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Vegetarian Chili Mac–Inspired Baked Ziti Is the Definition of Hands-Off Cooking

published Sep 10, 2020
Vegetarian Chili Mac–Inspired Baked Ziti
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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Welcome to Rollover Dinners, a new monthly series to help you make smart use of leftovers. This week, we’re using leftovers from a big pot of vegetarian chili to make this gooey, cheese-packed casserole that barely requires any prep before it hits the oven. Read the intro here.

When it comes to comfort foods, there are a handful that rank higher than the rest: Chili mac and baked ziti are two of them. So, combining them into one delicious dish is a no-brainer. This simple casserole starts with 3 cups of vegetarian chili leftover from this hearty, flavor-packed pot.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

What makes this playful baked ziti so special is Prego®+ Plant Protein Traditional Italian Sauce. Thanks to vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, and spices, plus the power of protein from vegetables, it’s a thick and delicious base for the chili. Combine leftover chili with dried pasta, vegetable broth, shredded cheese, and scallions, then bake the whole thing until melted and bubbling, and you have a gooey, cheese-packed casserole that barely requires any prep before it hits the oven. It’s an easy dinner that’s guaranteed to bring nothing but smiles to the family table.

Vegetarian Chili Mac–Inspired Baked Ziti

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes to 50 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces

    shredded Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese or a combination (about 3 cups), divided

  • 3

    scallions

  • 1 pound

    dried ziti or penne pasta

  • 3 cups

    low-sodium vegetable broth, such as Swanson®

  • 3 cups

    Big-Batch Vegetarian Chili

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Shred 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese sharp cheddar (about 2 cups). Thinly slice 3 scallions.

  3. Add 1 pound dried ziti or penne pasta, 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, and 3 cups Big-Batch Vegetarian Chili to a large bowl, and stir to combine.

  4. Transfer half of the pasta mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Evenly sprinkle with 8 ounces (2 cups) cheese. Add the remaining pasta, then press down to submerge the pasta in the liquid. Top with the remaining 4 ounces (1 cup) cheese.

  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue baking until the edges are bubbling and the cheese is completely melted and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.

  6. Remove the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Top with the scallions.