F Quick Dinner-Ziti Bake - Just~One~Donna

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quick Dinner-Ziti Bake

Quick Ziti Bake for Dinner
How are you doing this week before Christmas?  If you are like me you are starting to feel like there is too much to do and too little time to get it all done.  The last thing you need to worry about is what to have for dinner. 

This ziti bake recipe is a delicious, hearty main dish perfect for a cold December evening.  It takes just a few minutes to assemble the ingredients and then 45 minutes in the oven.  You can make it ahead, even freeze it ready for the oven.  What's not to love?

I decided to make this ziti bake last night for dinner, but in checking my pantry and refrigerator I found I didn't have any ricotta cheese. 

Fresh Ricotta Cheese
What I did have was the milk, cream and vinegar needed to make my own batch of homemade ricotta.  OK, you can stop rolling your eyes, right now.  I made that ricotta cheese in less time than it would have taken me to run to the grocery store and buy some, and you can do it, too. 

Read my post on homemade ricotta cheese and you'll see just how easy it is.  That homemade ricotta cheese made the ziti bake creamier than any store bought ricotta would have, too.

Ziti Bake
Serves 8
Ziti Bake Ingredients
  • 1 16 ounce package of ziti
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 24 ounce jar of prepared spaghetti sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook the pasta per the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef in a skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat, until well browned.  Dark, crunchy bits on your beef will enhance the flavor of the overall dish, so be sure to let your beef get brown.  Season with the salt and pepper.

Brown the Beef Well for Added Flavor

Drain the pasta.  Add the ricotta cheese, the egg, half of the sauce, the Parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese to the browned beef.  Stir to combine.  Mix the pasta and the beef mixture together in the pan you cooked the pasta in.  Stir well to coat the pasta with the sauce. 
Mix the Cheeses and the Beef

Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Spread the remaining sauce over the pasta.  Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Top with Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with your favorite green vegetable for a satisfying meal.

Hot and Bubbly Ziti Bake

Get the printable Ziti Bake recipe by clicking the link.



  1. This does sound like a quick recipe. I think I will make on Monday since I'm off from work. Once again, thanks Donna! I have made at least 5 of your recipes and you haven't disappointed me yet!

  2. TheProDiva, lucky you to have next week off. This is a great dish because it is quick to make and left-overs reheat well. Happy to hear you've been cooking. Divas do cook...


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