This Vegetarian Baked Ziti recipe is easy to make and is the perfect comfort food! You can make it with regular pasta, gluten-free pasta or even chickpea pasta for an alternative.

baked ziti in a white baking dish topped with parsley

A delicious and Easy Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is similar to a lasagna since they are both baked pasta dishes, but lasagna has more distinct layers and sheets of pasta.

Baked Ziti, on the other hand, is more of a mixture of pasta, sauce, cheese, possibly veggies and whatever you like! It’s a versatile recipe that is super cheesy and baked to perfection.

This Vegetarian Baked Ziti recipe is made with a homemade tomato sauce, penne pasta, (though you can use ziti or rigatoni or any tube-shaped pasta you love) ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and shredded mozerella cheese.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • This recipe is easy to make and is super cheesy. It’s vegetarian-friendly and can be easily made gluten-free by using your favourite kind of gluten-free pasta.
  • This Baked Ziti is the ultimate comfort food for a cozy night in and is perfect in the winter months when you need a bit of a heavier meal.
  • This recipe is versatile. You can add in any type of cheese or veggies you love to it!

How to make Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, prepare the tomato sauce in a pan and let it simmer on low. Once the sauce is done, mix the pasta in the sauce and layer into the baking dish.

a baking dish with penne and sauce in it

Make the ricotta and parmesan mixture and then spoon dollops onto the pasta.

a hand scooping ricotta cheese into a baking dish with penne pasta

Continue with these layers until the baking dish is full, then finally top off with some shredded mozerella cheese.

a baking dish with unbaked baked ziti in it

Bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

a close of of baked ziti in a white baking dish on a beige napkin

Is Ziti the same as Penne?

Ziti and Penne are similar types of pasta with a few distinct differences.

Ziti is a straight tube pasta with a smooth texture on the exterior. Penne is also a tube pasta, but with the ends cut on a diagonal and ridges on the exterior.

Both are delicious and work well in baked ziti. I personally love to use either Penne or Rigatoni and love that the exterior ridges hold onto the sauce and cheese.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Cook the pasta to al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t want to overcook it in the pot.
  • Salt the pasta water. Salting pasta water helps to add flavour to the noodles and will result in a super flavourful baked ziti.
  • Use good quality cheese. Parmesano Reggiano and a creamy ricotta work best.
  • If you don’t want to make homemade sauce, you can use a jar of your favourite pre-made pasta sauce.
a hand scooping up some baked ziti out of a white baking dish

More pasta recipes to try

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A close up of baked ziti topped with cheese and basil leaves

Vegetarian Baked Ziti

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This Vegetarian Baked Ziti is made with layers of pasta, tomato sauce and ricotta for a delicious comforting meal!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 810 ounces of ziti(can sub penne or rigatoni)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 12-14 oz jar tomato sauce (or marinara sauce)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozerella cheese
  • fresh basil or parsley to top

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta: add the pasta to a large pot according to package directions. While the pasta cooks prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
  2. Prepare the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and let cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and mix together. Then lower the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add pasta to the sauce: add the cooked ziti noodles to the pot of tomato sauce and mix together. 
  4. Make the ricotta filling: Mix the ricotta, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl to combine. 
  5. Assemble the baked ziti: To assemble the baked ziti, start by layering the pasta in a 9×13 baking tray, followed by dollops of the ricotta filling. Add more pasta on top then top it all off with shredded mozerella cheese.
  6. Bake: Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve: optionally top with more fresh basil and serve immediately. 

Notes

Cook the pasta to al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t want to overcook it in the pot.

Salt the pasta water. Salting pasta water helps to add flavour to the noodles and will result in a super flavourful baked ziti.

Use good quality cheese. Parmesano Reggiano and a creamy ricotta work best. If you don’t want to make homemade sauce, you can use a jar of your favourite pre-made pasta sauce.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6th recipe
  • Calories: 340
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 300mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 18g

Keywords: vegetarian baked ziti recipe, healthy baked ziti, vegetable baked ziti

If you tried this Vegetarian Baked Ziti or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!