In our house there are two things I can make for dinner that everyone will eat without question, every single time. That would be anything pasta or a casserole of some sort. When I can combine the two and make a pasta casserole (better known as this easy baked ziti) it’s a real win!
This week was filled with lots of running around and extra trips out of the house for me, so our dinners had to be easy. This hearty baked ziti is one of my favorites, not just because it’s easy to make, but because it’s absolutely delicious and freezes great!
The best way I can describe this dish is a cross between ziti and lasagna. In fact maybe I should have titled this zitagna (um no, that sounds gross) or laziti (and no again, that’s just plain weird haha). Anyway, this dish has got all the goodness of baked ziti, but also has the creamy ricotta layer like lasagna! It’s Italian through and through.
Other than the fact that it’s delicious, filling, and ooey-gooey with cheese, did you hear me say it’s easy too? It really is, you can make this in pretty much one pot. I say ‘pretty much’ because I do boil the noodles in another pot, but that hardly counts, right?
Use your favorite Dutch oven (I love mine; it’s from Revol) to do the cooking, stir in the cooked pasta, top with the cheeses, and throw the whole thing in the oven. Dinner done!
- 16 ounces penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground Italian sausage
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 16 ounce container ricotta cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
- Heat dutch oven or skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and chopped onion.
- Add ground beef and sausage and cook thoroughly.
- Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in spaghetti sauce until fully combined.
- In a glass bowl mix ricotta cheese, sour cream, parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- It not using a dutch oven, transfer meat mixture to an oven-safe dish. Stir pasta into meat mixture and mix well.
- Top pasta and meat with ricotta mixture, spreading evenly.
- Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and brown around the edges.
- Let stand for 10 mintes prior to serving.
© Kristine in between. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words or link back to this post.