My Mother’s Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti Recipe, Kid-Friendly Meal

Growing up, one of my favorite dishes my mom used to make was her baked ziti. Actually, I’m pretty sure this is still my little sister’s favorite meal on earth. This baked ziti recipe is definitely the most-requested meal in my parents’ house, even now. And by far. Andddd for good reason: it’s delicious and crazy-easy to make!

In fact, this baked ziti recipe is so simple that I’m pretty sure that my grandmother who has never even turned on her oven in her house (yep, really) could make it.

So, basically, if you have no clue how to cook but need to eat (or have kiddos – the kids I babysat always loved this dish), this is the dish for you! All you need is a stove, a mixing bowl, and a large baking pan (I also like this orange one)!

Plus, who doesn’t love the combination of carbs and cheese? I mean really.

Baked Ziti Recipe Graphic

Baked Ziti

Category: Dinner, Recipes

Baked Ziti

My mother made this dish all the time when I was growing up... and it's still one of my all-time favorites! This pasta dish is always a crowd-pleaser (I mean, really: when are carbs + cheese not a crowd pleaser?!?!) and it's especially a hit with the kiddos. I actually prefer to use rigatoni when I make it since that's the way my mother made it, but you can make this dish with ziti (as outlined in the recipe), penne, or even shells.


  • 1 box of ziti noodles, prepared per instructions and drained
  • 1 24-ounce jar of pasta sauce
  • 2 cups of part-skim ricotta
  • 3/4 cup of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a lasagna pan or baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the noodles, pasta sauce, and ricotta until all of the ziti pieces are coated in sauce and ricotta.
  3. Pour the ziti mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the mixture (a thin layer will suffice) before placing the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake the ziti for 30-45 minutes, or until the dish is lightly browned on top. Serve hot.

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