This 5 ingredient baked ziti is perfect for busy days when you need a quick dinner idea! You can have dinner in the oven in just 15 minutes!

baked ziti in a pan
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This 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! Pasta gets a bad reputation, but it can be part of a healthy meal!

ziti on a plate

Tips for perfect baked ziti

  • With a recipe as simple as this, the ingredients are super important. Go for a high-quality pasta sauce like Rao’s. Their tomato basil sauce is amazing.
  • You can use regular, whole wheat, or chickpea noodles. I like using chickpea noodles because they have extra protein and fiber, but any noodle you like will work! You can even use penne noodles if you can’t find ziti.
  • I used shredded mozzarella but you’re welcome to use fresh mozzarella if you prefer!
baked ziti

I’ve even used rigatoni noodles! They’re great because they grip the sauce a little bit more than ziti noodles. The point is, any short noodle will be fine!

baked ziti topped with cheese
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baked ziti

5 Ingredient Baked Ziti Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


With just 5 ingredients, you can make a delicious vegetarian dinner!


  • 12 oz whole wheat ziti noodles (or chickpea pasta)
  • 24 oz jar of marinara sauce
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 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 1/3 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!


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.

It ends up being around 500 calories per serving, which isn’t exactly light but it’s also not so bad for cheesy baked pasta! Plus, you’ll get 23g of protein. If you’re looking for a version with extra vegetables and more protein, try my healthier baked ziti.

baked pasta

We saved leftovers for Sunday and I was wishing we’d made an even larger batch so I could have more leftovers 😉 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.

Baked Ziti Side Dish Ideas

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