San Giorgio baked ziti is wildly hearty, meaty, cheesy, and it’s a lot easier to make than you think.
If you’re looking for comfort food that can feed a crowd, look no further.
Complete with al dente noodles, meaty marinara, and loads of melted cheese on top, this baked ziti is the casserole of your dreams.
It has similar flavors to lasagna, but it’s so much simpler to make.
With a baked ziti, you won’t have to worry about preparing so many different components and arranging them into layers.
Believe me, once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to make it again and again… and again.
San Giorgio Baked Ziti
Baked ziti is an American casserole with Italian origins. It’s ziti noodles loaded with meat sauce and cheese and baked until bubbly.
The result is a ridiculously cozy and filling meal that will surely disappear in a snap.
You really can’t go wrong with pasta, marinara, ground beef, and cheese. It’s a simple combination, but it yields phenomenal flavors.
The best part? It’s a breeze to make and can feed an entire family!
- Ziti – It’s a short-cut, tube-shaped pasta similar to penne, but with straight edges instead of slanted. The meat sauce and cheese penetrate the tubes, creating more flavors and textures.
Any similarly-shaped pasta such as penne or rigatoni will work beautifully as well.
- Ground Beef – Go for 80/20 or 85/15 for juicy yet non-greasy meat. You can also mix the beef with ground Italian sausage for an added Italian flair.
- Pasta Sauce – Either store-bought or homemade spaghetti or marinara sauce works here. Tomato sauce will do, in a pinch, too, but add more seasonings to give it flavor.
- Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan – This trio of cheeses is more than enough to make your casserole rich and creamy! Grate the mozzarella and parmesan yourself, if you can. Blocked cheeses melt way better than pre-shredded.
- Basil, Salt, Ground Black Pepper – This blend of herbs and seasonings may be simple, but it packs wonderful flavors.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Ziti
- Can’t find ziti? You can also use penne or rigatoni.
- Don’t over-cook the pasta noodles. Remember that they’ll continue to cook in the oven, so you’ll want them to be even a little undercooked. If you want your ziti to be perfectly al dente, subtract 1-2 minutes from its total cook time.
- Use a mix of ground beef and Italian sausage for a more flavorful meat sauce.
- Any marinara or spaghetti sauce works. Tomato sauce is fine, although you’ll have to add more spices and seasonings to flavor it.
- Grease the underside of the aluminum foil with baking spray to keep the cheese from sticking to it.
- Cover any leftover ziti with plastic wrap or store it in an air-tight container. Refrigerate it for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave until warmed through.
Can I Freeze Baked Ziti?
Totally. It’s another reason I love baked ziti so much!
You can assemble the layers in a pan, pop it in the freezer, and you’ll have a delicious meal at your disposal.
Frozen baked ziti keeps well for up to 2 months. That means you can triple the recipe and stock up on this pasta perfection.
Arrange all the layers in a disposable pan and cover it well with a lid or plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
Defrost it in the fridge 24 hours before baking and cook according to recipe instructions.
You can also freeze ziti that’s already been baked. Slice it into individual portions so you can easily take out a few slices.
Reheat it in the microwave, and voila. Lunch or dinner is served.
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