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Baked Ziti

5 from 19 votes
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You’ll only need 6 ingredients to make this cozy baked ziti recipe full of tender noodles and cheesy goodness. Serve it with a simple side salad and a slice of crusty bread, or some buttermilk biscuits!

Why You’ll Love This Baked Ziti Recipe

  • Easy. Just cook the pasta, then mix the noodles with sauce and assemble your ziti. Bake until bubbly, then dig in. That’s it!
  • Cheesy. In addition to melty mozzarella cheese on top, there is a layer of cheesy goodness in the middle of this baked ziti recipe.
  • Can be made ahead. Assemble the ziti up to two days in advance, then pop it in the oven when you’re ready to bake. You can also freeze this pasta casserole either before or after it is baked.

Ingredient Notes

There are only 6 ingredients in this recipe. Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Ziti noodles – We like to use ziti rigati, which has little ridges on each noodle. You can also use cavatappi, penne, rigatoni or rotini. Basically any kind of short tubular noodle works.
  • Pasta sauce – If we are not using homemade pasta sauce, then Newman’s Own marinara sauce is our favorite. Feel free to use your preferred brand of pasta sauce.
  • Sour cream – This adds creaminess and a touch of tang to the bottom layer of your baked ziti.
  • Provolone cheese – Just a few slices from the deli counter, sliced thin.
  • Fresh mozzarella – You’ll need one ball cut into thin slices. They will be layered on top of the provolone cheese to create a super cheesy layer in the middle of the pasta.
  • Shredded mozzarella – Most of this will be sprinkled on top of the pasta before baking.

In addition to the above ingredients, you can garnish your finished pasta dish with a few fresh basil leaves. They add a nice pop of color!

Serving Suggestions

I usually serve baked ziti with a spring mix salad and slices of crusty bread, or buttermilk biscuits. If it’s summer and the garden is going strong, a kale Caesar salad is another great pick along with some zucchini biscuits. (Recipes for those two options coming soon!)

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge. Allow your pasta to cool to room temperature, then cover your baking dish with saran wrap or transfer the pasta to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
    • To reheat, simply scoop your desired amount into a microwave safe bowl and zap it until heated through. I recommend only microwaving single-servings, pausing halfway through the heating time to give your pasta a stir.
  • Freezer. If you have baked your pasta, let it cool completely then cover it with freezer-grade saran wrap and a layer of aluminum foil. If your pasta has not been baked yet, prep it the same way. You can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    • To reheat, allow the pasta to thaw overnight in the fridge, then remove the saran wrap and foil. (You can re-use the foil for the initial baking time.) Make sure it has completely thawed, then bake according to the original recipe instructions. You will need to add about 10 minutes to the covered baking time since your pasta will be quite cold when you go to bake it.

More Pasta Dinner Ideas

Baked Ziti

5 from 19 votes
This easy baked ziti recipe uses simple ingredients to make a creamy, cheesy, totally delicious pasta casserole.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 box ziti, 16-oz, we use Ronzoni Ziti Rigati
  • 1 jar Newmans Own Marinara Sauce, 24-oz, or your preferred brand
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 slices Provolone cheese
  • 2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella, divided use
  • 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella, 8-oz, sliced
  • A couple fresh basil leaves, optional garnish


  • Prep your tools. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with PAM.
  • Cook the pasta. Cook the ziti according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Combine cooked pasta and pasta sauce. In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta with the jar of pasta sauce.
  • Assemble the baked ziti. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the bottom of your baking dish.
    Next, spoon 1/2 cup of sour cream over the pasta, and use the back of a spoon to spread it out a bit.
    Follow with a layer of provolone cheese. Top with the slices of fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella on top.
    Spoon the rest of the pasta mixture over the cheese layer. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella on top.
  • Bake. Cover ziti with aluminum foil lightly sprayed with PAM to prevent sticking. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
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Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 927mg | Potassium: 606mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1150IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 403mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as a courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
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