Baked Ziti - Another Quick and Tasty Weeknight Meal!

This is one we've started making a little more often around here, and some of the ingredients seem to vary based on what we have in the fridge and are in the mood for! Right now our refrigerator is pretty full so I didn't want to just make something brand new, and instead decided on a dish that would allow me to use up a few of the tupperwares in the fridge and hopefully make some space instead of take up more (since we ALWAYS have at least some leftovers!)

So, with that in mind I decided to go with ziti! Italian generally goes over well at our house anyway, and this has become a quick and easy meal that makes it great for a weeknight dinner.

 I started with a 1/2 box of ziti, red pepper, onion, about 1/2 lb of ground sausage, most of a large can of spaghetti sauce and about 1 1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms.

 I diced up the pepper and onion.

 And veggie went with the meat in a skillet over medium heat while the pasta was started.

 After about 15 minutes the meat and veggie mixture was cooked through and getting tender and the pasta noodles were tender and ready to be drained.

 The noodles were strained before being dumped in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. (And man they were a little on the clumpy side! I had to break several of them up for even stirring once everything was in the baking dish!)

In went the meat and veggie mixture followed by the sauce!

Next it was time for some seasoning and cheese of course!

  First a little grated Parmesan followed by about a tsp each (to taste) of garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

 I stirred gently until everything was evenly mixed (and of course taste tested a noodle, or two, or three to make sure it tasted right!!)

Finished the ziti off with a lovely layer of fantastic mozzarella and then popped it in the pre-heated oven!

 30 minutes later an ooey-gooey melted cheese covered pasta dish emerged from the oven... mmm... cheese...

Served up with a side of Caesar salad (what can I say - we're boring around here, the boys love a fresh Caesar with anything remotely Italian) this was a delicious and easy weeknight dinner that we all really enjoyed!

8 ounces ziti
1 26-oz can/jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb ground sausage
1-2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or to taste)
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella (to desired cheesiness!)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine prepared vegetables and ground sausage in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes total. Meanwhile cook ziti according to package directions.

2. When ziti and meat and veggies are cooked through, drain the ziti and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Add meat and veggies to the pasta and then add the spaghetti sauce, grated Parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Stir gently to combine evenly. Top with 3-4 cups of shredded mozzarella.

3. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese has completely melted.


  1. This looks fantastic! I love baked ziti, I am going to try this one! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I hope you and yours enjoy too if you get the chance to try this one - I love easy go-to meals for work night dinners! :)

  3. Baked ziti is one of my comfort foods. Wonderful dish.


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