My family raved how tasty it was! I will make this again as it is quick, easy and delicious."

lluvbear User ID: 1631984 44362
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2010

"This is a waste of fresh tomatoes. I had to add tomato sauce to have enough tomato flavor."

wildflower264 User ID: 3657446 18645
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2010

"You have to make this just like the recipe says. No tomatoes except plum tomatoes. Just wonderful!! Marti Miles, Florida"

mchtpr User ID: 1044345 14304
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2010

"This recipe was delicious!

My daughter and I had such a great time experimenting with peeling the tomatoes, and we were very surprised about how sweet the tomatoes were once they were peeled.
Happy memories...thanks so much!"

marjimartin User ID: 1436583 44361
Reviewed Sep. 4, 2009

"I bring a pot of water to boiling. I make a cross in the bottom of the tomatoe. Immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water three minutes and immediately place in ice water. They peel quite easily then."

tkpfister User ID: 1429387 40359
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2009

"loved this casserole. i added 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar."

acg929 User ID: 73889 16846
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2009

"How do you peel it??"

JudyUngerer User ID: 1103610 16844
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2009

"Cut the stems off and squeeze the tomatoes. Seeds come right out."

Mamasuejean User ID: 1786018 18644
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2009

"This sounds really good. I wonder if adding some chili powder would add more flavor. Makes me want to try this recipe, even though I don't have fresh tomatoes"

sandysmr User ID: 1138839 40467
Reviewed Jan. 22, 2009

"I add itialan seasonings,basil,and garlic! I am itialian i always make pasta dishes! Try puting fresh herbs like basil.

Sandy from FL"

mlandis16 User ID: 3839918 20436
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2009

"I made this recipe to try for my family and it was good but felt like something was missing or there wasn't enough favor. We liked the fresh tomatoes in it but thought it needed to have more tomato sauce in it. We have another ziti recipe we like better but will add tomatoes in that one to make it even better. Thanks!

Michele from PA"

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