Ground Beef and Ricotta Baked Ziti
The easiest, meatiest and cheesiest Baked Ziti Casserole you’ll ever have. A must try for everyone.
Servings: 8 servings
- 1 lb box ziti pasta
- 1/2 medium red onion, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut into small cubes
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 jar marinara sauce, separate 1/2 cup sauce and set aside
- 15 oz container ricotta cheese, separated
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, separated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare pasta according to box instructions.
Using a food processor or a blender, pulse together onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix the seasoning with ground beef.
In a large skillet, pour oil and cook meat over medium heat until all meat has browned. Add marinara sauce. Stir until combined and let simmer for about 10 minutes. (Reserve 1/2 cup of marinara sauce for the baking pan.)
In a big bowl, mix together pasta, meat sauce, half of the ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan with the left over marinara sauce. Transfer pasta to the baking pan. Drop spoonfuls of ricotta cheese over the top and sprinkle with leftover mozzarella cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until cheese has completely melted. Serve warm with a side of bread and/or salad.
- Cook the pasta al dente. If you overcook it, the casserole will become soggy when it is baked.
- You can easily add in some extra vegetables like carrots or mushrooms if you like. Just soften them in a skillet before mixing with the pasta and baking.
- The ground beef can be substituted with ground turkey, chicken, pork or bison.
- Let the ricotta baked ziti cool before storing the leftovers.
Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 380mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 453IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 279mg | Iron: 2mg