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A delicious easy recipe for Baked Ziti with Spinach, Mushrooms and ricotta. A one-pan meal with only 15 minutes of hands-on time before baking, with no pre-boiling the pasta! An easy, delicious weeknight dinner the whole family will love! Includes video.
Looking for more? Check out 50 Best Vegetarian Recipes and Our 40 Best Mushroom Recipes!
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!
Baked Ziti! | 60-second video
Ingredients in Baked Ziti
What I love about this recipe for Baked Ziti is how adaptable it is! Besides the pasta ( use ziti, penne, rigatoni) and Marinara sauce, feel free to add ground meat or Italian sausage, or keep it completely plant-based with seasonal veggies. Here we are using mushrooms and spinach but other veggies work too! Once you have the basic idea, the recipe can be adapted to your specific preferences.
You can even make this vegan using vegan tofu ricotta!
How to make Baked Ziti
It starts with sautéing shallots, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.
Add a couple of heaping handfuls of greens. Here I’ve used spinach, but keep in mind, kale and chard work well too. Wilt.
Add the 8 ounces dry pasta. We are using ziti, but penne, or other pasta will work too. No need to preboil the pasta in the recipe!
Add 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. Or this quick marinara sauce, or even store-bought- not the one pictured here, but actually Trader Joes Organic Marinara – is surprisingly flavorful! I keep a couple of jars on hand for emergencies.
So basically, it will look like this. Top with dollops of ricotta. Or try our Tofu Ricotta!
On the left is our Vegan 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!
How to Store, Reheat and Freeze Baked Ziti
- Ziti can be assembled ahead, then baked up to 48 hours later. Let it come to room temp before baking, and add 10-15 more minutes of baking time or until internal temp reaches 145F.
- Baked Ziti can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Reheat leftovers in a 350F oven or in a microwave.
- Freeze-baked ziti for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in 350F oven to 145F
What to serve with Baked Ziti
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 talking about are spouses. Mine in particular. 😉 We are so dynamic. Change occurs in us every day. 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 friends, I hope you enjoy this Mushroom Baked Ziti and please let me know how you adapt it below.
More recipes you may like:
- 40 Best Pasta Recipes!
- 50+ Easy Dinner Ideas
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- Butternut Lasagna with Mushrooms and Sage
- Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sauce
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- Vegan Mushroom Pasta with Roasted Sunchokes
- Baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash and Kale
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: main
- Method: Vegan Adaptable
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
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
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (cremini, portobello, or sub ground meat or sausage)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
- 3–4 ounces baby spinach, chopped ( about 2 great big handfuls) or use 1-2 cups frozen spinach
- 2 cups veggie broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 x 24-25 ounce jar marinara sauce– ( 2 3/4– 3 cups) Trader joe’s organic brand is really tasty -see notes
- 8 ounces dry ziti pasta or penne pasta, or similar (about 2 1/2-3 cups)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, or herbed tofu ricotta
- 1/4–1/2 cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan (optional)
- 1/2– 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese ( or sub vegan cheese)
- garnish with fresh basil (or Italian parsley) and 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, Italian herbs, 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 fresh spinach and wilt, then add the broth or stock, the marinara sauce and the dry pasta. 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 (feel free to broil). If there seems to be too much liquid left in the pan, simply bake uncovered a bit longer, or 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.
- Serving Size: using 1 cup whole milk ricotta and 1 cup total cheese ( mozzarella & parm)
- Calories: 365
- Sugar: 3.9 g
- Sodium: 419.4 mg
- Fat: 15.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 39.1 g
- Fiber: 5.2 g
- Protein: 19.9 g
- Cholesterol: 33.7 mg
Keywords: baked ziti, baked ziti recipe, baked ziti recipes, baked ziti vegetarian, baked ziti ricotta, baked ziti recipe, baked ziti recipe healthy, baked ziti ricotta, one pan dinner
I make a similar lasagna with no boil noodles, beef, spinach and mushrooms, and it freezes really well. I cook for one and freeze individual servings. Does this freeze well?
Yes, this freezes great!
Very good; will prepare again. Love the no boil noodles idea!
Thanks so much!
I can’t believe that when I went to the store, I forgot the ricotta cheese, but I made it anyway and I’m glad I did. It was delicious and I love the no boil, so easy. I can’t wait to make it again and use ricotta too. Enough left over for tomorrow. The only complaint was I’ve been trying to stop when I’m satisfied and it was hard to do that. I didn’t want to stop.
Haha! I know that problem too. But it does make it so you look forward to leftovers, which is nice. 🙂
This has become one of my go-to recipes. Simple, tasty and a crowd pleaser. Sometimes I’ll make with cashew ricotta and vegan mozz and it’s just as yummy! Ty Sylvia and team 🤗
I love this recipe. The pasta comes out perfect, even grain free pastas. It is so versatile and so easy! The best part – it is so yummy. Thank you so much for this recipe.
Thanks so much Karis!
It’s when the quantity of broth mentioned added to the ingredients in the pot. It states 2 cups of broth, instead of four as in the ingredients list.
Another thing…if people make this on the stove and then put it in a glass casserole dish, like a lasagne – and if the mixture after cooking in the oven is still watery- they need to know the contents have to be transferred back to a metal pot before setting on the stovetop. Not use the glass oven casserole dish. Hey, you never know… 🙂
Got it, and fixed it- thanks!
Delicious! But a correction is needed. The 2X quantity amount should have the broth also increased – to 4 cups, not as 2 cups as required for the 1X quantity.
Hey Em- so when I click on 2x – I see 4 cups broth? Can you double-check?
This is definitely something that has been in our rotation! Double the recipe is the perfect amount to fit in the classic staub 5.5qt Dutch oven. I’ve only made it once with ricotta but thought it was quite disgusting (lol sorry but I just don’t like ricotta’s flavor and texture). I’m a huge fan of the herbed tofu ricotta tho and it’s just so perfect for all the pasta bakes.
Thanks Bowie and glad you found the tofu ricotta- a great substitute!
Just found your site while looking for easy vegetarian recipes. So excited! A question, if I may. What can I use instead of any tomato-based product?
Joann- can you eat roasted peppers? I wonder if you could create a marinara out of roasted peppers instead of tomatoes?
Just asked my husband, who has the problem with tomato products, and he said roasted peppers should be okay.
Would this recipe work with gluten free pasta?
Yes, I think so Portima- if you read through the comments I belive others have made it w/ GF pasta. 😉
Sylvia! Your recipe was just fabulous! I sautéed a pound of medium hot Italian sausage to the recipe that I browned as the first step, removed, then returned the cooked meat to the pot when I added the dried pasta. I used cremini mushrooms as well. My tip: It’s easier to cut sausage into thick coins for this recipe when the meat is still partially frozen. Delicious!
Thanks so much Mauren! Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the tip!
Hi Sylvia, thank you for this great recipe. Although the ingredients are not especially exotic, somehow the combination works really well to produce a one pot supper which wowed everyone. Just bursting with flavours. It was my first time making this so I didn’t vary the ingredients. It was just perfect the way it is.
Easy to follow recipes and so very tasty. Will definitely make it again and again!!
Glad you enjoyed this!
My husband and I loved this recipe as printed. I would like to make for company. Can this be made a day before, refrigerated or frozen for baking the next day?
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, should be fine to make ahead, and bake the next day! I would not store it in a cast iron pan in the fridge though. 😉
Thank you for your reply. I plan to make it this time with half mushrooms and half Italian sausage since our company prefers a meat dish.
Have a great week and I appreciate your great recipes.
Sounds delicious Connie!