Main Dishes/ Pasta/ Step By Step Recipes/ Vegetarian

Baked Ziti With Ricotta

August 7, 2014 (Last Updated: February 16, 2018)

Baked Ziti With Ricotta |

Pasta and cheese is one of those perfect flavor combinations that nearly everyone loves. There is no doubt that it’s my favorite comfort food! Especially when it’s loaded with tons of cheese… Oh yeah, I know it’s sinful… But it’s oh SO GOOD and sometimes I just CAN’T resist!

Like today… I couldn’t resist and made a fabulous dinner of ziti pasta with ricotta. So simple and so delicious! If you don’t believe me, I will show you. 😉 Once you try this dish, you’ll find yourself craving it again and again. Trust me, I know what I’m saying.

I have taken some step-by-step photos and now I want to share this with you. Personally, I just love recipes with step-by-step pics! They make you feel like you’re right there in the kitchen!

This recipe is focused on bringing three main elements together: ziti + tomato sauce + cheeses. Pretty simple, yeah? Let’s start by cooking the pasta. Make sure you DO NOT overcook your pasta, since the cooking process will continue in the oven. Now it’s time to prepare the sauce. Of course, you can buy it, but nothing beats a homemade one made just to your own liking!

Homemade Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce |

I didn’t add any meat to my pasta sauce. I think you’ve noticed that. Some may ask… Why? Because this pasta has LOTS of ricotta cheese instead. Actually, three sorts of cheese – ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan. A match made in foodie heaven!

My husband is all about meat and I am more of a “cheese, cheese, cheese!” type of person. But this baked ziti was absolutely delicious and we both liked it a lot!

Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce |

Okay, let’s continue. When the sauce is done, let it cool a bit. Meanwhile, mix together some ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese along with an egg. Add some salt and pepper. Now, add about half of the sauce to the cheese mixture and throw in the cooked pasta. Toss gently until the sauce coats the pasta. Mmmm…. Yummy!

How to Make Baked Ziti With Ricotta |

So now we come to the most interesting part – assembling the casserole! Pour half of the sauced pasta into a big baking dish and add dollops of the ricotta cheese with a spoon.

Ziti Baked with Ricotta Cheese |

Add the rest of the pasta and sauce on top and press the pasta down gently so it doesn’t stick above the sauce too much. Top with dollops of the ricotta cheese and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella. Voila!

How to Make Baked Ziti |

And now… the hardest part of the recipe – wait until it is baked! It’s only 20 minutes, but it’s so hard to wait! At this point, your mouth will probably start to water… Mine sure did when I saw this beauty come out of the oven!!

Easy Baked Ziti With Ricotta |

I can’t even look at these photos without getting a massive craving for it! Seriously, my stomach is rumbling right now thinking about this baked ziti with ricotta!

Baked Ziti with Three Cheeses |

Sorry guys, I have to leave you here all alone. I really want a bowl of this deliciousness right now! 🙂

Baked Ziti with Ricotta Cheese |

Serve with some garlic bread and enjoy! Baked Ziti With Ricotta |

Baked Ziti With Ricotta

Baked Ziti With Ricotta

4.67 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Author: Yummy Addiction


  • 1 16 oz. (450g) package ziti pasta
  • 2 cups (16 oz. or 450g) ricotta cheese , divided
  • 1 cup (4 oz. or 115g) shredded mozzarella cheese (you can add more if you want it extra cheesy), divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese , divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 28 oz. (800g) can crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves , packed, plus more for garnishing, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and saute for 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste, and chopped basil leaves. Let the sauce simmer on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool (makes about 2 1/2 cups).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese along with an egg. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in about 1 1/2 cups of cooked tomato sauce. Pour the pasta into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to coat.
  • To assemble the casserole, add half of the coated pasta to a baking dish, then dot the surface with 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese. Add the rest of the pasta and sauce on top and press the pasta down gently so it doesn't stick above the sauce too much. Top with dollops of the remaining ricotta cheese and sprinkle on top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional fresh chopped basil, if desired, and serve.


You can add more mozzarella or Parmesan cheese if you want it extra cheesy.



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  • Reply
    December 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I found this recipe a long time ago in Woman’s World magazine and made it. But after that first time I lost the recipe and couldn’t find it again. Thank you so much for posting this. I really enjoyed this when I made it that first time.

    • Reply
      December 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      You’re welcome, Mia!

  • Reply
    Adriana Mayorga
    January 14, 2015 at 12:32 am

    How would I split this recipe for 2-4 people? Or if I make it all can this be frozen? If so at what point?

    • Reply
      February 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

      Hi Adriana! Yes, you can freeze it, just prepare the ziti but do not bake. Cover it tightly with foil and freeze. Hope it helps!

      • Reply
        July 3, 2019 at 6:38 pm

        Very helpful to me 🤩 thank you!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Today is the 4th time I’m making this and I went with crushed tomatoes instead. It came out much more closer to yours pictured. Is that what you actually use? When I’ve used diced I’ve never found a 28 oz can. Just 14.5. And the last time I added a little marinara sauce to make it a little saucier. Not to worry though…every time I’ve made it it’s heaven! Tonight it’s even better! Thank you!

    • Reply
      December 28, 2015 at 1:06 am

      I agree. My sauce with diced tomatoes looks very different from the pic. Smells good and can’t wait to eat it! But I think I’ll do crushed next time. Just doesn’t look “saucy” enough.

    • Reply
      February 17, 2016 at 4:23 am

      Thanks for the recipe! I just made this tonight and mine did not look like the picture. I also used the diced tomatoes as the recipe called for. I think it would be better with crushed tomatoes instead to make it more like a sauce.3 stars

      • Reply
        February 19, 2016 at 4:33 pm

        Sorry guys and gals, it seems that canned diced tomatoes in my county differ from yours 🙁 In your case it’s really better to go with crushed ones! Thanks for you comments!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    I am about to put mine in the oven. Only difference was I had my own homemade sauce frozen so alot less steps and work. It’s looks like it’s going to be amazing! I’ll post after I mow down.

    • Reply
      April 1, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      I’m making tonight with my daughter. Canned tomatoes! You can always use a blender and use whole tomatoes abdbthen they are crushed. Easy peasy or you can hand crush the tomatoes from the can. if you use diced you can use a potato masher to smash and they will be crushed or just buy the sauce if you are lazy

  • Reply
    December 27, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    This was soooo good! My family just loved it, and I totally get what you mean about it being addicting! Thank you for sharing. 🙂5 stars

    • Reply
      December 30, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks, Linda! You’re welcome! 😉

  • Reply
    February 19, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Made it three times already, one of my favorites! Only now decided to leave a comment and thank you. It’s better late than never, right? Thanks!5 stars

  • Reply
    carla amdur
    December 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I bought shredded parmigean cheese by accident, will that be ok or do I need to go back and buy the block to grate?

    • Reply
      December 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Hi Carla, no worries, shredded cheese will be perfectly fine 🙂

  • Reply
    January 27, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I made that last night on a quick diner Friday night. It is amazing! I did use the crushed tomatoes like some ladies suggest on the comments. It was delicious, kids approve.5 stars

    • Reply
      January 30, 2017 at 7:52 am

      I am so happy you and your kids loved this pasta, Karina 🙂

  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 1:11 am

    I made this last night for dinner. I used whole wheat corkscrew pasta. Very good. I have three adult sons living with us (in college right now) and they all loved it.5 stars

    • Reply
      March 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      I am so happy to hear it, Becky. Thanks for the comment!

  • Reply
    Colleen Dunaway
    May 10, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Great recipe! I’ve made it several times and it never fails to impress! I’ll admit I also add 1/2 pound of crumbled mild Italian sausage, as well. Great dish, great steps, and easy to follow.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    My favorite baked ziti recipe.5 stars

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