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healthy baked ziti recipe

Healthy Baked Ziti

This healthy baked ziti recipe is the ultimate classic Italian comfort food! Pasta baked with a delicious red sauce, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella melted on top. But don't worry, this lightened-up version does not skimp on the bold Italian flavors that you look forward to with a cheesy baked ziti. It can be assembled ahead of time for an easy dinner or to feed a crowd at your next party.
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Course: casserole, pasta recipe
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baked ziti, baked ziti recipe, easy baked ziti, healthy baked ziti, healthy balked ziti recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 382kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Mixing spoons
  • 9 x 13 casserole or baking dish

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry ziti or penne pasta whole grain or organic
  • 1 15- ounce container of part-skim ricotta cheese drain excess liquid
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese can also use grated romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 3 - 4 cups spaghetti sauce homemade or high-quality jarred sauce
  • 2 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bring a 5-6 quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes. The pasta should still have a bite to it after it cooks. This helps keep the pasta from getting mushy.
  • Drain the pasta and rinse. Place the pasta into a 9 x13 baking dish.
  • Mix ricotta cheese, egg, romano or parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the crushed red pepper if you're using it.
  • Mix the ricotta cheese mixture and spaghetti sauce in with the pasta. Start with 3-cups of sauce and add more if you need to. The pasta should be covered with sauce and cheese mixture.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella over the top of the pasta mixture.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and the baked ziti is bubbling on the sides.

Video

Notes

How To Meal Prep Baked Ziti Ahead Of Time

Baked ziti is so easy to make, but if you want to make it ahead of time, here are the three different ways to do that.
  1. Assemble the baked ziti, cover, and refrigerator. I do this whenever I make it for parties. A day or two before, I'll put the baked ziti together, so all I need to do is stick it in the oven on party day.
  2. Cook components and assemble on the day I want to cook the baked ziti. For example, if I'm using sausage, I can cook that a day or so ahead of time. Same with the pasta or the ricotta mixture. I can get the components ready, mix everything, and bake the night we will eat it.
  3. Assemble and freeze. I love freezing casseroles in bulk to eat down the road! Baked ziti is one of those recipes. You can read more about freezing baked ziti, and other casserole recipes, in this blog post about freezing casseroles. Again, if you do freeze baked ziti ahead of time, make sure to plan for thawing time when you want to cook it.

Cooking Notes:

  • If you made it ahead of time and refrigerated it, you'll likely need to add an extra 20 -30 minutes of cooking time.
  • If you freeze the baked ziti, I strongly recommend letting it thaw completely in the refrigerator (which takes about two days) before cooking it. You can cook it frozen, but it will take close to 2 ½ – 3 hours to cook thoroughly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g