The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, is a household name when it comes to classic comfort food. Her baked ziti recipe is no exception. This dish is a crowd-pleaser that combines tender pasta with a rich and flavorful tomato sauce, melted mozzarella cheese, and a hint of Parmesan. Whether you’re looking for a weeknight dinner solution or a dish to take to a potluck, Pioneer Woman’s baked ziti is the perfect choice.
It’s easy to make, filling, and sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this classic recipe and show you how to make it in your own kitchen. So, preheat your oven and let’s get started!
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Here are a few reasons why you’ll love the Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti recipe:
- Easy to make: This dish is simple to prepare, and most of the ingredients are pantry staples.
- Comfort food: Baked ziti is a classic comfort food that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
- Versatile: This dish can be customized to your liking by adding different types of cheese, vegetables, or meats.
- Perfect for entertaining: Baked ziti is a crowd-pleaser, making it the perfect dish to serve at a dinner party or family gathering.
- Makes great leftovers: This dish reheats well, so you can enjoy leftovers for a quick and easy meal later in the week.
What Is Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti Recipe?
The Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti is a classic Italian pasta dish that combines tender noodles, flavorful tomato sauce, and melted cheese. This recipe, created by food personality and chef Ree Drummond, adds her signature down-home twist to this crowd-pleasing dish. It is easy to make, comforting, and delicious, making it a perfect meal for any occasion.
Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti Ingredients
- 1 pound ziti pasta
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 jar marinara sauce (24 ounces)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
How To Make Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook the ziti pasta according to package instructions and drain.
- In a large skillet, cook the Italian sausage over medium heat until browned and crumbled. Drain any excess grease.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti, sausage, marinara sauce, ricotta cheese, and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.serve hot and enjoy!
- Use quality ingredients: Use good quality pasta, canned tomatoes, fresh basil and quality cheese for best results.
- Cook the pasta al dente: This will prevent the pasta from becoming mushy when baked in the oven.
- Make a flavorful sauce: Cook the sauce until it has thickened and the flavors have melded together, this will make a difference in the final taste of the dish.
- Use the right type of cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a nutty flavor, while mozzarella cheese provides a creamy and gooey texture.
- Let it rest before serving: Letting the baked ziti rest for 10-15 minutes before serving will allow the flavors to settle and the sauce to thicken.
- Don’t overcook the dish: Overcooking the dish can cause the pasta to become mushy and the cheese to become rubbery.
- Use a deep baking dish: Using a deeper dish will prevent the sauce from spilling over the edges and ensure that the pasta is fully coated in sauce.
- Add additional protein: You can add ground beef, sausage or chicken to the dish for additional flavor and protein.
What To Serve With Baked Ziti?
Here are some great sides to serve with baked ziti:
- Garlic bread
- Salad greens, such as a classic Caesar salad or mixed greens with a simple vinaigrette
- Roasted vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, or Brussels sprouts
- Steamed or roasted asparagus
- Grilled or sautéed mushrooms
- Grilled or baked chicken or sausage
- Fresh fruit, such as a mixed berry salad or sliced watermelon
Remember, the goal is to create a balanced meal with complementary flavors, so feel free to get creative!
To store baked ziti, follow these steps:
- Allow the dish to cool completely to room temperature.
- Wrap the dish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped dish in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Alternatively, you can also freeze baked ziti for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap the dish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place in a freezer-safe airtight container or resealable plastic bag. When ready to reheat, thaw the dish overnight in the refrigerator and then heat in a 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until fully heated through.
How To Reheat Baked Ziti?
There are several ways to reheat baked ziti:
No matter which method you choose, make sure the baked ziti reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving to ensure that it is safe to eat.
Can I make baked ziti ahead of time?
Yes, you can make baked ziti ahead of time. You can assemble the dish and refrigerate it for up to 2 days before baking. When ready to bake, allow the dish to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before putting it in the oven. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Can I use a different type of pasta for baked ziti?
Yes, you can use a different type of pasta for baked ziti, such as penne or rigatoni, as long as they are a similar size and shape to the traditional ziti. However, the texture and cooking time may vary slightly depending on the type of pasta used.
Do I have to bake the ziti in the oven or can I use the stovetop?
Baked ziti is traditionally baked in the oven to allow the sauce and cheese to bake into the pasta. However, you can also use the stovetop by simmering the pasta and sauce together until heated through and the cheese is melted. This method may result in a slightly different texture and is not as traditional as oven-baking, but it is a quick and convenient alternative.
Can I use a different type of cheese for baked ziti?
Yes, you can use different types of cheese for baked ziti. Some popular options include mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, fontina, or a combination of cheeses. However, using a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan is the most common. Feel free to use your favorite cheese or what you have available in your kitchen.
How do I know when my baked ziti is fully cooked?
To determine if your baked ziti is fully cooked, insert a knife or toothpick into the center of the dish. If the pasta is tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly, your ziti is fully cooked. If the pasta is still firm or the cheese is not fully melted, return it to the oven and continue to bake until it reaches the desired consistency.
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Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti Nutrition Fact
Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe (255 g)
- Calories: 465
- Total Fat: 15 g
- Saturated Fat: 6 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 32 mg
- Sodium: 951 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 64 g
- Dietary Fiber: 6 g
- Sugars: 10 g
- Protein: 17 g
- Vitamin A: 441 IU
- Vitamin C: 11 mg
- Calcium: 233 mg
- Iron: 3 mg