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Extra Saucy, Cheesy, Creamy BAKED ZITI

Today I am making an extra saucy, creamy, cheesy baked ziti. The recipe and ingredients are on my website. Link below! This is a decadent creamy baked ziti with a homemade bechamel sauce. This sets up quite nicely and is a crowd-pleaser for dinner. The left-overs are just as good!


Extra Saucy Cheesy Creamy BAKED ZITI


1 1/2 Tbsp (22 ml) cooking oil

1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Italian herb blend

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

32 oz (946 ml) your favorite pasta sauce

1/2 (118 ml) water

1 lb (454 g) Ziti pasta

pinch of sugar for pasta sauce (optional)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 lb (454 g) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 lb (454 g) ricotta cheese

5 oz (140 g) parmesan cheese (grated)


3 Tbsp (28 g) all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp (42 g) unsalted butter

2 cups (473 ml) whole milk

1/8 tsp grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)


1. To a medium pot, add cooking oil, ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian herb blend, black pepper, salt and cook over a medium high heat.

2. Pour pasta sauce into the pot with the ground beef. Then add a half cup of water to the empty pasta sauce jar, shake and pour into pot.

3. Combine, bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook the meat sauce for 30 minutes. Stir through out cook time.

4. To a small heavy bottomed pot, over a low heat, melt the butter then add flour to create a roux. Cook over a low heat setting for one minute.

5. Slowly pour in the room temperature milk and continually whisk to combine. This will prevent lumps. If the roux bubbles violently as you pour the milk, lower the heat source.

6. Continually whisk until the béchamel sauce starts to thicken and coats the back of the spoon.

7. Turn off heat, add a pinch of grated nutmeg, salt to taste, mix and set aside until ready to use.

8. In a 5 1/2 to 6 quart pot of boiling water add a tablespoon of salt, then mix. Now Pour in pasta and cook for 6 to 7 minutes or until al dente.

9. Drain the pasta, DO NOT rinse and place back in to the pot. Add one cup of meat sauce, a half cup of grated parmesan cheese into the pasta and mix.

10. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, add a ladle of meat sauce to the bottom. Now add half of the prepped pasta.

11. Add a third of the mozzarella cheese by placing small chunks in a single layer. Sprinkle a third cup of grated parmesan, a third of the ricotta cheese in dollops,

then pour over a third of the béchamel sauce for the first layer of cheese.

12. Next, pour over half of the meat sauce.

13. Repeat the cheese process for the next layer then pour over the remaining meat sauce and spread evenly.

14. For the last layer of cheese, add the rest of the mozzarella, ricotta and béchamel.

15. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 218 degrees Celsius for 25 to 30 minutes.

16. Remove from oven and set for 15 to 20 minutes, then serve. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!


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