Cheesy Baked Ziti

My husband is home for two weeks (yay!!!).  He requested that I make an Italian dish one night for dinner.  I used to make Italian foods all of the time but have limited them to special occasions…and “daddy” being home is certainly a special occasion.  I decided to go all the way and make my super cheesy baked ziti.

If you don’t like cheese you should simply stop reading right now because this baked ziti recipe involves 4 delicious ooey gooey types of cheeses.  Typically, I make a meatless version of baked ziti but since it was a special dish for my husband I added chicken sausage to the dish.  It is great either way.  You can go with no meat or choose a meat of your choice.

Also, this dish makes a TON.  I often split this recipe into 2 smaller dishes and freeze one (unbaked).   This week I made a large batch, it fed us for two dinners and Shane ate it for lunch twice.

Here is what you need:

1 pound of ziti pasta (I have resorted to using penne because I have been unable to find whole wheat ziti locally), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 onion (sliced), 4 cloves of garlic (chopped),  1 pound of ground meat (I used organic Italian chicken sausage), about 50 ounces of spaghetti sauce (I use homemade but if you are using a jarred sauce I estimate 2 jars), 8 ounces sliced provolone cheese, 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

See, I told you there was a lot of cheese!

Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Cook your pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.  Cook onion, garlic, and meat (if you are using meat) until the meat is cooked.

Add sauce and turn to low.  Combine your sour cream and cottage cheese in a bowl and set aside.

Once pasta is cooked and strained you can begin to layer your ziti.  Cover the bottom of a large casserole dish, or two smaller dishes, with a little bit of sauce.  Add half of your cooked ziti.  Cover with half of your sauce mixture.

Top with your provolone cheese slices then spread out your sour cream/cottage cheese mixture.

Top with the remaining cooked noodles.  Next the rest of your sauce.  Add your mozzarella and parmesan to the top.

Cover your dish with foil, I rub some olive oil on it to prevent the cheese from sticking, and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes.

Let it sit for 10 minutes then serve.  Enjoy!

To see more of my recipes please click here.

If you like this recipe you may also like Simple Spinach Lasagna

or Veggie Greek Pasta


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