Baked Ziti with meat is a comfort food dish that you'll go back for again and again. The combination of tender pasta, savory ground beef, and a rich tomato sauce makes for a meal that is sure to please the whole family. Easy, kid friendly luscious baked ziti recipe that will knock your socks off!
Next time, try this tasty creamy pasta.
This baked ziti recipe is very versatile and adaptive. We could eat this happily every day for the rest of our lives, it’s a major family pleaser. Add some hidden veggies to the formula, think spinach, peas, carrots...etc. Or maybe, use a different cheese mixture, play with the kind of meat, use sausage, spike up the sauce with additional herbs... trust me you can change this recipe and have it every single day with a totally new flavor. Nobody will ever complain.
❤️ Why You'll Love It
- Easily adaptable to different tastes and dietary needs
- Kid friendly recipe
- Pure comfort food that will show up frequently on your dinner table
- No special kitchen skills required and made with a handful of ingredients
Note: This is an overview of the instructions. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- We'll need to brown the ground beef first, I like to saute onion and garlic a bit then add the beef, brown then drain. This way the onions are not so crunchy which is something my kids do not like. But if you are used to browning the beef first then add the onion, it is completely ok.
- Add spices, tomato sauce and broth, let it simmer until hot and bubbly.
- Meanwhile, cook ziti pasta as directed on the package. Ladle some of the meet sauce over the pasta and mix well.
- Pour half of the pasta mixture at the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.
- Add some of the cheese then the remaining meet sauce.
- Top that with the other half of the pasta.
- Bake for 20 minutes covered, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and pop again in the oven for 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted
- Add a layer of ricotta cheese in the middle if you would like to.
- Can be made with ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
- Use whole wheat pasta, gluten free or low carb pasta.
- Make it with no meat for a vegetarian dish.
- Add some chopped vegetables like eggplant, zucchini and squash for a healthier dish.
Baked Ziti is a dish made with .. you guessed it .. ziti pasta, the Italian-American way. Usually the pasta is cooked separately from the sauce then both combined and baked. The sauce can have meat, sausage, mushrooms, pepper, onion and much much more. That;s why I told you it is very versatile and very adaptive to your liking.
If properly stored, cooked ziti will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Baked ziti is not only a family favorite but a crowd pleaser and very suitable for parties and large gatherings. You can make it two days in advance and just stop before baking. When you are ready to serve, continue as directed.
Pasta dishes freeze very well, cover with plastic wrap then foil and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready, thaw on countertop and heat it again covered in oven or in microwave.
📣 Related Recipes
Here are some of my favorite pasta dishes that my family like as well, check them out.
- A delicious lasagna without ricotta cheese. It's easy to make and tastes amazing!
- Shrimp scampi is a classic Italian dish that is made with tender, juicy shrimp and a flavorful garlic and butter sauce. Your family is going to love this simple dish.
- This is my go-to weeknight meal when I'm in the mood for something fast and comforting. Beef Stroganoff without sour cream is creamy delicious and lighter family favorite dinner.
- This meatloaf recipe is moist, old fashioned, tender with a delicious glaze. Sticky sweet and super delicious! You can eat the whole thing in one sitting – I won't tell.
- Super easy ground beef Philly cheesesteak casserole perfect family friendly one skillet dinner the entire family will love.
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Baked Ziti With Ground Beef
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1.5 lb ground beef
- ½ teaspoon cardamom ground
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ground
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt to taste
- 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup broth I’ve used chicken.
- 1 (16oz) package Ziti pasta , cooked and drained.
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in oil. Add beef and cook until no longer pink.
- Drain excess fat then return to stove top.
- Add seasonings and mix well.
- Add tomato sauce and broth then stir to combine. Cook until bubbly and hot all through. Remove from heat.
- Stir about 1.5 cup of the meat sauce into the cooked pasta.
- Put half of the pasta in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. To that with 1 cup of mozzarella and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Add the remaining sauce then the rest of the pasta, cover and pop in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese on top. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes or until cheese melts.
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First published April 2018 . Last updated December 15 2022 with important tips, clear step by step instructions and readability.