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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baked ziti in a white baking dish topped with parsley

Vegetarian Baked Ziti

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

  • 810 ounces of ziti, penne or rigatoni, cooked al dente
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups spinach (optional)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozerella cheese
  • fresh basil or parsley to top

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium non-stick pan and add the garlic cloves, letting cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes before adding the chopped tomateos, spinach, orgenao, chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir the sauce together and let cook down on low for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix the ricotta and parmesan cheese together. Set aside.
  4. To assemble the baked ziti, start by layering sauce in a 9×13 baking tray, followed by the pasta, and the ricotta. Repeat until the dish is full then top with shredded mozerella cheese.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Top with fresh basil or parsley and serve.

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: 315
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 300mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 18g

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

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