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5 from 23 votes

Meatless Baked Ziti

Super hearty and delicious meatless baked ziti with ricotta, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano cheese.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6


For the sauce

  • 2 28 ounce canned plum tomatoes blender pulsed
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the baked ziti

  • 1 pound ziti
  • 1 pound block whole milk mozzarella 2/3 cubed, 1/3 grated
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated


For the sauce

  • Saute onion for 3-5 minutes in olive oil on medium-low heat in a large pot until soft. Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes more until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a spoon. Add the plum tomatoes and season with pepper.
  • Cook for 15 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently to avoid any sticking. After 15 minutes, taste-test the sauce and adjust salt and pepper if required.
  • Keep the sauce warm and set aside.

For the baked ziti

  • Preheat oven to 375f. Boil pasta to 1-2 minutes less than package instructions.
  • In a large bowl mix pasta with 2-3 cups of sauce and 1 pound of ricotta cheese. Mix until smooth and creamy.
  • Coat a 4-5 quart baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Add 1/3 of the pasta. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cubed mozzarella, 1/3 of the grated Pecorino Romano and a bit more sauce on top. Repeat for another 2 layers.
  • On the top layer add a bit more sauce, the shredded mozzarella, and the remaining Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly brown. If a more crispy top is desired, broil for 1-2 minutes, but watch carefully to avoid burning.
  • Remove from oven and let baked ziti sit for 5-10 minutes to settle. Serve with remaining sauce on the side, more grated cheese, and Italian bread. Enjoy!



  • Undercook the pasta!  Fully boiled pasta will become mushy after baking for another 30 minutes, so shoot for 'al dente' or even a bit firmer.  About 2 minutes less than the box instructions.
  • Put a nice layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish to avoid sticking.
  • Add the pasta in layers with the cubes of mozzarella cheese distributed randomly.  This gives a better texture to the dish with a bigger bite of cheese in one spot than the other.  It's not required but a nice touch.
  • Bake the pasta until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned on top.  If you want, broil the top for 1-2 minutes to crisp it up right before serving, but watch carefully to avoid burning.  


Calories: 751kcal | Carbohydrates: 71.9g | Protein: 40.3g | Fat: 35.3g | Saturated Fat: 17.8g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 826mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 4.7g | Sugar: 12.6g | Calcium: 618mg | Iron: 4mg