Meatless Baked Ziti

Hearty and filling meatless baked ziti does not skimp on flavor! It is filled with rich tomato sauce, veggies and lots of cheese.

Meatless baked ziti is a perfectly tasty weeknight meal that will leave you and your family happy with full bellies. To round out this dinner try serving it with Oven Roasted Broccoli, or add some meat with Italian Meatballs, and finish off with Grilled Peaches with vanilla ice cream.

Baked ziti on a white plate

No meat meal

This delicious baked ziti is a tasty and filling Italian dish that is perfect for any night of the week!

I have been trying to incorporate more meatless dinners into the rotation. I love the idea of meatless Monday, but really I like to throw a dish like this in a couple of times a week.

Not only does going meatless help with the grocery bills, it’s good for your health! This ziti may be going meatless, but by no means does it skimp on the flavor! It is packed with veggies and cheese for our hearty dish.

Not looking to go meatless? Not a problem. You can easily add in some cooked Italian sausage, ground beef, or chicken to round out this dish if you so choose. Either way, it is sure to be a tasty meal!

Cooking chopped vegetables to use in baked ziti recipe
Cooking sauce to use in baked ziti

How to make baked ziti

PREP. Preheat the oven to 350.

VEGGIES + SAUCE. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and salt, and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Lastly, add the spaghetti sauce and water, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and simmer while the pasta is cooking.

PASTA. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the ziti to the pot and cook for 6 minutes, then drain.

CHEESE. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.

LAYER. Layer half of the ziti in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread half of the tomato sauce over the top of the pasta. Spread or sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the top of the sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with the cheese mixture.

BAKE. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

How to make baked ziti - layering pasta, sauce, and cheese

Tips + Variations

Prepare your veggies beforehand and incorporate them into the sauce when putting it all together.

To save time, buy pre-shredded/chopped veggies.

Other veggie add-ins:

  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms 
Baked ziti with no meat in a baking dish

Storing Info

STORE covered in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-5 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave.

To FREEZE, cover the ziti, baked or unbaked, in multiple layers of plastic wrap and foil. Keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge and then either bake or reheat as normal.

To make ahead, assemble the ziti in the pan, cover the pan with the foil, and keep it in the fridge for 24 hours. Then it is ready to be baked as normal for dinner the next day.

A scoop of meatless baked ziti on a white plate

Serve this baked ziti with:

Meatless Baked Ziti Recipe

Hearty and filling meatless baked ziti does not skimp on flavor! It is filled with rich tomato sauce, veggies and lots of cheese.
5 from 3 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 299kcal
Author: Kristyn Merkley
Print Recipe

Ingredients

for the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 1 medium carrot - shredded
  • 1 stalk celery - diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 24 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 pound dried ziti pasta
for the cheese filling:
  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese - shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese - shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and salt, and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the spaghetti sauce and water, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and simmer while the pasta is cooking.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the ziti to the pot and cook for 6 minutes, then drain.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.
  • Layer half of the ziti in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread half of the tomato sauce over the top of the pasta. Spread or sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the top of the sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with the cheese mixture.
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 811mg | Potassium: 486mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1557IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    this veggie baked ziti is amazing and my new favorite! The carrot was great and I even added some of my other favorite veggie!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for our “Meatless Monday” and it was a hit. Pure comfort food and you don’t miss the meat at all!