Creamy Baked Ziti


Who doesn’t find comfort in a bowl of pasta?  Tender noodles topped with garlicky tomato sauce and cheese, that is definitely a comfort dish in my book.  A while back a posted a delicious Baked Ziti.  I posted it after a quest to find a decent baked ziti recipe.  It was hard to find one that didn’t end up dry.  The one I found was divine.  Chicken broth kept it from drying out.

Then, I recently saw another Baked Ziti recipe that was calling my name.  I found it over on Let’s Dish and she adapted it from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.  This recipe isn’t just topped with cheese, it has a cheesy cream sauce you make and mix in to the tomato sauce.  Oh it’s good, so good!  This recipe doesn’t dry out either.  That creamy, cheesy, tomato sauce keeps the dish nice and moist.

Now this recipe does require a little more effort than the other baked ziti recipe.  You aren’t relying on a bottled sauce.  Plus you have to make two sauces – the creamy one and the tomato version.  However, the sauces come together quite quick and easy.  The taste is also well worth the extra 15 minutes to make the sauces too.  This version is also meatless, where the other version I have includes ground beef.

Keep in mind this recipe also serves 8 to 10, so you may want to half the recipe.  Add some yummy bread like herbed garlic bread and a nice tossed salad and you’re set for dinner.

Today is also another day of the  8 weeks of Christmas Goodies that I am participating in along with some other bloggers.  My goodie for ya today is gingerbread cupcakes.  They are made with a boxed mix and I have two frosting recipes for you to choose from.


Creamy Baked Ziti

  • 1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound ziti or other short, tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. Prepare pasta according to package directions, cooking only until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, and sugar.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk cornstarch into heavy cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese to thickened cream.  Stir cottage cheese/cream mixture into tomato mixture and mix well.  Add half of the cubed mozzarella and the pasta and stir until pasta is thoroughly coated with sauce.
  4. Transfer pasta mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cubed mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.
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9 comments on “Creamy Baked Ziti

  • This was ok. I think it would be easier to use shredded mozzarella, instead of cubes. It would melt faster.

  • Making this right now – can’t wait until it is done!

    Am I blind? When do you use the sugar?

  • This was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe. This will certainly be replacing my baked ziti recipe.

  • I love Baked Ziti. This one looks delicious. I’ll be trying it soon.

  • I use the America’s Test Kitchen Baked Ziti recipe a lot, and the thing I like about it over this one is that it’s one pan. Everything, including the pasta, cooks in one large skillet that goes from stove to oven. The pasta cooks in the sauce so it picks up the flavor. It’s so creamy and never dries out. For ease and quickness, I recommend the America’s Test Kitchen recipe. If you try it, let us know what you think!

  • Good question. Both are excellent. I think the red and white pasta is slightly saucier than this version. This one definitely has more of a cheese factor.

  • That looks really good. How does it compare with your red and white pasta recipe, that is my families favorite and they ask for it all the time.

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