This easy olive garden baked ziti copycat recipe will surely please any crowd. Made with fresh and delicious ingredients in under 45 minutes!
I love any type of pasta smothered with sauce and cheese. Over the years I’ve made plenty of similar dishes like baked ziti with meatballs and baked ziti with spinach but this olive garden baked ziti just takes my breath away. I wanted this five cheese ziti al Forno copycat recipe to be as close as possible to the one at the restaurant.
How To Make Olive Garden Baked Ziti
Start by cooking the ziti according to packaging instructions. Saute onions, fresh garlic, and red crushed in pepper in olive oil. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and alfredo sauce. You may use store-bought or homemade alfredo sauce. Throw in some fresh basil and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked ziti to the sauce and add the ricotta cheese, fontina cheese, asiago cheese, and parmesan cheese and mix it well. Place the pasta in a baking dish and top it off with mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, and garlic. Cover and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Top Tips For The Perfect Ziti
- I’ve realized that ziti can dry out in the oven, therefore, we need a lot of sauce to prevent that from happening.
- Make sure to cover it while it bakes, except for the final 10 minutes. Uncovering it the final 10 minutes will get that cheese nice and melted.
- You can add spinach, sausage, meatballs, or anything you want.
What Makes This Baked Ziti Special?
The alfredo sauce definitely makes this special. Growing up I was obsessed with Olive Gardens 5 cheese Ziti al Forno and their secret is alfredo sauce or so I’ve heard. If you’ve enjoyed their ziti then you will love this recipe. Also, this baked ziti recipe is ideal for a vegetarian diet.
May I Use A Different Pasta Other Than Ziti?
Absolutely. If you’re not a fan of ziti, you may use penne. In fact, I love penne because the lines help the sauce adhere. You may also use rigatoni. However, I wouldn’t recommend spaghetti or linguine for this recipe.
Once you give this copycat recipe a try, you will keep on making it because it’s that good!
Other pasta recipes you might enjoy!
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups alfredo sauce
- 1 small onion
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1/4 tsp red crushed pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh basil
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup asiago cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix the mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, and 2 minced garlic cloves, set aside.
- Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent.
- Stir in the remaining garlic and red crushed pepper.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, alfredo sauce, and fresh basil.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer and season with salt and pepper.
- While the sauce cooks, cook the pasta.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato alfredo sauce.
- Place the pasta in an oven safe dish.
- Stir in the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, fontina cheese, and asiago cheese.
- Check for seasoning.
- Top the pasta with the mozzarella bread crumb mixture and cover.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!