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Baked Ziti on a spoon, close up

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is packed with homemade mini meatballs, cheese, marinara sauce, and tons of flavor! It's the total comfort food!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Baked Ziti, Baked Ziti recipe, how do I make Baked Ziti, how to make Baked Ziti
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 702kcal
Author Kathleen



  • 1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs large, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup Romano cheese grated, divided
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste
  • all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 1 pound dried ziti


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves julienned
  • 5 cups marinara sauce
  • 3 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 2 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make Meatballs:

  • Mix together bread crumbs, eggs, milk, 1/2 cup Romano, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Add beef, salt, and black pepper and mix until everything is evenly combined, being careful not to overwork the beef.
  • Roll mixture into cocktail size meatballs then roll each one into flour then shaking off the excess.
  • Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat, in a large skillet, almost to smoking. Brown the meatballs in batches so as not to crowd the skillet. Continue to cook until all sides of the meatballs are brown. Remove browned meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate.


  • Cook ziti in well-salted water, according to package instructions, just to al dente. Drain. Do not rinse.


  • Mix basil, marinara sauce, and ricotta in a large bowl until combined. Add pasta and meatballs and gently fold until evenly combined.
  • Pour into a large baking dish and sprinkle the top evenly with mozzarella, Parmesan and remaining Romano. Dot with butter. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the ziti is bubbly and the crust is golden. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1/8 of the recipe | Calories: 702kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 1372mg | Potassium: 871mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1395IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 532mg | Iron: 4.3mg