Vegetarian Baked Ziti

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This vegetarian Baked ziti recipe is easy, comforting, creamy and ridiculously delicious! It is freezer friendly, customise with your favourite veggies and destined to become a family favourite!

Vegetarian baked ziti served in glass baking tray with spoons inside with mug aside.

This Vegetarian Baked Ziti recipe is super easy and delectable cheesy, saucy pasta delight is a popular dish in homes across the globe.

There is absolutely no need to fuss over this rich pasta entrée.

All you need are  basic ingredients and 10 minutes of minimal prep to have this on your table without much ado

Ziti is a baked pasta delight with lots of cheese.

My family loved this recipe for its classic, simple and delectable taste and texture of the pasta.

Since you can serve it with a variety of sides, I love the variations. I served it with bread and tossed salad with dried herbs

The yummy baked ziti ricotta makes it rich and wholesome enough to be relished all by itself.

My family loved this baked ziti recipe and I can’t wait to make it again! 

Check out my Tips section below to know how to replace ricotta with cottage cheese.

Why this recipe works:

  • Super simple ingredients that always have a place on your pantry shelf
  • Minimal preparation that involves making the paste, layering it and baking it, the ziti being ready in under an hour. 
  • Delectable taste and rich creamy texture that makes it a filling meal for any time of the day.

How to make Vegetarian Baked Ziti Recipe:

dices mushroom, tomato, onion and spices are taken in glass bowls to make ziti recipe
Take all the ingredients to make baked vegetarian ziti. Pre-heat your oven 350 degrees F/180 degrees C 10 minutes prior baking. 
cooked pasta in deep pot with wooden spoon
Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil, add enough salt and olive oil and Cook the ziti/penne pasta till al-dente. Drain out the liquid and set aside.
ricotta cheese in a glass bowl with red spatula
Take ricotta cheese in a small mixing bowl
ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and pepper powder are in glass bowl is being mixed using red spatula
Add some mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
chopped garlic is being cooked fried in oil in deep pot
Heat olive oil in a saucepan, add finely chopped garlic, stir and cook for few seconds till the flavours of garlic are completely infused in oil.
chopped onions are being is being cooked in deep pot
And then, add chopped onions.
chopped onions are cooked in saute pan
cook till the onions is translucent.
red, yellow capsicum and mushroom, onion are being sauted in deep pot
Add the veggies chopped capsicum and mushroom.
capsicum and mushroom are being sauted in deep pot
Stir and saute the vegetables for a few minutes.
a bowl of spices are being added to veggies
Then add chilli flakes, pepper powder, mixed herbs, oregano, dried basil.
red yellow diced capsicum and mushroom are being stirred using wooden spoon
Stir and cook the vegetables with the herbs and spices.
tomato puree and veggies are in sauce pan
Add tomato puree 
veggies are being cooked in tomato sauce in deep pot
cook till the tomatoes is cooked.
penne pasta is being added to sauce pan
Add the cooked pasta
pasta with tomato sauce is being cooked in deep pot
gently stir with the tomato sauce for a minute.
ricotta cheese is being added to pasta in deep pot
Add ricotta cheese
pasta is being stirred using wooden spoon in deep pot
Mix with the pasta.
pasta is in glass baking tray
Place the pasta on the baking tray.
mozzarella cheese is being added to pasta using glass baking tray
sprinkle some mozzarella cheese.
pasta is in glass baking tray
Spoon some more pasta
mozzarella cheese is being added glass baking tray to make baked ziti recipe
again layer with mozzarella cheese.
bowl is covered with aluminum foil
Cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

baked ziti recipe served in glass baking tray

Tips to prepare the best- baked ziti Recipe:

1. Bake the ziti covered so that the pasta and sauce don’t turn mushy due to excessive moisture in the oven.

2. Bake the ziti until the cheese starts bubbling in the corners and the top cheesy layer turns golden brown.

3. Do not overcook the pasta because we bake the ziti and the pasta soften during this process. Overcooked pasta turns the whole recipe mushy.

4. Once the pasta is cooked and you remove it from the flame, drain out the hot water and rinse with cold water.

This will stop the pasta from cooking further as the heat is enough to continue cooking it. We don’t want the pasta overcooked as it will further get baked in the oven. 

5. Penne pasta can be used instead of ziti pasta.

6.Veggies: You may use the veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, spinach that goes well for this recipe.

7. Replace Ricotta with cottage cheese:  cottage cheese is versatile enough to use as a replacement for ricotta however the final result may taste little creamy.

To achieve the creaminess, blend cottage cheese a few drops of milk in the blender to get a creamy ricotta cheese. 

FAQ:

1. What can I serve with Classic baked Ziti?

You can serve ziti alone or couple it with parmesan-garlic bread or an Italian marinated salad or any other side dish of your choice.

Green salad is another healthy and nutritional option that you can try.

2. Why is my baked ziti is dry?

There are many factors that make your ziti dry. Some of them are not having enough sauce, or pasta that aren’t well cooked or the moisture has evaporated.

3. What kind of cheese is best for ziti recipe?

You can use the cheese of your choice, but to get the most authentic taste you can try using this combination of cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta and provolone.

4. What is the best way to boil the pasta?

Boil the water in your pan, and add a little salt and oil. Once the water starts boiling, add the pasta and let it simmer quickly.

Boiling the pasta on a high flame will result in unevenly cooked pasta and will ruin the texture of the ziti.

Other Recipes you would like to try:

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Lasagna 

Classic Red sauce Pasta 

White sauce pasta

Pasta Carbonara

Chicken Parmigiano

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Vegetarian Baked Ziti


  • Author: Nithya Narasimhan
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes +30 minutes baking
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.5 cups ziti /penne pasta
  • 2 cups of tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup capsicum (diced)
  • 1/2 cup mushroom
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degree F/  180 degrees C.
  2. Take all the ingredients to make baked vegetarian ziti.
  3. To cook pasta:
  4. Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil, add enough salt and olive oil and Cook the ziti/penne pasta till al-dente. Drain out the liquid and set aside.
  5. To a ricotta cheese in a small mixing bowl, add some mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
  6. How to make Baked Ziti:
  7. Heat olive oil in a saucepan, add finely chopped garlic, stir and cook for few seconds till the flavours of garlic are completely infused in oil.
  8. And then, add chopped onions, cook till the onions are translucent.
  9. Add the veggies chopped capsicum and mushroom.
  10. Then add chilli flakes, pepper powder, mixed herbs, oregano, dried basil. Stir and cook the vegetables with the herbs and spices.
  11. Add tomato puree and cook till the tomatoes are cooked.
  12. Add the cooked pasta gently stir with the tomato sauce for a minute.
  13. Add ricotta cheese, mix with the pasta.
  14. To assemble:
  15. Place the pasta on the baking tray, sprinkle some mozzarella cheese.
  16. Spoon some more pasta, again layer with mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminium foil.
  17. Bake for 30 minutes.

Notes

Tips to prepare the best- baked ziti Recipe:

1. Bake the ziti covered so that the pasta and sauce don’t turn mushy due to excessive moisture in the oven.

2. Bake the ziti until the cheese starts bubbling in the corners and the top cheesy layer turns golden brown.

3. Do not overcook the pasta because we bake the ziti and the pasta soften during this process. Overcooked pasta turns the whole recipe mushy.

4. Once the pasta is cooked and you remove it from the flame, drain out the hot water and rinse with cold water.

This will stop the pasta from cooking further as the heat is enough to continue cooking it. We don’t want the pasta overcooked as it will further get baked in the oven. 

5. Penne pasta can be used instead of ziti pasta.

6.Veggies: You may use the veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, spinach that goes well for this recipe.

7. Replace Ricotta with cottage cheese:  cottage cheese is versatile enough to use as a replacement for ricotta however the final result may taste little creamy.

To achieve the creaminess, blend cottage cheese a few drops of milk in the blender to get a creamy ricotta cheese.

  • Category: Maincourse, starter,
  • Method: Stovetop and Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: vegetarian baked ziti. baked ziti recipe, ziti recipe

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6 Comments

  1. We always had homemade baked Ziti while I was growing up. My Mom served them on toast.. Brings back old memories. I will give this recipe a try. Thank you!

    1. Nithya Narasimhan says:

      Thank You Simone.

  2. Top notch. Awesome ?

    1. Nithya Narasimhan says:

      Thank You Joe.

  3. sumit jaitely says:

    Hi thanks for sharing this absolutely heavenly yummy mouthwatering recipe post with all of us on your’s great blog.

    1. Nithya Narasimhan says:

      Thank You Sumit.

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