Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recipe: Baked Ziti

A few things you've probably figured out about me: I like to cook (but I'm by no means a gourmet-style chef, more home-style), and I'm Italian. I was raised on pastas, hearty sauces, breads, cheeses, etc. You know, all the stuff that's really great for bathing suit season.

A co-worker recently had a baby so I'm taking her family dinner last night, and this baked ziti has become my go-to. It's easily frozen for later use and there are slight amendments I make so that it's not quite so bad for you. Also, probably my favorite thing about it, you can make double the recipe to feed a crowd (just as all the folks we went skiing with in February!).


  • 1 box (16 oz) ziti pasta (penne works too, and you can use whole wheat in a recipe like this because you can hardly taste it)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I either use ground turkey or half & half for lower fat content)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 28oz jars spaghetti sauce (can be super basic cheap tomato sauce as you're going to add meat & onion and lots of spices can be thrown in!)
  • 6 oz sliced low-fat provolone cheese
  • 6 oz sliced low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or use dried basil in a much smaller qty)


  • Boil water & cook pasta al dente (8-10 min)
  • Saute onions until slightly translucent, then brown ground beef over medium heat in LARGE skillet
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Drain fat (a lot less if you use turkey!) and add both jars sauce; simmer for 15 min
  • Lightly grease 2 qt baking dish or 9x13 glass dish
  • Layer: half pasta, half provolone / mozarella, half spaghetti sauce mixture, sour cream; repeat: pasta, cheese, sauce.
  • Top with Parmesan & Basil
  • Bake 30 minutes or until cheese / sauce are bubbly

Makes 8 servings at 120 calories / serving. Yes, 120, you read that correctly. You're welcome.

PS - if you freeze it, it WILL take longer to cook. I'd put it in the fridge if you're planning to eat it within a day.

No comments:

Post a Comment