Spicy sausage is nestled into the most luscious garlic marinara sauce and perfectly cooked ziti noodles. I topped this oven baked ziti with fresh mozzarella that gets perfectly melted into the sauce. It all comes together to make an easy dinner everyone will love.
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Spicy Sausage and Mozzarella Baked Ziti
This is my new favorite dinner. There is very minimal effort happening here and right now very minimal effort is my favorite. And even though there is little effort to be found, the flavor is fantastic. Little effort + fantastic flavor = on the weekly dinner rotation.
Since you are not making a meat sauce for this baked ziti, it goes so quickly. I just nestled spicy sausage bites that I pulled from hot Italian sausages (cut them open and remove casing). Read: no rolling meatballs, just pulling and plopping. It’s…”rustic”.
Rustic is my bae right now.
REASONS WHY THIS IS THE EASIEST MOST ADAPTABLE DINNER:
- The sauce is a version of my Magic Bullet Marinara. Everything you use this amazing 2- minute sauce on is next level.
- You can use dry noodles, which pretty much makes this a dump dinner. You know I’m all about a dump dinner. Dump. it. in.
- Use the meat you have. I had three hot Italian sausages I needed to use but you can use ground beef, ready-made meatballs, you do you boo.
- I definitely prefer fresh mozzarella, but pre-shredded mozzarella is just fine. My only advice is not to layer it on too thick. You want that amazing sauce to bubble through.
What Goes In This Delicious Baked Pasta?
- Ziti Noodles: You can substitute penne, but the ziti really works to hold the sauce.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes: Used to make the sauce. You can use fresh (28 oz.) if tomatoes are in season.
- Garlic: Makes everything taste better.
- Olive Oil: I kind of used a lot, you can scale it down if you want but if you want it to be a little luscious, follow the recipe.
- Salt: Flavor explosion.
- Sausage: I used spicy Italian sausages and just cut off the casing to expose the ground sausage inside. Easy. Rustic.
- Fresh Mozzarella: I chose fresh mozzarella so that I could place it around the dish but not cover the dish. Some kids in our house love cheese, some hate it, some are too little to eat melty mozzarella. Also, it is soft and melts so nicely for everyone who loves it (Me).
How Do You Make No Boil Baked Ziti?
- Pour ziti noodles into the baking dish dry.
- Using a food processor (or magic bullet, in batches) blend tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and salt.
- Cover dry noodles with sauce. Stir in water.
- Layer in the raw sausage by tucking it into spaces between noodles.
- Bake covered at 400° for 30 minutes
- Layer on fresh mozzarella and bake uncovered for 20 minutes
- 8. 9. Admire it
THIS GOES GREAT WITH:
- Pesto Braided Bread
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet
- Farmhouse Style Yeast Rolls
- Garlic Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
Hey- you’ve made it this far, and now we’re BFF’s. If you make this recipe, I would love for you to give it a star rating below (scroll to the comments). Make sure you follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook too!Print
16 oz Ziti noodles, dry
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups water
3+ spicy Italian sausages (casing removed)
8 oz fresh mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Add dry noodles to a 9×12 (+-) baking dish
- In a food processor combine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes
- Combine sauce with noodles and add water, stir to combine
- Remove sausage casings and pull sausage apart in 1 inch pieces. Nestle around the pasta.
- Bake covered 30 minutes
- Remove from the oven and layer mozzarella on top
- Bake uncovered 20 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
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