Comfort food at its very very finest. Cheesy, gooey, and absolutely delicious. This baked ziti has a tasty meat sauce, mixed with pasta, cheese and sour cream. Freezer friendly – this dish is a winner!
A while ago, a good friend of mine brought several pans of baked ziti over to my house while I was unexpectedly called away to New Zealand. I had to leave the husband behind, and it was a particularly stressful time for me. Being so far away, and worrying about things back home was really tough. I shouldn’t be worrying about “is my husband eating well?” but I did, and I do.
At the time, the husband was a
terrible awful horrible not the best cook and before I married him, he was on first name terms with all the delivery places near our house. My friend (Hi, Courtney!) stepped in and dropped off several pans of this ziti to my house. It really set my mind at ease, knowing that he was eating home made food, and not take out 100% of the time.
[Tweet “Get this awesome baked #ziti #dinner – #freezerfriendly and #delicious!”]
When I returned home 3 weeks later, there was just one pan left – and I was able to try it. You guys… if there was ever a dish that could be described as “comfort in a bowl” it’s this baked ziti. The husband raved about it so much, that my friend actually made him 5 pans of it one year as a Christmas gift! Now, THAT’S a gift!!!
I have made it several times since, and I now feel like I got the ratios right. Leftovers are jealously guarded, and gleefully eaten when the other one of us isn’t around (so we don’t have to share).
I made 4 pans, 3 for the freezer and one to eat that night – as this freezes amazingly well, and reheats perfectly with no loss of quality.
This is a great meal to have hanging about for when you want to help another family out with a meal (we have given pans to our neighbors when they have babies, surgery or other life events), or to have as backup in the freezer for when you need something delicious for dinner yourself.
I EVEN made you a photo-visual guide to show you how easy it is!
This recipe makes 4 x 5lb loaf pans (the really big loaf pans), adjust for your pans.
Want more yummy pasta? Of course you do!
Comfort food at its very very finest. Cheesy, gooey, and absolutely delicious. A tasty meat sauce, mixed with pasta, cheese and sour cream. Freezer friendly – this dish is a winner!
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 cups onion diced finely
- 8 large garlic cloves minced
- 4 lb ground beef
- 4 24oz cans/bottles pasta sauce or make your own
- italian seasoning to taste
- 2 lb dry ziti pasta (I use rigatoni, often)
- 24 slices provolone cheese
- 2 lb mozzarella cheese grated
- 32 oz sour cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
In a dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the onion until translucent.
Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the ground beef, and brown.
Add the pasta sauce and seasonings – bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Test for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.
Cook the pasta until al dente, and drain
In each pan, layer ingredients in order (see pictures):
Finish with parmesan
Bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for about 30 minutes, or until it bubbles around the top/sides.
Cool completely, and top with foil. Wrap with plastic wrap.
Cooking from frozen:
Bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for an hour, or until fully heated through.