5 Ingredient Baked Ziti Recipe

I’ve had a craving for baked ziti recently, but I have no idea why. It’s not something I eat often, but I just couldn’t kick the craving for ricotta. When Alex and I got home from work on Friday, I really wanted to make some but I also wanted to keep it super simple, knowing we’d need to eat quickly if we wanted to make Halloween costumes before going out. (We didn’t decide on our costumes until Friday night… which led to a lot of paper bags and tape to construct our costumes, but we finished up just in time for the festivities.)

I whipped up a baked ziti recipe that is super easy, but still delicious. I know, I know, baked ziti isn’t exactly healthy, but if you use whole wheat noodles and part skim ricotta, I promise it’s not so bad!

5 ingredient baked ziti recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
5 Ingredient Baked Ziti Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
We actually halved this recipe originally, but next time I'd make the full recipe since the leftovers were delicious. If you make the full recipe, it would serve 6-8 people.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
  • 8 oz whole wheat ziti noodles
  • 24 oz jar of marinara sauce
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz shredded part-skim mozarella
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the ziti. Cook according to package directions.
  3. In a large bowl. Mix the ricotta and marinara sauce.
  4. Drain the ziti, saving ⅓ cup pasta water.
  5. Add the pasta water to the ricotta mixture and stir in the ziti noodles.
  6. Spread in a lightly greased glass baking dish.
  7. Top with mozzarella and cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes covered, and another 10 uncovered.
  9. Before serving, grate the parmesan cheese over each serving.
  10. Store leftovers in the fridge and simply reheat in the microwave!

It ends up being around 450 calories per serving, which isn’t exactly light but it’s also not so bad for cheesy baked pasta! Plus, you’ll get 27g of protein. You can see all the nutritional info here.

baked ziti recipe

We saved leftovers for Sunday and I was wishing we’d made an even larger batch so I could have more leftovers ๐Ÿ˜‰ While I know pasta has a reputation for being a “bad” food I like to think that there is a place for every food in moderation. Ziti noodles get bonus points for being super easy to eat- no noodle slurping required.

What’s your favorite pasta shape? Elbow? Shells? Angel Hair?


  1. Funny you mention how you’ve been craving pasta lately. Joshua and I were just telling each other the other night how pasta has just been sounding delicious lately. I’d blame it on fall temperatures, but when it’s still hot outside, it’s kind of hard to excuse that as an excuse. Haha!

  2. Gooooood idea Liz! This sounds lovely, and who can have an excuse with a recipe that only has 5 ingredients? Please join us for meatless monday! This would be a great, easy recipe for people!

  3. Yum!!! Looks amazing!!!

  4. I love pasta ๐Ÿ™‚ fusilli is probably one of my favorites. I’ll even go far enough to say I prefer regular pasta over whole wheat ๐Ÿ˜› hehe.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever had fusilli actually! And I’ll admit that regular pasta does have a slightly better texture… shhh ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. I love any baked pasta dish with cheese on in! Baked ziti is probable one of my favorite comfort foods.

  6. I always forget how much I love baked ziti! I always choose ravioli or lasagna, but baked ziti is so good too! I mean, anything with cheese is good in my book.

  7. Did I contribute to your ziti craving last week? lol..You should have made it 6 ingredients and thrown in the butternut squash!

  8. I’ve been really craving warm and comfort foods as well as pasta. Thanks for sharing this, it looks awesome!

  9. Love baked ziti! And sometimes healthy is so overrated. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyways, doesn’t cheese have calcium?!

  10. Sign. Me. Up!!
    I love me some ricotta. Its actually been far too long since Ive had any due to my husbands dislike of pasta. BUT I think I’m just going to make this dish one night and make him suffer through it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Angel hair is my favorite ๐Ÿ™‚ Also – not sure if I’ve ever had ziti. My family was boring growing up. We only ate spaghetti with marinara.

  12. Sounds delicious and you can’t go wrong with 5 ingredients. Thank you for sharing!

  13. haha my pasta shape preferences totally vary depending on the kind of sauce that I’m using. Linguini for olive oil based sauces, rotini for thick red sauces, and shells for cream-based sauces. #ihavefoodissues

  14. This recipe is SOOO easy and AWESOME! I LOVE 5-ingredient recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ give me more! Take Care Liz! -Iva

  15. 5 ingredients or less = that’s my kinda recipe!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember I was making one with like 11 – You do not want to see that behind the scenes footage! LMFAO

  16. I don’t dislike any pasta, I will eat it ALL! I will say that angel hair is my least favorite though and I wouldn’t buy it! This looks so hearty and delicious, perfect for the cold nights ahead!

  17. Oh… I miss pasta. I can’t wait until the Whole Life Challenge is over so I can get some spaghetti in my belly!

  18. Not sure if this was intentional, but 8 oz pasta (uncooked) to combined 39 oz of ricotta+marinara doesn’t seem to add up. I did about 1.5 times the pasta and it was still very saucy.


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