Baked Ziti

What’s not to love about pasta, sauce, and cheese all baked together? Since we’re not fans of ricotta cheese, a simple white sauce called béchamel enhances the taste of the dish without making it overly creamy, while homemade marinara sauce with garden-grown herbs adds freshness and flavor.

STEP ONE – Preparations

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Lightly spray an 13×9-inch baking dish with canola spray.
  3. Get out a large pot and a colander.
  4. Get out small glass measuring cup and a small saucepan.

STEP TWO – Cook the Pasta


1 pound uncooked ziti pasta


  1. Fill the large pot with water, add a shake of salt, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the ziti and cook for 1 less minute than directed.
  3. Drain in the colander, rinse briefly under cold water, and set aside in the baking dish.

STEP THREE – Make the Marinara Sauce


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ small peeled and minced onion
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic peeled and minced cloves
1 28-ounce can tomatoes or 8 large seeded and diced tomatoes
2 fresh chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey


  1. In the medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and basil.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the vinegar and honey and stir to incorporate.
  7. Puree in the food processor or leave chunky.

STEP FOUR – Make the Béchamel


1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. In the small glass measuring cup, microwave the milk for 1 minute and set aside.
  2. In the small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  3. Once bubbling, whisk in the flour until incorporated.
  4. Slowly whisk in the heated milk, stirring continually until the sauce is smooth and thick.
  5. Season with the salt and nutmeg.

STEP FIVE – Assemble and Bake

  1. In the baking dish, combine the pasta with half the marinara sauce and the béchamel.
  2. Spread the remaining marinara sauce and the mozzarella cheese on top.
  3. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. 
  4. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until lightly browned.
  6. Serve hot.

Recommended Serving Size: ⅙ of recipe

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 protein, 1 veg, 1 fat

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Nourish is all about wholesome food preparation for those with disordered eating. Our mission is to provide delicious recipes anyone can make at home, along with education and support for individuals recovering from eating disorders and their caregivers.

8 thoughts on “Baked Ziti

  1. Thanks so much for giving our recipes a try and following our mother and daughter story. During this tough time right now around the world, food can help bring us together whether at the same table or from a distance.

    Liked by 1 person

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