What happens when an extra cheesy lasagna lover marries a saucy baked ziti girl? They cross breed their favorites into an outstanding, and easy to make meal! This meaty baked ziti recipe is out of this world delicious, a great freezer/time saver meal, pretty easy on the budget, and could easily feed a small army! Enjoy…
Here’s what you’ll need….
- 2 boxes ziti
- 1.5 lbs ground beef (or 1/2 ground beef 1/2 ground sausage, or substitute beef for turkey/chicken)
- 1 large container of Ricotta cheese
- 1 bag of “Italian mix” shredded cheese, if you can’t find that just use Mozzerella
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan
- 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
- 1 28oz. can of whole plum tomatoes with basil
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 4 carrots, peeled and shredded
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried italian herbs
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- salt and pepper = (S&P)
- Large lasagna pan/ baking dish
- In a large pot get your water going for the ziti.
- Chop onions, garlic, and shred carrots.
- In a large saute pan or similar add a little bit of olive oil or butter on medium-high heat and add onions and carrots (S&P)
- Sweat them down until they begin to soften, then add your ground meat, and chopped garlic (S&P)
- Your water is probably boiling by now, salt the water and add your ziti. Cook it until it’s soft but still has a bite and sticks to your teeth. It will keep cooking in the oven.
- Once the meat is cooked through, add your canned tomatoes with juice and jar of sauce, and all of the dry spices (S&P)
- Drain ziti and set aside, don’t overcook, rinse with cold water if you have to stop the cooking process!
- Let the meat sauce simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes, roughly break up the whole tomatoes while it’s cooking
- While the meat sauce is cooking, get out a large bowl and add your ricotta and 1/2 the bag of shredded Italian mix cheeses
- Ladle about 1/3 of your meat sauce into the cheese bowl and stir everything together, set your oven to 350
- Add pasta to mixture and toss together until well mixed
- Now you’re going to layer everything into your lasagna dish…pasta, sauce, shredded cheese, pasta sauce, shredded cheese
- Top it off with 1/2 cup shaved parmesan, and put in in the oven uncovered for about 25-30 minutes until it is bubbling and melted.
Low in calories? Umm. Not in a long shot. But this meaty baked ziti will be a family favorite almost instantly! It’s great for parties, pot lucks, church events, and more and will never disappoint even the pickiest of eaters. 🙂
I hope you loved this recipe! Check out my others while you’re here!
Talk to you soon friends, take care.