Easy Baked Ziti

Easy Baked Ziti

I love pasta.  I mean, I really LOVE pasta. So, this recipe is one of my favorites-pasta, cheese, and Italian sausage… what’s not to love?!

Ingredients

  • 16 oz small pasta (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 lb mild ground Italian sausage
  • 1 package fresh baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 24 oz (+) jar pasta sauce (I use tomato basil)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions and brown Italian sausage until fully cooked.
  3. Once pasta is cooked and sausage is browned, mix jar of sauce (I used a little more than one jar to make sure the ziti didn’t dry out while baking), mushrooms, and sausage into pasta.
  4. Add half of the pasta mixture to a 9″x13″ baking dish.  Top with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and half of the fresh basil.
  5. Add remaining pasta mixture to top of cheese and basil.
  6. Add remaining mozzarella to pasta mixture and bake in oven 20-25 minutes until heated through.
  7. Add remaining Parmesan cheese and fresh basil to baked pasta and serve immediately.

I love this recipe because I can layer all of the ingredients in a baking pan, pop it in the fridge (or even freezer!) to be baked later.  It’s a hearty meal that feeds several people easily.  You can customize it however you like by using chicken instead of sausage or going meatless.  You can also leave out the mushrooms or basil for picky eaters.  This makes a great weeknight meal!

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