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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

During the weeknights I need to get dinner onto the table quickly and one of my go-to recipes is Baked Ziti. The night before I like to brown up my lean ground beef and then refrigerate it for the next day. It saves me roughly 20 minutes of time by cooking the beef up the night before.

Once I ready to start dinner, I will cook up the ziti pasta and while it's cooking, I'll reheat the lean ground beef in my microwave for about 45 seconds, just long enough to warm it up, so it's not being added into the recipe cold. Once the pasta has been cooked, your baking time is approximately 20-30 minutes. So, you can get this meal onto the table in less than 45 minutes if you prepare the ground beef ahead of time.

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

18 ounces ziti pasta, cooked and drained
32 ounces Italian spaghetti sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 cups Italian Cheese Blend, shredded
Salt and Ground Black Pepper to Taste
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the ziti pasta until done. Drain away the water. Mix the cooked pasta, Italian spaghetti sauce, cooked lean ground beef, Parmesan cheese, salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and the 2 cups of the Italian cheese blend in a large mixing bowl. Pour mixture into a glass rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of cheese on top.

Place baking dish in a preheated oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. The cheese will be melted and bubbly on top. Remove from oven and let it sit for an additional 2-3 minutes before serving.

When we make Baked Ziti, we like to serve it with a homemade garden salad and some garlic bread. Sometimes we will slice some fresh tomatoes and place the slices on top of the garlic bread along with some shredded cheese and bake it in the oven while the ziti is baking. It really adds a nice flavor to the garlic bread! If desired, you can sprinkle some fresh basil on top of the garlic bread too!

1 comment:

jopb said...

I think that cooking the ground beef ahead of time is a great time saving idea. Thenthis recipe can be made very quickly and It should be delicious.