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San Giorgio Baked Ziti

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. 

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Complete with al dente noodles, meaty marinara, and loads of melted cheese on top, this baked ziti is the casserole of your dreams.

Cheesy and Meaty Baked Ziti

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!

Baked Ziti with Pasta and Ground Beef

Ingredients

  • 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.
Baked Ziti in a Casserole

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.

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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.

San Giorgio Baked Ziti

Servings

10-12

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces San Giorgio ziti

  • 3/4 pound ground beef

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar pasta sauce

  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the ziti according to package instructions and drain.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until it’s no longer pink. Drain. Mix in the pasta sauce and reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, basil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Toss the cooked ziti in the meat sauce.
  • Spoon half of the pasta mixture into a 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Top it with the cheese mixture. Layer the remaining pasta and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and grated Parmesan.
  • Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil. Bake it for 25 minutes, remove the foil, and bake it for 5 minutes more, or until the cheese starts to bubble.
  • Let the baked ziti rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!
San Giorgio Baked Ziti

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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