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This Baked Ziti is comfort food at its very finest. Cheesy, gooey, with a tasty meat sauce, pasta, cheese and sour cream. Freezer friendly – this dish is a winner!
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.
This freezes amazingly well, and reheats perfectly with no loss of quality.
How to freeze Baked Ziti
- I use a half size steam table pan (affiliate) for this – measurements are 12.5″ L x 10.25″ W x 2.5” H
- ALWAYS label your containers. No one likes a mystery meal!
- Double, triple or quadruple this easily, or do an assembly line with a friend!
Kylee’s Notes & FAQs
What to do with leftovers
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat to piping hot!
- You can use any type of pasta.
- Sausage can be used in place of half of the ground beef.
- Fresh mozzarella can be used in between the layers for a thick, gooey cheesy center.
What to serve with Baked Ziti
Make some garlic bread and a Caesar salad to go along with this, it pairs perfectly.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Olive oil – you’ll use this to saute the onion and garlic. I like to use a light olive oil for this
- Onion – dice it up finely, it adds flavor to the meat sauce!
- Garlic cloves – this recipe uses a LOT of garlic. Garlic is something I don’t skimp on, and double it often!
- Ground beef – I use a reasonably low fat version of ground beef. The 97/3 blend is great, as there is plenty of flavor/fat in the other ingredients.
- Pasta sauce – use your favorite kind! I make my own pasta sauce (in the crockpot), but if I’m out, a good quality jarred version is just fine
- Salt and pepper, italian seasoning – these are to your own personal taste. Do taste your sauce before assembling your dishes, so you know it’s seasoned well!
- Pasta – this can actually be made with any kind of pasta. I use rigatoni, ziti, penne – those kinds of shapes work best
- Provolone cheese – I get this pre sliced from the grocery or warehouse store, it makes life easier!
- Mozzarella cheese – stock up!! You’ll need a lot. And, like garlic, more is always better!
- Sour cream – don’t be weirded out!! This makes a wonderfully creamy consistency in the middle of the pasta, and is not to be missed!!
- Parmesan cheese – pre shredded is okay (I used it in the pics below), but fresh grated is always better!
How to make Baked Ziti:
I made you a photo-visual guide to show you how easy it is! See? I have used 2 smaller pans vs a 9×13 or a half size steam table pan in the pictures.
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 a 9×13 pan, layer ingredients in order (see pictures):
- Meat sauce
- Sour cream
- Meat sauce
- Finish with parmesan
To eat immediately
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.
Want more pasta recipes? Of course you do!
Want more Easy Pasta Recipes?
Chili Mac with Turkey. We’re bringing childhood back! Lightened-up with turkey vs beef, and made in one pan – this one is a family favorite!
Skillet Mac & Cheese. Comfort food at its finest, this skillet mac & cheese is so easy! Just the skillet and a pasta pot, the and a quick broil, and this is ready FAST!
Florentine Chicken Lasagna Rolls Spinach, garlic, and cheese are all winners for this weeknight dinner! Delicious homemade Alfredo sauce is the key to these!
Ham Tetrazzini. A super-fast weeknight dinner, this Ham Tetrazzini is a spin on the traditional version and is sure to please the whole family.
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Baked Ziti (Freezer Friendly)
- 2 lb dry ziti pasta
- 24 slices provolone cheese
- 2 lb mozzarella cheese grated
- 32 oz sour cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 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. Set aside for assembly.
- In each pan, layer ingredients in order (see below picture):PastaProvoloneMozzarellaMeat sauceSour cream
- Then repeat:PastaProvoloneMozzarellaMeat sauce
- Finish withParmesan
To eat immediately
- 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
- thaw, bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly around the top/sides.