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+ servings
baked ziti in baking pan

Classic Baked Ziti

Warm and comforting this is an easy-to-make classic Baked Ziti recipe filled with Italian Sausage, tomato sauce and cheese to the max!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked ziti
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 665kcal


  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1.25 lbs Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 25 oz marinara sauce I used Rao's
  • 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella drained and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella shredded


  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In another pot or deep skillet with high sides, heat pan over medium heat. Brown sausage, breaking apart as it cooks. Drain if desired. Replace back in the pan. To the cooked sausage, add olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute until mostly tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, water, basil, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves.
  • Add cooked ziti to sauce and stir to coat. Add in fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Stir to melt slightly. Pour into lightly greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, cover with lightly greased foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Top with chopped parsley (optional) and serve hot.


Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1370mg | Potassium: 817mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 356mg | Iron: 4mg