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5 from 13 votes

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

Easy Baked Ziti is a meaty baked pasta smothered in a cream cheese tomato sauce. It's great for feeding a crowd!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 10
Author: Lil' Luna


  • 1 (16-ounce) package ziti pasta
  • ½ pound ground beef 80% lean / 20% fat
  • ½ pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1 ½-2 cups marinara sauce (we love Rao’s)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt with parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook ground beef and Italian sausage in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring and breaking up into small pieces, until no longer pink (about 7-10 minutes). Drain fat and set saucepan aside.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, combine marinara sauce, tomatoes, cream cheese and sour cream and cook until well blended and cream cheese is melted, stirring often.
  • Add the pasta and sauce to the saucepan with ground beef and mix well. Add garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
  • Pour into a greased 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Top with fresh mozzarella and shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  • Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.



Make Ahead: Prepare as directed through Step 6, but do not add the cheeses. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before adding the cheese and baking. 
Variations: You can use all ground beef or all sausage instead of a combination of meat for the sauce, or even substitute the beef for ground turkey or chicken. And while this is called Baked Ziti, you can easily change the pasta to shells, wagon wheels, penne, bow-ties or any other similar-sized pasta. Whatever shape you use, be sure to undercook it because it will finish cooking when it is baked in the oven.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 840mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 616IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 1mg