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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.
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
- Roasted Eggplant Lasagna with Arugula Pesto
- Butternut Lasagna with Mushrooms and Sage
- Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sauce
- Broccoli Manicotti with Burrata
- Vegan Mushroom Pasta with Roasted Sunchokes
- Baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash and Kale
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.
- 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
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