What’s for dinner? This simple cheesy baked ziti recipe is comforting, filling and super simple to whip up. Ready in under an hour, this dish is a family favorite and makes for delicious leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. package of penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound italian sausage
  • 32 oz. marinara sauce
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 3/4 cups shredded parmesan (divided)
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. 
  2. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta according to instructions until it is al dente. Drain the pasta, drizzle with olive oil and stir. Pour it into a large bowl and set aside. 
  3. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the italian sausage and break up the meat with a wooden spoon, cooking until it is no longer pink (about 5-7 mins). Discard excess fat and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, an egg, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, ½ cup of parmesan cheese, basil, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Next, add the cheese mixture to the pasta. Pour in the marina sauce and sausage and stir until well combined, being careful not to break the noodles.
  6. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish, and top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese an ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top appears slightly golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Lastly, serve and enjoy!