Recipe Review

I Tried Maggianos’ Famous Baked Ziti Recipe (It Takes Just 25 Minutes to Make)

published Mar 17, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

When I was growing up, a trip to Maggiano’s was a very special occasion, reserved for straight-A report cards and birthday celebrations. It was the beacon of fine dining for my younger self! While they have beautiful steak and fish dishes, it was always about the pasta for me — their menu is full of Italian-American classics like lasagna, ravioli, and, of course, baked ziti.

I have vivid memories of dining there, and it was always the same routine: The food would arrive piping-hot, the servers would warn us about touching the warm plates, and then they’d grate the Parmesan on top with the classic “tell me when.” (Naturally, I’d let them pile the cheese up high). Every time, the meal was delicious. So it doesn’t surprise me one bit that Maggianos’ baked ziti is one of the most-searched-for ziti recipes on the internet. To my pleasant surprise, the recipe looked really easy to throw together, and a perfect candidate for our baked ziti showdown.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

How to Make Maggiano’s Taylor Street Baked Ziti

Begin by boiling the pasta and cooking until your desired level of firmness. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Cook the Italian sausage until it’s almost done, then add the garlic. Pour in white wine and bring it to a simmer, then let the wine reduce until almost all of it is evaporated.

Lower the heat to medium and add the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, butter, and basil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the pasta and half the mozzarella, tossing to coat. Pour the pasta into a baking dish and top with the remaining half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with basil, and you’re done!

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

My Honest Review of Maggiano’s Taylor Street Baked Ziti

I was shocked to see that this recipe called for jarred marinara instead of having you whip up your own sauce. I was a bit skeptical of how it would turn out flavor-wise, but I was proven wrong in the end. I used a jar of Rao’s marinara, which in my opinion is the best jarred sauce you can get, but the real depth of flavor in this recipe comes from the Italian sausage cooked down in white wine. It adds a huge boost of savoriness to the dish, and totally makes up for the use of jarred sauce. This ziti tasted really good.

The best part? This pasta comes together in about 25 minutes start to finish, which blew my mind. Since you cook the pasta all the way through when you boil it, there really isn’t a need for it to spend a long time in the oven, and the few minutes under the broiler create the perfect bubbly, cheesy crust on top. All in all, this was a simple recipe that packed a big punch.

If You’re Making Maggiano’s Taylor Street Baked Ziti, a Few Tips

  1. Use the best-quality jarred marinara you can find. It’s worth it here to splurge on a really good marinara sauce so that you don’t find yourself missing the flavor of a fresh sauce.
  2. Don’t worry about mixing the mozzarella in with the pasta. This dish would work just as well if you poured half of the pasta into the baking dish, put a layer of mozzarella over it, and repeated with the remaining pasta and cheese.
  3. Watch the pasta closely as it broils. Life can come at you fast under the broiler, so keep a close eye on it and take your ziti out before the cheese turns from creamy to crunchy.

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

Have you ever made Maggiano’s Taylor Street Baked Ziti recipe? Let us know in the comments below!