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Baked Ziti Casserole

 58 Ratings
50 Comments
  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 60 min
  • Servings 6
  • Save
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Love lasagna? Then you need to try our Baked Ziti Casserole! Topped with creamy ricotta cheese, filled with warm ziti noodles, and covered in a meaty red sauce, this Italian-inspired Baked Ziti Casserole is out-of-this-world. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves for a color pop and keep your serving spoon out – there’s no doubt everyone will want seconds of this comfort food casserole.

Ingredients

2
cups uncooked ziti pasta (6 oz)
1
lb bulk Italian pork sausage
1
can Progresso™ (18.5 oz) heart healthy tomato soup with Parmesan
1/4
teaspoon pepper
1
cup ricotta cheese
1/4
cup grated Parmesan cheese
1
egg
1
cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
Chopped fresh basil leaves, if desired

Directions

  • 1 Heat oven to 375°F.
  • 2 Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. In 12-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain. Add soup, pepper and cooked pasta; stir well.
  • 3 In small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg.
  • 4 Spoon pasta mixture into ungreased 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. Spoon ricotta cheese mixture on top; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Spray sheet of foil with cooking spray; cover baking dish with foil, sprayed side down.
  • 5 Bake 25 to 30 minutes, removing foil last 10 minutes of bake time, until cheese melts and mixture is hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with basil.

Expert Tips

Ricotta is a soft, mild and slightly sweet cheese. It’s often used in fillings, stuffings, spreads and cheesecakes (and makes an incredible topping for this baked casserole).

Cooking pasta can be trickier than it seems! For every 1 quart (4 c) water for every 4 oz. of pasta. Once the water has boiled vigorously, add pasta gradually and stir frequently during cooking to prevent it from sticking together.

To add flavor before boiling noodles, use 1/2 teaspoon salt for every 8 oz. of pasta. Stir in just as the water starts to boil and make sure it dissolves before adding pasta.

Unless specified, don’t rinse pasta after draining or sauces won’t cling. Pasta is usually only rinsed for cold salads.

Purchasing the best pasta for cooking isn’t always easy! Here are a few tips for purchasing and storing pasta: • Dried pasta: Avoid broken pasta or pasta that looks cracked. It may fall apart during cooking. Label, date and store tightly covered in a cool, dry location up to one year. • Fresh pasta: Avoid packages with moisture droplets or liquid; the pasta may be moldy or mushy. The pasta should be smooth and evenly colored without broken or crumbly pieces. Freeze unopened fresh pasta in its original package up to 9 months. Leftover uncooked pasta can be frozen in an airtight container up to 3 months and homemade fresh pasta up to 1 month.

If you don’t have tomato soup, you can substitute 2 cups pasta sauce.

Improvise for even more flavor--try using hot Italian pork sausage.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
498.2
Calories from Fat
180
% Daily Value
Total Fat
31.4g
48%
Saturated Fat
13.2g
66%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
124.9mg
42%
Sodium
906.9mg
38%
Total Carbohydrate
26.9g
9%
Dietary Fiber
2.6g
10%
Sugars
4.1g
Protein
27.4g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
10%
10%
Vitamin C
18.40%
18%
Calcium
29.50%
30%
Iron
11.30%
11%
Exchanges:
2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 High-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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