Dump and Bake Baked Ziti

You don’t have to boil a single noodle.

Baked Ziti is a classic for good reason, and this dump-and-bake version makes it so incredibly easy. You don’t have to boil a single noodle! All you have to do is stir everything together, cover it up, and bake, and voila – delicious cheesy, tomatoey baked ziti. It couldn’t be easier. Or tastier.

The name dump and bake is a little unfortunate, but it is literal – it’s used in dishes where you dump some ingredients into a baking dish and stick it in the oven and that’s the entire extent of your work.

Here, you mix together ziti (uncooked!), marinara sauce, and water and arrange half of it in a baking dish…

… and then you stir together a little parmesan, ricotta, and egg mixture…

… which goes on top of the ziti before it’s covered up by more ziti and marinara.

And then you cover it and bake. That’s it! After about forty minutes you’ll want to check and see if the pasta is approaching doneness and if it is you can give things a gentle stir (you don’t want to mix the ricotta completely into the marinara) and top it with more cheese before popping it back in the oven to get nice and melty.

This is one of those dinners you barely have to think about and yet it’s always reliably delicious. It’s almost no work – all you have to do is stir a few things together and turn on your oven. Easy peasy and delicious!

Dump and Bake Baked Ziti

You don't have to boil a single noodle.

Serves 6 ; 10 minutes to prepare, 50 minutes cook time

Ingredients
  • 16 oz dried ziti
  • 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, parsley, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the ziti, marinara sauce, and water.
  4. Spread half of the ziti mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with ricotta mixture and then pour remaining ziti mixture over the top.
  5. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and stir gently. Check to see if pasta is al dente. If pasta is still hard, cover again and return to oven.
  6. Once pasta is al dente, remove foil and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until cheese has melted and pasta is tender, 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Seasoned Mom.