Baked Ziti with ricotta is true comfort food. Ziti pasta loaded with ground meat, marinara, and ricotta and topped with cheese. It’s a baked casserole recipe loved by kids and adults alike.

Baked ziti in a white casserole dish topped with fresh chopped greens and black pepper.

We just love pasta dinners. From the popular chicken scampi to the simple cajun pasta with a kick or even our new favorite, our beef goulash recipe!

Baked Ziti With Ricotta Video-

Watch Valentina make the easy baked ziti with ricotta recipe! Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any video recipes.

Baked Ziti Recipe-

Baked ziti pasta is a popular Italian-American dish made with ziti pasta, a meaty tomato sauce and loaded with cheese. This dish is like taking a classic lasagna recipe recipe and saucy bolognese and combining the two.

Baked ziti with ricotta cheese on a white casserole dish next to a rag and shredded cheese.

Serve with-

There are so many different side dishes that go with the baked ziti. Aside from the classic breadsticks or an easy tomato salad, here are some of our favorite options:

Step by step collage on how to make  homemade baked ziti recipe.

How to Make Baked Ziti-

A baked casserole doesn’t get any easier than this one!

  1. Cook pasta– Cook the pasta al dente!
  2. Brown meat– Saute the meat with onions. Add the garlic and season.
  3. Add marinara– Stir in the marina and tomatoes.
  4. Combine– Add the cooked pasta to the meat sauce.
  5. Casserole dish– Transfer half the mixture to the casserole dish. Spread half of the ricotta cheese, then add half the mozzarella and parmesan. Repeat with the second layer.
  6. Bake– Cover the dish with foil. Bake the ziti and enjoy.
Step by step collage on how to assemble the baked ziti in a white casserole dish.

Frequently asked questions-

Can I add vegetables?

Yes, definitely. Cubed bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms or zucchini will all work great. Just add when sautéing the meat.

What other meat can I use?

Italian sausage, turkey or chicken will all work great instead of the beef. You’ll want to just season to taste.

Can I use a different pasta?

We used the classic ziti for the recipe but you can substitute for penne or rigatoni.

Can I substitute ricotta cheese?

You can substitute for the ricotta with small curd cottage cheese.

A spoon full of baked ziti with ground beef, cheese and sauce.

Made ahead-

This is a great dish to make ahead. Completely make the recipe up to 2 days in advance. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Then, just bake per instruction.


  • How long will it last? Once baked, refrigerate in an airtight container, the ziti will last 4 days. Reheat to serve.
  • Freezing baked ziti– To freeze the baked ziti, you’ll want to prepare per instruction but do not bake. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake per instructions.

More Pasta Recipes to Try-

Baked Ziti Recipe (with Ricotta)

Author: Valentina
5 from 27 votes
This baked ziti with ricotta dish makes the perfect meal when you’re looking for something filling, tasty, and accessible. Tender pasta in a rich marinara with cheese baked until bubbly. This is the best make-ahead casserole.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp iItalian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 32 oz marinara sauce
  • 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 16 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded shredded
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  • Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  • Add ground beef and onion into a large skillet. Over medium-high heat, brown meat, breaking it up as it cooks.
  • Once the meat is mostly cooked, add garlic and seasoning.
  • Add the marinara sauce and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a light simmer, and then add in the pasta.
  • Into a 9×13 casserole dish, pour a layer of the pasta mixture. Add half the ricotta in an even layer. Then sprinkle half of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Add the remaining pasta and finish with a layer of the remaining cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese bubbles.
  • Serve, and enjoy friends!


  • Pasta: Boil pasta to Al dente for the best texture. 
  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: Assemble the pasta in a freezer-safe dish, and don’t bake. Freeze and store for up to 2 months. When you are ready to cook, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as usual.


695kcal Calories58g Carbs40g Protein34g Fat17g Saturated Fat2g Polyunsaturated Fat11g Monounsaturated Fat1g Trans Fat118mg Cholesterol1448mg Sodium905mg Potassium5g Fiber9g Sugar1276IU Vitamin A14mg Vitamin C514mg Calcium4mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Baked Ziti Recipe (with Ricotta)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 695 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 1448mg63%
Potassium 905mg26%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 1276IU26%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 514mg51%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)