From saucy noodles to melted cheese, this baked ziti recipe is comfort food at its finest. We like a 50-50 combination of ground beef and Italian turkey sausage, but you can use just 1 pound of either, if you prefer. Rather than using jarred meat sauce, making your own helps cut back on sodium. Fresh basil leaves finish this dish that the whole family will love., February 2023


Credit: Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350℉. 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook ziti (or penne) according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to the pot; set aside.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and sausage; cook, stirring often to break the meat into crumbles, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and any juices in the pan have evaporated, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook, stirring often, until the flavors have melded and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.

  • Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spreading evenly to coat the bottom of the dish. Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the drained pasta; add half of the pasta to the baking dish and spread evenly. Dollop half of the ricotta evenly over the pasta, then top evenly with the remaining pasta. Spoon the remaining sauce evenly over the pasta, then dollop evenly with the remaining ricotta. Mound mozzarella in spaces without ricotta. 

  • Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly and the cheese has melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 cups
561 calories; protein 34g; carbohydrates 58g; dietary fiber 8g; sugars 9g; fat 24g; saturated fat 11g; mono fat 8g; poly fat 2g; cholesterol 88mg; vitamin a iu 1111IU; vitamin b3 niacin 7mg; vitamin b12 1mcg; vitamin c 8mg; vitamin d iu 11IU; vitamin e iu 2IU; folate 62mg; vitamin k 7mg; sodium 715mg; calcium 364mg; iron 5mg; magnesium 97mg; phosphorus 512mg; potassium 523mg; zinc 5mg; omega 6 fatty acid 1g; niacin equivalents 11mg; selenium 66mcg.