Baked Ziti with Roasted Veggies

Here she is, the lightened-up baked ziti of my dreams. This baked ziti has all of lasagna’s saucy, mozzarella-topped appeal, however is simpler to manage on a routine weeknight. Amen.

When I thought up this dish, I wished to change a few of the pasta with roasted veggies. In the end, I had the ability to displace half of the ziti (8 ounces) with 2 pounds (32 ounces!) of veggies.

vegetable preparation

I selected cauliflower, which establishes the most alluring golden edges as it roasts, red bell pepper and yellow onion. I enjoy this mix, however you might quickly utilize your preferred veggies here.

It took me a while to discover the best ratio of mozzarella, marinara, and ricotta (I in fact utilized home cheese, more on that in a bit). I think I have actually struck the nail on the head with the last dish, and can’t wait to hear how it ends up for you.

ziti and roasted vegetables

The Very Best Baked Ziti

This baked ziti dish is so flexible. Here are a couple of more factors to enjoy it:

  • This vegetarian baked ziti will please everybody. Real, it’s meatless, however predators enjoy ziti without the meat when it tastes this great.
  • This baked ziti would be a terrific choice for a date night or casual amusing. You’ll have a lot of time in between actions to talk and drink red wine.
  • It’s a peaceful dish to make, too. You do not need to sauté anything! I seem like this is an underrated dish quality.
  • This ziti can be put together as much as 3 days ahead of time, so this is a best meal to make ahead or give a buddy who might utilize a great meal.
  • This lightened-up timeless Italian meal is remarkably high in protein. Each serving deals twenty grams!
  • This ziti would be incredible with my sliced Italian salad. Do not hesitate to make a streamlined variation of it.

Watch How to Make Baked Ziti

basil and cooked pasta with marinara

ziti layers

Baked Ziti Component Notes

This dish does not need a long list of components. Here’s what you’ll require:


Ideally ziti, however rigatoni or penne will likewise work. I generally select entire wheat noodles (love DeLallo and Bionaturae), however those have actually been more difficult to come by recently, so I utilized Whole Foods’ natural ziti for these photos. Pasta is usually offered in one-pound boxes so you’ll require half of a box.

I think you might utilize a durable corn and quinoa pasta mix to make this dish gluten complimentary.


I’m a big fan of my homemade marinara dish, however given that this dish is expected to be easy, I selected a jarred choice from the shop. My preferred brand name is Rao’s, which tastes quite near my homemade sauce. If you do wish to make homemade marinara, you’ll require to double my dish to yield the 4 cups you’ll require for this ziti.


I utilized cauliflower, bell pepper and onion. If you’re delicate to onions, you might wish to switch the onion for something else (perhaps a sweet potato?).

You can consume your remaining veggies in this ziti dish. You’ll require about 2 pounds ready veggies to make it work. Bear in mind that heads of broccoli or cauliflower weigh two times as much as they yield in florets (so a two-pound lot of broccoli will yield about one pound of florets).

Fresh Basil

Now, you might avoid the basil, however it includes a great deal of alluring fresh taste to rattled marinara, and spruces up the tacky completed meal. In my viewpoint, it deserves purchasing!


Part-skim mozzarella is perfect here, given that it establishes a lovely golden shade in the oven. It likewise makes your completed meal less oily than it would be if you utilized full-fat mozzarella.

It’s finest to grate your cheese yourself, instead of to purchase the pre-shredded kind (you’ll likewise conserve cash by doing this). Pre-grated cheese is usually covered in starch or powder that can prevent its melty aspect.

Home Cheese (or Ricotta)

Outrageous, I understand! I truly choose home cheese to ricotta here, although I can’t stand home cheese by itself. Ricotta tends to get gummy when heated up, which troubles me, whereas home cheese turns amazingly more velvety and scrumptious. Usage whichever one you choose in lasagna dishes.

baked ziti assembly

A Couple Of Tips Prior To You Begin

Usage half-sheet pans. If just everybody owned these standard half-sheet pans (affiliate link). They use a great deal of area, so your veggies have some breathing space while they roast.

Make certain to utilize a huge baker. You’ll require a 3 quart baker (believe 9 × 13 ″ with deep sides) for this one. Here’s mine. To err on the side of care versus overflow, I have actually advised you to position the baker on a tidy rimmed baking sheet when it remains in the oven.

Do not overcook your pasta. In reality, you desire it a bit undercooked, so prepare it for the quickest quantity of time provided on the plan. It must still have a little bite to it when you drain it, given that it will continue to prepare while it remains in the oven.

ziti before baking

baked ziti with roasted vegetables recipe

Please let me understand how this baked ziti dish ends up for you in the remarks! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Yearning for more Italian home cooking? Do not miss out on these dishes on Cookie and Kate:

  • Finest Veggie Lasagna
  • Baked Ziti with Lentils
  • Hearty Spaghetti with Lentils and Marinara Sauce
  • Timeless Minestrone Soup

healthy baked ziti recipe

Baked Ziti with Roasted Veggies

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Prepare Time: 1 hour
  • Overall Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1 x
  • Classification: Main course
  • Technique: Baked
  • Food: Italian

4.9 from 249 evaluations

This remarkable baked ziti dish is brightened up with roasted veggies. Golden mozzarella, sizzling red sauce and tender pasta make this vegetarian ziti incredibly scrumptious! Dish yields 8 portions.

Active Ingredients

Roasted veggies

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets.
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 ″ squares.
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into wedges about 1/2 ″ broad.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided.
  • 1/4 teaspoon great sea salt, divided.

Pasta and whatever else

  • 8 ounces ziti, rigatoni or penne pasta.
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought), divided.
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil, plus additional for garnish
  • 8 ounces (2 jam-packed cups) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided.
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) home cheese or ricotta cheese, divided.


  1. To roast the veggies: Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the center and upper 3rd of the oven. Line 2 big, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper to avoid the veggies from sticking.
  2. Location the cauliflower florets on one pan. On the other pan, integrate the bell peppers and onion. Drizzle half of the olive oil over one pan, and the other half over the other pan. Spray the salt over the 2 pans. Carefully toss up until the veggies on each pan are gently covered in oil.
  3. Organize the veggies in an even layer throughout each pan. Bake up until the veggies hurt and caramelized on the edges, about 30 to 35 minutes, tossing the veggies and switching their rack positions midway (lower rack to upper rack, and vice versa). Leave the oven on at 425, since we’re going to bake the meal at the very same temperature level. If you wind up with any roaming charred onion pieces, discard them, and set the veggies aside.
  4. On the other hand, bring a big pot of salted water to boil. Prepare the pasta simply up until al dente, according to package instructions (it will continue to prepare while it bakes in the oven, so you desire the pasta to still have a little bite to it). Drain pipes and return the pasta to the pot.
  5. Include 2 cups of the marinara, the sliced basil, and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella to the pasta. Carefully stir to integrate.
  6. It’s assembly time! Spread 1 cup of extra marinara sauce inside a 9 × 13 ″ baker. Leading with half of the pasta mix, and carefully spread it into an even layer. Equally spray the roasted cauliflower on top, then dollop 1 cup of the home cheese over the cauliflower (it does not require to be spread out into an even layer), followed by 1/2 cup of the mozzarella.
  7. Leading the mozzarella with the staying pasta. Then spray the roasted peppers and onion on top, dollop the staying cup of ricotta on top, then dollop the staying cup of marinara on that, then spray the staying cheese all over.
  8. Location a tidy, rimmed baking sheet on the lower oven rack to capture any drippings. Location the ziti, exposed, on top of the baking sheet. Bake for thirty minutes, then move to the upper rack for 2 to 5 more minutes up until the cheese is deeply golden, if preferred.
  9. Get rid of the baker from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes prior to serving (believe me). Sprinkle newly torn basil on top, piece with a sharp knife, and serve.


Dish adjusted from my lentil baked ziti and Allison Roman’s baked ziti.

Make it gluten complimentary: Replacement durable gluten-free pasta (such as a corn and quinoa mix).

Advance preparation: You might roast the veggies as much as 3 days ahead of time. You can likewise proceed and put together the entire thing and cool up until baking. It’s most likely a great prospect for freezing prior to baking, too. Please let me understand if you attempt.

Dairy free/vegan note: I’m unsure if this dish is a great prospect to make vegan, given that the cheese provides both volume and structure. My finest guess would be to d ouble the dish for my vegan sour cream (likewise readily available in my cookbook, page 217) and usage 2 cups rather of the home cheese. Leave out the mozzarella and utilize all of the tomato sauce for the last layer. Serve the lasagna with a dollop of extra sour cream on the top or, even better, basil pesto.

▸ Nutrition Info

The details revealed is a price quote supplied by an online nutrition calculator. It must not be thought about a replacement for an expert nutritional expert’s guidance. See our complete nutrition disclosure here.

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