Baked Ziti with Sausage

Baked Ziti with Sausage

This easy baked ziti with sausage is a delicious dish that will feed a crowd. In this recipe we use mild Italian sausage, it adds a ton of flavor so we can use just a handful of ingredients.

Italian Sausage Baked Ziti

 

We cheat a little in this pasta dish by using jarred pasta sauce and canned tomatoes, but we add onions and a ton of garlic for a homemade taste. Then of course there’s the cheese…a lot of cheese! This pasta dish will become a family favorite for sure.

 

For more great baked pasta recipes try this ravioli bake, baked spaghetti or this turkey-roni that’s a fun take on a childhood favorite. Enjoy!

 

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, finely diced
  • 3-5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 pound Mild Italian Sausage, casings removed and torn into pieces or use bulk sausage
  • 28 ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 24 ounce Jar Pasta Sauce – meatless variety (use your favorite brand)
  • 16 ounces Ziti, cooked to package directions, for al-dente
  • 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
  • ½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for serving
  • Chopped Parsley for Garnish, optional

 

Make the Italian Sausage Sauce

This sauce is easy to make and the prep work is a snap. First, dice the onions, mince the garlic and remove the sausage from the casing and tear into pieces, unless you’re using bulk. That’s it, all that’s left is opening the can of tomatoes and jar of pasta.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cook 3 minutes, until they’re translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Next, add the sausage to the pot and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir, breaking up the sausage using a wooden spoon or a spatula.
  • Cook the sausage for 5-6 minutes until it’s browned, stir frequently.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and pasta sauce the skillet, stir well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower heat to medium-low and cover. Cook the sauce for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

While the sauce cooks: Preheat the oven to 350°F and start the pasta. Cook the Ziti to package directions for al-dente. Drain and reserve for later.

 

Cook’s Notes

Once you cook the pasta reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water before draining it. You can use the pasta water to loosen the sauce a little bit if it’s too thick. Just add a little at a time (1-2 tablespoons) while stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.

 

Build the casserole

  • Combine the ziti and the sauce in the larger of the two pots. Gently stir well.
  • Use a large, oven proof casserole dish or baking pan (at least 9×13).
  • Spoon about half of the pasta into the casserole dish, cover the top with half the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with half the Parmesan cheese.
  • Add the remaining pasta and top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Place the casserole dish on a rimmed baking sheet, just in case it bubbles over. Bake the pasta for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish the baked ziti with a little chopped parsley and serve with extra Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

Italian Sausage Baked Ziti in a cream color casserole dish

 

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Italian Sausage Baked Ziti
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Italian Sausage Baked Ziti

This easy Italian sausage baked ziti is a delicious dish that will feed a crowd.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta dinner
Servings: 8
Calories: 592kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion finely diced
  • 3-5 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 pound Mild Italian Sausage casings removed and torn into pieces or use bulk sausage
  • 28 ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 24 ounce Jar Pasta Sauce (meatless variety) use your favorite brand
  • 1 pound Ziti cooked to package directions, for al-dente
  • 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese divided
  • ½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese plus extra for serving
  • Chopped Parsley for Garnish optional

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, cook approximately 3 minutes, until they're translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add the sausage to the pot; raise the heat to medium-high. Stir, breaking up the sausage using a wooden spoon or a spatula. Cook approximately 5-6 minutes until the meat is browned, stirring frequently.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and pasta sauce the skillet, stir well.  Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower heat to medium-low and cover. Cook the sauce for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the sauce cooks: Preheat oven to 350°F and start the pasta.
  • Cook the Ziti to package directions for al-dente. Drain and keep warm until the sauce is ready.
  • Combine the ziti and the sauce in the larger of the two pots. Gently stir well.
  • Using a large, oven proof casserole dish or baking pan (at least 9x13), Spoon about half of the pasta into the casserole dish, cover the top with half the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with half the Parmesan cheese. Add the remaining pasta and top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Place the casserole dish on a rimmed baking sheet, just in case it bubbles over. Bake the pasta for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish the Italian sausage baked ziti with a little chopped parsley and serve with extra Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired.

Notes

Once you cook your pasta always reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water before draining it. You can use the pasta water to loosen the sauce a little bit if it’s too thick. Just add a little at a time while stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 1281mg | Potassium: 789mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 17.7mg | Calcium: 285mg | Iron: 3.4mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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