Easy Four Cheese Baked Ziti Recipe | Freezer Friendly Make Ahead Meal
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Check out this delicious and easy baked ziti recipe!
Calling all cheese and pasta lovers!
This baked ziti recipe is the perfect Italian dish if you are craving comfort food that the whole family will love. Besides being such a simple Italian recipe that really anyone can make, the best part about this amazing dish is that you can FREEZE it to enjoy at a later time!
There’s nothing better than grabbing a delicious meal like this right from your freezer and popping it into the oven after a long day of work or school. From your favorite spaghetti sauce to the creamy cheese throughout every bite, everyone in your family will be asking for seconds! It is that good!
This recipe makes enough to fill two Hefty Ez-Foil Casserole 9×12 Pans so you can have one for dinner and you can freeze the other pan for the upcoming week when you have a busy night ahead. My favorite meals have always been the ones I can take out of the freezer and put straight into the oven.
Hip tips for this baked ziti recipe:
- If you are serving the Baked Ziti on the same day that you are preparing it, you will want to bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
- If you are freezing to enjoy at a later time, you can do one of two things:
- Take it out of the freezer the morning of, place it in the refrigerator to thaw and then in the evening, place it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 mins.
- If you forget to take it out of the freezer in advance, no worries! Just bake it for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
- I like to sprinkle parsley or fresh basil on my Baked Ziti before serving it. If you love veggies as I do, consider adding onions, mushrooms, or even spinach to your Ziti mix! So yummy!!
- You can substitute the cream cheese for ricotta cheese. I also put the eggs as optional as this meal tastes great without them as well!
Easy 4 Cheese Baked Ziti Recipe | Freezer-Friendly
yield: 8 SERVINGS
prep time: 30 MINUTES
cook time: 25 MINUTES
total time: 55 MINUTES
This recipe is perfect for busy families as you can make it in under an hour and then freeze it to enjoy at a later date!
- 2 - 16 oz. bags Ziti Noodles
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups spaghetti sauce
- 4 eggs (optional)
- 10 tablespoons cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
If serving right away baked ziti, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You do not need to preheat if you plan to freeze to cook at a later date.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook Ziti noodles as directed on the package - typically about 8 minutes.
In a large skillet, brown ground beef and sausage together. Drain any grease and add beef and sausage back to skillet. Add in diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce.
Add noodles to foil pans evenly. A reminder that this batch makes enough to fill two 9"x12" pans.
In each pan, add 2 eggs, 5 tablespoons of cream cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup of Italian blended cheese. Stir until noodles are evenly coated.
Split the spaghetti sauce mixture in half and pour half in one pan of noodles and the rest in the other pan making sure all noodles are covered with sauce. Top with remaining cheddar cheese and cover with foil.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted. If you are freezing, cover in foil two times. I have even covered the foil in plastic wrap to make sure it is sealed.
Any recipe that can be made ahead of time is a WIN in my book! It’s such an easy and convenient recipe that will be a family and friend favorite for sure!
Looks great for a family party! I like that you actually need to split the recipe in two pans. It would be easy to customize each pan. Thanks!
Customizing each pan is a great idea! My guys always want different ingredients.
Lina, another winner! Making this tonite.
Perfect to feed the family and also bring to a new mama!
Thanks for a great recipe. Looking forward to trying it. Is there a way to save certain topics of interest on the app like a ❤️ or favorites button?
Hi Anom! Yes! You can save it by adding it to your “cookbook”. Hope this helps!
thank you. I might try this tonight for dinner. Might do half with meat and half without because my girls are vegetarians and my boys are not. LOL
How many Tablespoons of cream cheese are in an 8-oz. brick?
Hi Heather! It looks like an 8 oz brick has about 16 tablespoons. Hope that helps!
This looks awesome! I am having it and making it for dinner tonight! Looks kind of like lasagna ingredients but so much less work. Thanks so much!
We have an egg allergy at home…what do the eggs do in this recipe? Do you think I can leave out?
Yes you can leave the eggs out
I bake this alot without eggs. I think it taste fine 🙂
EXACTLY what I was looking for to serve for Christmas dinner! This is PERFECT! Thank you!
Leave out the eggs. In Italy you would rarely add multiple proteins – remember these recipes are from people who were poor. So if their is meat cut the eggs unless you are prepping it for a holiday. Also to make it more authentic change out the cheeses. Use part skim ricotta, a 1/4 cup Romano, and mozzarella. That way you still get a bunch of flavors but less cholesterol and fat (and more authentic too) also for people with lactose issues most Italian cheeses are lactose free.
My family is lactose intolerant, so this revision sounds great! What amounts would you use these 3 cheeses and would you add a fourth or just these 3? Thanks so much!
Wait so the sauce never gets mixed into the noodles? It stays on top and covered with cheese?
My phone is showing a dot at the top of the ingredients, but doesn’t show that it’s sauce or how much. It’s just a blank bullet point. I’m assuming it’s for pasta sauce. Anyone have the amount?
For us empty nesters I divide a 13 x 9 casserole recipe into four loaf pans and eat one and freeze the other. Half of this recipe will be four meals for us and I am excited to be able to stock my freezer for later!
Haven’t tried this recipe. This one is my favorite
Just want to say thanks for this recipe! It is super delicious!! I made it for my husband and myself – newish empty nesters, learning to cook for just two. I split it into 4 square foil pans, one square pan is the perfect size for us to have for dinner, then lunch the next day. Thanks again!