If you are like me then you absolutely love pasta. Well I guess we are all alike then, huh? Not too many people hate pasta. I like the classics too. Like classic baked ziti recipes or lasagna. Some may not eat it because of a weight loss journey, where they are choosing not to eat it. Chances are you will find someone.
Think about it, usually a childs first favorite meal is usually Macaroni and cheese and or spaghetti. They will eat it anywhere. If you go to a restaurant, it doesn’t matter what restaurant you go to, as long as they have macaroni and cheese or spaghetti on the kids menu you are pretty much golden.
I love to find new recipes for pasta dishes. I learned a new one here recently which was for an easy baked ziti recipe. I made it for my sisters surprise birthday party. I had to make a lot one meatless and one with meat. The thought of having to cook for about 25 to 30 people was killing me. When my cousin who is a caterer told me how to do it, I was so surprised at how easy it was.
You will be too. This is my version of a classic baked recipe. It can be a classic baked ziti without meat or with meat. It’s made the same way. You can just exclude the meat it you want it meatless.
Let’s get to it!
I have a family of 4 so this will be base off that. If you have less in your family that is okay. You can have leftovers.
You will need;
1 box of Ziti or Penne noodles
(if you are not an expert cook like me, then you will want to know this. I stood in that aisle looking for ziti noodles only to find that the box does not say ziti it will say Penne. Maybe some of you knew that but I sure didn’t. You can laugh at me but that is why this site it to learn while we cook lol)
2 large cans of your favorite spaghetti sauce, I just used traditional prego for my first time
1 or 2 lbs of ground beef, like my pasta dishes meaty so I would use 1 1/2 or 2 lbs
sliced smoked turkey sausage
1/2 of an onion chopped
1 tbs of minced garlic
8oz bag of shredded Mozzarella cheese
The Process, The super easy process
Cook the onions in just a bit of oil for just a couple of minutes. Then add the ground beef. Make sure to brown the ground beef well and that there is no meat left uncooked. Once the meat is halfway done you will add the sausage to the ground beef to allow them to heat through.
The sausage is cooked so you are not necessarily cooking the sausage just heating it through.
While the meat is cooking you can then put your noodles on to boil. You can follow the directions on the box for time frames. But usually about 8 to 10 minutes.
Once everything is cooked drain the meat and drain the noodles.
Mix the meat and sauce together first. Then you can stir in the noodles a little at a time.
like to make sure that all the noodles have sauce on them. This is why I use two cans of sauce.
When it is all mixed well you can put it into a baking pan and top with the mozzarella cheese.
Bake until cheese is melted.
You’re going to love this
Now you can leave out the sausage if you would like. like meaty pasta as I said earlier. So I added the sausage. Or you can leave the meat out altogether if you are a vegetarian. It’s still a very tasty dish.
This version does include the sausage just to make it a little different. I have even topped with bacon. I don’t do that often though. like basic ziti better.
This is such a great option or dish to make when you are having a party or get together. You can easily make a lot of it. For my sisters party we were going to BBQ but I thought about it and I was like, that’s a lot of people to cook for. That would have been a very expensive route to take.
But for this would be another great potluck idea. like to make a pretty decent sized meal for Sunday dinners. But sometimes, I don’t feel like cooking. So this is my go to a lot of the time because its so easy. The best part is that if there are leftovers (which there usually are) you can eat the rest the next day.
I have a really hard time thinking of dinner ideas during the week so whenever I can make a dish that will last a couple of days I am all for it. This is luckily one my kids love so it works out oh so well.
You don’t have to thank me
Being a working mom of 2 and wife. I have to find easy outs. I have to give myself a break. Sometimes I don’t want to fry chicken or pork chops. Sometimes, I don’t want to make lasagna. Lasagna is a dish that is hard to make easy. There are so many steps to that. However, I absolutely love lasagna.
I did find a Pesto lasagna roll recipe that I can’t wait to tell you guys about. Stay tuned for that. It’s tasty. But I am happy I learned this one because its so great. It’s all around win. Everyone loves it, its easy, and it ends up being a meal for a couple of days.
So now you can spend the rest of your Sunday night thinking about Tuesdays dinner. Instead of being like me and going through Monday wondering what you will cook Monday night. Let me tell you that is stressful. Oh and don’t bother asking your spouse. You definitely get an “I’m okay with whatever!” answer each time. Which, as you can tell, will not help you. lol
Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment below!
Until next time…