Baked Ziti with Spinach – makes the perfect meatless meal. Look no further for the perfect baked ziti recipe!
Recently I’ve been sharing some healthier and low carb recipes but I promised you guys I would share a comforting recipe and here it is. Although I did throw in some spinach, so that makes it healthier. I didn’t use ziti because I prefer penne. The lines on the penne help the sauce adhere to the pasta. Plus, baked ziti sounds way better than baked penne with spinach. As far as vegetables go, pick your favorite. I love spinach and think spinach and cheese go great together. I think buffalo mozzarella cheese is key. I like to mix in the buffalo mozzarella and then use shredded mozzarella and parmesan for the top.
How Do You Make Baked Ziti With Spinach?
Start off by preheating your oven to 500 degrees F. Cook the onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat with some olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, add the fresh garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until fragrant and then stir in the crushed tomatoes, season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. Chop the fresh spinach and set aside. In a big bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, spinach, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce along with the ricotta cheese mixture. Stir in the buffalo mozzarella cheese. Place the pasta mixture in a casserole dish and top it off with shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
Top Tips and Recipe Variations:
- Place the spinach in a food processor if you don’t feel like cutting it yourself.
- Although this is a vegetarian recipe, feel free to add ground beef, Italian sausage, chicken, or shrimp.
- Incorporate as many veggies as you’d like such as mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, etc.
- Use store-bought marinara sauce to cut the cooking time in half.
- Add extra crushed red pepper to make it spicier.
Can I Make This Ahead Of Time?
Yes, absolutely. Follow all of the recipe steps minus the baking part. Cover it tightly and freeze up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat let it thaw at room temperature and then bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30-40 minutes.
Making baked pasta has never been easier. I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did. Please share it with your friends and family.
More Recipes You’ll Enjoy:
Baked Ziti with Spinach
- 1 lb penne or ziti pasta
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp red crushed pepper optional
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 lb buffalo mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and salt generously.
- Cook the pasta according to packaging instructions or al dente.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions until translucent.
- Stir in the fresh minced garlic and red crushed pepper and cook for an additional 20 seconds.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes and season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
- Finely chop the fresh spinach.
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, spinach, and half of the parmesan cheese.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until well combined.
- Add the ricotta mixture to the pasta.
- Stir in the buffalo mozzarella and check for seasoning.
- Place the pasta in a casserole dish and top it off with shredded mozzarella cheese and the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.