This delicious recipe for Baked Ziti with Spinach and Mushrooms– is a “no-boil” version! Meaning there is no pre-boiling of the pasta- just cook it all in one-pot! With only 15 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven, this is the perfect weeknight dinner the whole family will love! GF and vegan adaptable!
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.~ John Muir~
Here’s a simple, no-boil version, Baked Ziti with Spinach and Mushrooms that can be made in one pan and is gluten-free adaptable! It requires about 15 minutes of hands-on time before letting the oven do the rest of the work. Perfect for weeknights when time is short but you still want a hearty wholesome homemade meal.
Tucked inside are heaping handfuls of spinach for added nutrients!
What I love about this recipe is how adaptable it is! Add other veggies to the mix, or “beef it up” with sausage. Once you have the basic idea, the recipe can be adapted to your specific preferences. And let me tell you, the leftovers are amazing, so do yourself a favor and pack them up for midweek lunches.
It’s a little hard to tell from the photo above but the left half of the pan is actually vegan – using vegan tofu ricotta, and the other half is loaded up with more cheese for my husband. He needs the calories, and I do not. 🙂
It starts with sautéing shallots, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.
Add a couple heaping handfuls of greens. Here I’ve used spinach, but keep in mind, kale and chard work well too. Wilt.
Add the dry pasta.
Add 2 cups chicken or veggie stock.
Add one 24-25 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce. Of course, you can use homemade tomato sauce if so inclined. I’ve discovered my own personal favorite store-bought marinara sauce, not the one pictured here, but actually Trader Joes Organic Marinara – it is surprisingly really flavorful! I keep a couple of jars on hand for emergencies.
So basically it will look like this. Top with dollops of ricotta.
On the left is the herbed tofu ricotta I keep telling you about which is so easy to make, it literally takes 5 minutes. I use it in vegan lasagna and cannelloni as well.
It really has a similar texture as you can see below on the left. Because it’s made with tofu instead of cashews, it’s a much lower calorie option.
Now at this point, I’ll add grated pecorino and mozzarella cheese mostly to Brian’s side.
The mozzarella gives it the melty stringy yumminess he loves.
Then into the oven it goes to bake. So simple and easy!
ON the homefront: Summer is officially over. I have to tell you… it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a summer with so much time to enjoy the outdoors. Since we decided to cut back on catering, we’ve had a luxurious amount of time to just be outside and bask in the sunshine.
It’s good for the soul. We’ve done a lot of hiking and exploring in our area and it never ceases to amaze me, how one can discover something new, on the same path taken a hundred times before. You just have to have new eyes.
It’s the same with people, and really who I’m really talking about are spouses. Mine in particular. 😉 We are so dynamic. Change occurs in us everyday. We don’t always notice this on the surface, but pay attention, and you’ll see. Or perhaps we rather not see. There is safety and comfort in the one we depend on, staying the same. I get it.
But how fun is that? Life becomes more of an adventure when I let go and trust the changes that come.
And trust the path of the people we are connected with. Lately, I’ve been feeling very grateful for Brian, for being so incredibly different than me. I used to resist it. To fight against his timing, growth and perspective, and of course, I’m sure I will again. 😉
But today I see how he has helped me in a way, that nothing or no-one else ever could, in his own unique way, without him even being remotely conscious of it. A gift from the universe.
Ok freinds, I hope you enjoy this. Mushroom Baked Ziti and please let me know how you adapt it below.
No-Boil Baked Ziti with Spinach, Mushrooms and Ricotta – a simple, healthy one-pot meal with only 15 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven. Vegan and GF adaptable!
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 12–16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or sub ground meat or sausage)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 3 ounces baby spinach, chopped ( about 2 great big handfuls) or use 1-2 cups frozen spinach
- 2 cups chicken stock or veggie broth
- 1 x 24-25 ounce jar marinara sauce- Trader joe’s organic brand is really tasty -see notes
- 8 ounces dry ziti or penne pasta, or similar
- 1 cup ricotta, or herbed tofu ricotta
- ¼–1/2 cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan ( optional)
- 1/2– 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese ( sub vegan cheese)
- garnish with fresh basil or Italian parsley and optional chili flakes.
Preheat oven to 400 F
In a large, 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, garlic and mushrooms and season generously with salt and pepper, cooking and stirring until mushrooms release all their liquids and this cooks off, and eventually they get golden brown, about 12 minutes. Taste and make sure these are salted and flavorful.
Add spinach and wilt, then add 2 cups of broth or stock, a jar of marinara sauce and the dry pasta ( about 2 ¾-3 cups dry). Stir, and bring to a simmer. Dot with the dollops of ricotta. Sprinkle with mozzarella and pecorino. Cover well and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
Uncover and let the cheese get a little golden for a couple of minutes. If there seems to be too much liquid left in the pan, simply simmer uncovered on the stovetop for 1-2 minutes until it evaporates.
Garnish with fresh herbs and chili flakes.
Feel free to add or substitute the mushrooms with browned Italian sausage or turkey sausage. You could also try adding soy sausage.
Make sure your marinara sauce actually tastes good. Not all are the same and you many need to adjust seasonings, and salt based on the marinara.
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