Easy Weeknight Recipe: Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti

We had a hard time choosing which recipe to share with you from Real Simple's latest collection of Easy, Delicious Meals. This one seemed to have it all: lots of flavor, simple ingredients, and easy to make on a busy weeknight. Oh, and a healthy portion of gooey cheese!

This recipe is marked as both kid-friendly and freezable. To freeze individual portions, try lining a ramekin with wax paper and scooping in the pasta before baking it. Pop them out of the ramekins once they're frozen and store them in bags. When ready to bake, peel off the paper and insert them back into the original ramekin!

Lasagna-style Baked Ziti
Hands-on time: 10 min / Total time: 40 min / serves 4

Ingredients:
12 ounces ziti (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound lean ground beef
kosher salt and black pepper
1 26-ounce jar marinara sauce
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
1 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)

Directions:
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beef, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it’s no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the meat mixture, marinara sauce, spinach, ricotta, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 4 large ramekins. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and bake until the cheese melts, 12 to 15 minutes.

TIP: If you prefer, substitute Italian sausage for the ground beef or chopped broccoli for the spinach.

Related: Mix & Match Bagged Meals at Home

(Image: Real Simple)

Per serving, based on 6 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
452
Fat
18.1 g (27.9%)
Saturated
8.4 g (42.1%)
Trans
0.4 g
Carbs
46.3 g (15.4%)
Fiber
2.3 g (9%)
Sugars
2.9 g
Protein
24.6 g (49.3%)
Cholesterol
57.5 mg (19.2%)
Sodium
316.7 mg (13.2%)

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