Ever want a comfort food that everyone will love, look no further than homemade baked ziti. A real crowd pleaser! It’s rich, feeling, and delicious. This recipe checks all the boxes!


Meat sauce:

  • 1 pound ground hamburger meat (I use sirloin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (I use Cento)
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

Baked Ziti:

  • 1 pound ziti pasta (cooked according to package)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

OPTIONAL: Extra parmesan cheese and a jar of Rao’s Marinara sauce for an extra kick when serving!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by pouring a little olive oil in the pan and rubbing it around the pan, set aside. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into large, deep skillet or pot. Turn stove to medium-high heat. Add ground beef and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, until browned. Take some clean paper towels and blot up excess grease or water from the hamburger meat, discard paper towel. Add in diced onions and mushrooms, Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until onions are soft and ground beef is cooked through.

Add in minced garlic and tomato paste and mix, sauté for 2 minutes. Pour in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir. Add in Italian Seasoning, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook on low until pasta is ready.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.

In the meantime, prepare the cheese topping in a small mixing bowl by combining room temperature cream cheese, ricotta, and parmesan. Mix together until smooth.

Once the pasta is done, add it into the meat sauce and stir to combine. Pour it into the lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Spread cheese mixture on top of the pasta.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot. 8 servings

OPTIONAL: When serving, top with a little extra sauce (I use Rao’s Marinara Sauce) and some graded parmesan cheese. (I suggest having a bottle of Rao’s Marinara Sauce heated up on the stove, this is the closest to homemade. I just like some extra sauce, and this does the trick!)