5-Ingredient No-Boil Baked Ziti

updated Sep 5, 2022
5-Ingredient No-Boil Baked Ziti

An easy recipes for baked ziti that doesn't call for boiling the pasta before baking.

Serves8

Prep5 minutes

Cook1 hour 2 minutes to 1 hour 3 minutes

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Credit: Olive & Mango

Pasta bakes have the glorious ability to easily feed a crowd and leave everyone happy, because who can refuse a hot, gooey mess of pasta, sauce, and cheese? Here, you don’t have to boil noodles — that’s how easy it is. Stir together dried pasta, marinara sauce, and lots of cheese in a baking dish, cover it tightly, and let it do its thing in the oven. It’s a hands-off dinner that has big payoff, which means it’s one you’ll likely be turning to often.

The Laziest 5-Ingredient Dinner Around

If you can stir together five ingredients, you can make this baked ziti. Tightly covering the baking dish in aluminum foil forces the pasta to steam-cook in the marinara sauce, which eliminates the need to pre-boil the noodles. Most baked ziti recipes call for three cheeses: mozzarella (for cheese pulls), ricotta (for creaminess), and Parmesan.

All three are featured here as well, but to get the best melty clumps and richness, fresh mozzarella is added in cubes, the ricotta is dolloped all over and just barely folded in so that large pockets still remain, and the Parm is scattered throughout. Serve with a simple salad, if you like.

Credit: Olive & Mango

5-Ingredient No-Boil Baked Ziti

An easy recipes for baked ziti that doesn't call for boiling the pasta before baking.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 2 minutes to 1 hour 3 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Olive oil or cooking spray

  • 1 pound

    fresh mozzarella cheese

  • 2 ounces

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)

  • 2 (24-ounce) jars

    marinara sauce (about 6 cups), such as Rao’s

  • 1 pound

    dried ziti pasta

  • 1 (15 to 16-ounce) container

    whole-milk ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)

  • Fresh basil or parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9x13-inch broiler-safe baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.

  2. Drain and cut 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese into 1/2-inch cubes. Finely grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup).

  3. Pour 2 (24-ounce) jars marinara sauce into the baking dish. Add 1 pound dried ziti pasta, the cubed mozzarella, and half the Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine and evenly coat the pasta in the sauce. Dollop 1 container whole-milk ricotta cheese evenly over the mixture and gently stir, keeping a few large pockets of ricotta here and there. Spread the mixture into an even layer and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

  4. Bake until the pasta is almost tender but still quite al dente, about 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes more. Meanwhile, coarsely chop a few basil or parsley leaves for garnish, if desired.

  5. Switch the oven to broil and broil until the top is browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before garnishing with the basil or parsley, if desired, and serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days