How To Make The Best Baked Ziti :: Moist And Delicious Easy Dinner Recipes!

Easy Dinner Recipes - Baked Ziti
Easy Dinner Recipes - Baked Ziti

Moist and Delicious Baked Ziti!

Like many people, I never bothered to make Baked Ziti – it always seems to be bland and mushy or dry and flavorless. The noodles usually get overcooked, and then the whole mess dries out in the oven when it gets baked.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a recipe for Baked Ziti that had perfectly al dente pasta covered with a creamy tomato sauce? Well here it is!

There are some easy Italian recipes for Baked Ziti, but going the easy way leads to a dry and bland result! Sure, this “easy” dinner recipe has a lot of steps - we’ll be making 2 different kinds of homemade sauce - but none of those steps are difficult, and after the first few attempts you’ll be able to turn this out in no time at all!

The key to the great taste of this Baked Ziti recipe is in the sauce! We’ll use two different kinds of canned tomatoes for the Tomato Sauce, and Heavy Cream and Cottage Cheese for a simple Alfredo Sauce. The combination of these two sauces ensures that our Baked Ziti stays moist! And you can use these quick and easy recipes for the Sauces on their own, too!

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ziti

Tomato sauce

  • 2 tbls Olive Oil
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 14½ oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • ½ cup Fresh Basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp Sugar

Alfredo sauce

  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ¾ tsp Corn Starch
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 lb Cottage Cheese
  • ¾ cup Mozzarella, cut into ¼ inch cubes

Topping

  • ¾ cup Mozzarella, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • ½ cup Grated Parmesan
  • Fresh Basil, coarsely chopped


Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Add the Oil and Garlic to a cold Non-Stick Saucepan and turn the heat to medium
  3. Once Garlic becomes fragrant (but not brown!), add the Tomato Sauce and Dried Oregano to the Saucepan
  4. Simmer about 10 minutes until thickened
  5. Turn off the heat and add the Basil, Sugar, Salt and Pepper
  6. Set Tomato Sauce aside for later
  7. Boil the Ziti in salted water for half the amount of time indicated on the package (about 5 minutes)
  8. Drain the Ziti and set aside for later
  9. Beat the Eggs in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir in the Cottage Cheese
  10. Dissolve the Corn Starch in the Heavy Cream to form a slurry
  11. Pour the Cream slurry into the same pot you used to cook the Ziti and cook it over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes
  12. Remove the Cream from heat
  13. Whisk the Egg & Cottage Cheese mixture into the Cream
  14. Add 1 cup of Tomato Sauce, 1 cup of Parmesan and ¾ cups Mozzarella to the mixture
  15. Stir to combine, then add the Ziti and stir to coat
  16. Pour the mixture into the Casserole dish
  17. Top with remaining Tomato Sauce, Parmesan and Mozzarella
  18. Cover the Casserole with foil and cook from 30 minutes
  19. Remove the foil and cook another 30 minutes
  20. Remove Casserole from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes
  21. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • While heavy cream is best, you can substitute Whole Milk – just add an extra 2 tsps of Corn Starch and cook it from an additional 2 minutes
  • Don’t substitute low-fat Cottage Cheese! It doesn’t have enough fat to thicken the Alfredo Sauce
  • You can add Italian Sausage if you like – Cut the Sausage into 1 inch chunks and cook it in the Saucepan with the Olive Oil before you make the sauce. Remove the cooked Sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon. Then add the Garlic to the pan and continue as above

Comments 14 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Mmmmmmm! Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.


rkhyclak profile image

rkhyclak 6 years ago from Ohio

Well it's after 11pm where I am and this just made me HUNGRY! This sounds delicious :) Bookmarking this to use later!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Looks and sounds very tasty. Thank you for sharing.


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Thanks for this recipe. I love ziti.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago

Something with lasagna taste & ease of goulash! Eating quicker is always better! Ziti is my favorite Mac & Cheese noodle!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Your ziti recipe sounds and looks like it would be absolutely delicious. I like your name.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

This sounds great, and hopefully will resolve the too dried out/too mushy dilemma that usually prevents me from making ziti.

Namaste.


iantoPF profile image

iantoPF 6 years ago from Sunny California

Now you've given me a great idea for a Hub. :) Thanks.

Apart from that I'm printing this out and passing it to the wife. She may just treat me.


iantoPF profile image

iantoPF 6 years ago from Sunny California

Hope you don't mind the double post but;

Great Idea, Hub is done and the wife is going to treat me with this recipe for our anniversary dinner. :)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

Now this looks really yummy. A Baked Ziti Recipe is one I must add to my list of best recipes!

K9


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

I love easy meals and this one doesn't look to complicated. I also love Ziti very much. Thanks for sharing this.


techinfo profile image

techinfo 6 years ago from Rohtak, Haryana, India

Its really very delicious. Thanks for sharing.


Carla 6 years ago

I made this recipe for my family this weekend and it was a hit. The best baked ziti we have ever eaten. Thank you for sharing


Zakmoonbeam profile image

Zakmoonbeam 5 years ago from Parts Unknown

Never heard of Ziti before, but very much looking forward to trying it out !

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