Maggiano’s Baked Ziti Recipe: A Comforting Classic

Are you craving a delicious, hearty Italian meal? Look no further! Maggiano’s Baked Ziti Recipe is a comforting classic that’s perfect for family dinners or entertaining guests. This dish combines ziti pasta with rich marinara sauce, savory meat, and gooey cheese, all baked to perfection. Ready to learn how to make this mouthwatering meal at home? Let’s dive into the details!

Why You’ll Love Maggiano’s Baked Ziti

Maggiano’s Baked Ziti stands out for its blend of flavors and textures. The pasta is tender but firm, the sauce is rich and flavorful, and the cheese melts to a bubbly, golden finish. It’s the epitome of comfort food, perfect for warming up on a chilly evening or bringing a taste of Italy to your kitchen.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Creating this delightful dish requires a few key ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to gather:

Main Ingredients

  • Ziti Pasta: The star of the show, ziti is a medium-sized tubular pasta that holds up well in baked dishes.
  • Ground Beef or Italian Sausage: Adds a savory depth to the dish.
  • Marinara Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought brand or make your own.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Provides a creamy, rich texture.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Melts beautifully and adds that irresistible gooeyness.
  • Parmesan Cheese: For a sharp, nutty flavor.
  • Garlic: Enhances the overall flavor.
  • Olive Oil: For sautéing and adding richness.
  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning.
  • Fresh Basil or Parsley: For garnish and added freshness.

Preparing Your Ingredients

Before you start cooking, it’s essential to prep your ingredients properly.

Cooking the Pasta

  1. Boil the Ziti: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Preparing the Meat Sauce

  1. Sauté the Meat: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ground beef or Italian sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook until browned.
  2. Add Garlic: Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Incorporate Marinara Sauce: Pour in the marinara sauce, stirring to combine. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assembling the Baked Ziti

Now that your ingredients are ready, it’s time to assemble the dish.

Layering the Ingredients

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Mix Pasta and Sauce: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti with the meat sauce. Stir until the pasta is evenly coated.
  3. Prepare the Baking Dish: Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
  4. Layer the Pasta: Spread half of the pasta mixture into the baking dish.
  5. Add Cheese: Dollop spoonfuls of ricotta cheese over the pasta. Sprinkle with a generous layer of shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan.
  6. Top Layer: Add the remaining pasta mixture over the cheese layer. Top with more mozzarella and Parmesan.

Baking the Ziti

  1. Cover with Foil: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from browning too quickly.
  2. Bake: Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove Foil: After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  4. Garnish: Once baked, let it sit for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Baked Ziti is a versatile dish that pairs well with various sides and beverages.

Perfect Pairings

  1. Garlic Bread: Serve with a side of warm garlic bread to soak up any extra sauce.
  2. Salad: A crisp green salad with a tangy vinaigrette balances the richness of the ziti.
  3. Wine: A glass of Chianti or Sangiovese complements the flavors beautifully.

Tips for the Best Baked Ziti

Want to take your baked ziti to the next level? Here are some expert tips:

Use Fresh Ingredients

  • Cheese: Grate your own cheese for the best melt and flavor.
  • Herbs: Fresh basil or parsley adds a vibrant touch.

Make It Ahead

  • Prep in Advance: Assemble the dish up to a day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Freeze: Baked ziti can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.


Maggiano’s Baked Ziti is a delightful dish that brings the comfort of Italian cuisine to your home. With its rich, savory flavors and satisfying textures, it’s sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or entertaining guests, this baked ziti recipe is a winner. So gather your ingredients, follow these simple steps, and enjoy a taste of Italy at your table.

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Perre World.

FAQs About Maggiano’s Baked Ziti Recipe

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can substitute ziti with penne or rigatoni if you prefer.

What if I’m vegetarian?

You can omit the meat and add vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers.

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Yes, simply use gluten-free pasta and ensure your marinara sauce is gluten-free.

What can I use instead of ricotta cheese?

You can substitute ricotta with cottage cheese or a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream.