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Baked ziti being lifted from white pan after being baked
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Baked Ziti Recipe

Loaded with savory sausage, Italian herbs, red-wine tomato sauce, tender pasta, and rich, melty cheese, this Baked Ziti recipe is a cozy dinner the whole family will love!
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage
  • salt to taste I used seasoned salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes can
  • 10 oz tomato sauce can
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes if desired
  • 8 oz zit pasta cooked and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese up to 2 cups
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Add olive oil to a medium large sized pot over medium high heat on the stove.
  • Add Italian sausage (or ground turkey), onion, green pepper and salt and pepper. Brown until cooked.
  • Next add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Then add in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, red wine, Italian seasoning, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened about 15-20 minutes then remove from heat.
  • Stir in cooked ziti pasta then add pasta and sauce to a greased baking dish, top with cheese then add to the oven and allow the cheese to become melty and browned (about 10-20 minutes- you can also put under the broiler if you want it more browned).
  • Cool for 15 minutes then sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Notes

To save time, you can also use a jar of favorite tomato sauce.
To reheat refrigerated baked ziti in the microwave: Place the baked ziti into a microwave-safe dish and pour a few drops of water or milk over it. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and cook for 1 ½ minute on medium power, then check to see if it is warm. If it is still not warm all the way through, continue to heat in 15-second increments, which helps to ensure that the pasta doesn’t overcook and dry out.
To reheat frozen baked ziti in the microwave: Cover and heat in the microwave on high heat for 5 minutes. As with the microwaving method listed above, check on your baked ziti after this time is up, and if it hasn’t heated fully through, continue to heat in small increments of time, ideally 15 seconds, until it is fully heated.
To reheat refrigerated baked ziti in the oven: Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.
To reheat frozen baked ziti in the oven: Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.