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You don’t even have to boil the pasta for this quick and easy Dump-and-Bake 3-Cheese Baked Ziti! Just stir all of the uncooked ingredients together in the dish, cover it with foil, and pop it in the oven. Weeknight dinners just got a whole lot easier!
I’m raising a family of pasta lovers! I swear, my husband and my 3 boys could eat some variety of spaghetti, pesto rotelle, or fettuccini Alfredo every single night of the week. But you know what? Baked Ziti has never been on my go-to list…until now.
I just always assumed that Baked Ziti was kind of like lasagna — a lot of prep work, multiple steps involved, and a ton of dirty dishes at the end. WRONG!
At least, not with my dump-and-bake version!
When I decided that I wanted to create a quick-prep twist on the classic 3-Cheese Baked Ziti, I knew that I was stepping out of my comfort zone.
I wasn’t sure how the cheese mixture would set up in the oven as the pasta baked in the marinara sauce, and I was fully prepared to trash the final product and try again if it wasn’t an initial success.
Easy Dump and Bake Dinners
I’m happy to report, however, that I have apparently become a Dump-and-Bake Dinner Pro. Is that a “thing?” Because if it’s a “thing,” then I’m definitely one of them.
I just can’t get enough of these ultra-easy meals that cook in one dish without any pre-boiling the pasta, washing pots and pans, or slaving over a hot stove. You might just call me lazy? Or busy? Yes and yes!
This hearty, soul-satisfying vegetarian one-dish meal comes together in a matter of minutes and my job is done! It’s delicious served with a green salad and some garlic bread if you have the time or desire, but it’s certainly not necessary.
This Dump-and-Bake 3-Cheese Baked Ziti is a new way to prepare an old favorite — and there’s no going back to the original once you’ve had a taste!
Cooking Just for Two?
You can cut all of the ingredients in half and prepare one smaller casserole. Just bake in an 8-inch square pan. The cooking instructions remain the same.
Extra Tips For Making Baked Ziti
- Don’t have mozzarella? Use cheddar instead or another good melting cheese
- Try adding red pepper flakes for a spicy kick
- Store this baked ziti in the fridge for a few days it makes great leftovers
- Feel free to add extra fresh or dried herbs such as basil or parsley
- You could also try adding cooked sausage, chicken or bacon
More Pasta Recipes You Might Like;
Dump-and-Bake 3-Cheese Baked Ziti
- 1 16 ounce package uncooked ziti pasta
- 1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 3 cups water
- 16 ounces 2 cups cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of pepper
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Spray a large baking dish (about 9 x 13-inches) with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together uncooked ziti, marinara sauce, and water. Ladle half of the ziti mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Pour cottage cheese mixture over the pasta in an even layer.
- Top with remaining pasta and sauce mixture.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Uncover and stir gently. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
- Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).
This had nice flavor and was super easy to prepare. Followed recipe using whole wheat pasta and added some vegetarian crumbles to the sauce. Mine came out a bit on the dry side – easily remedied with ladling sauce over each serving; but, I would definitely add more sauce or water to the original mix next time.
Are there any adjustments I need to make if I double this recipe? Need to cook for about 15 people. Thank you!
Hi, Sierra! No, you shouldn’t need to adjust anything. Just double all of the ingredients and bake in two separate dishes or one HUGE dish. If you bake it all in one huge dish, you might need to increase the baking time slightly, but I’d just check it and see. Enjoy!
I only had spaghetti so I broke it in three pieces. Didn’t quite have the body but was not dry. I added one shallot and it was delicious
Thanks, Linda! I’m glad that it worked okay with the spaghetti, too!