Baked Ziti

Many times I will take a recipe and adapt it for my family. I will omit ingredients we don’t like or that are expensive. I also try to find ways to make a recipe easier to make since I always seem pressed for time in the evenings.

My sister made this baked ziti recipe she found on All Recipes. It was a big hit with my family and they requested it when I was menu planning this week. After looking at the recipe I found a way to simplify it a bit for our family.

Baked Ziti at The Happy Housewife

As I was finishing up this post I had an afterthought. If our family were to go to Olive Garden and order baked ziti it would cost us over $75. My homemade version costs 1/10 as much and tastes better!

Baked Ziti


  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb ground sausage (I used turkey)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 box ziti noodles
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 7 oz ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese (to top the casserole)


  1. Brown the turkey and the sausage.
  2. When it is almost done add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 more minutes.
  3. While your meat is cooking boil the noodles. (By the way, my sister bought me this awesome Multi-Cooker for my birthday. I have already used it several times and I have only been home 3 days!)
  4. Drain the noodles and mix together with the meat in a large bowl.
  5. Add spaghetti sauce.
  6. In a separate bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream and ricotta.
  7. Then add to the meat mixture.
  8. Place mixture in a 9 x 13 pan (that has been sprayed with nonstick)
  9. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  10. Baked covered for about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Uncover the last 5 minutes.


A few tips: I cooked up two pounds of meat and saved half in the freezer for the next time we make baked ziti. If you want to cut the cost of this meal omit the sour cream, cream cheese and ricotta. It won’t taste the same, but it is still a good dish. This recipe also freezes well, so make two in order to freeze one for a future quick meal!



  1. Somebody's Mimi says:

    Keep in mind the Home School convention…

  2. Sounds good! But tell me, how did you get a jar of Spaghetti Sauce for $0.85??? I can’t even make it for that little!

    • I got 2 jars of sauce at Target last week for 82 cents each. It’s actually pretty good too . I am trying to break my loyality to prego . Prego is sooooo expensive . Just keep your eyes out for good sales .

  3. At what point do you freeze it? Before or after baking? If before, with cheese on top?

  4. TheHappyHousewife says:

    Freeze before baking, do not add the cheese until you are ready to cook.

  5. That looks great! I would probably use cottage cheese instead of the ricotta, simply because I always have it on hand like the rest of the ingredients. This is going on the list…I really need to restock my freezer!

  6. That sounds fantastic! Thanks.

  7. wow! Looks SOOOO yummy and I love the cost! will for sure give this one a try! Thanks 🙂

  8. Looks delicious!

  9. Love the Italian. Thanks.

  10. That looks good and easy, I will have to give it a try.

  11. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I like meals that can be frozen ahead.

  12. That looks great! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

  13. Ooh ~ yummy! I can’t wait to try this recipe out! 🙂

  14. OMG, where are you grocery shopping? I make this recipe too, but I’m positive my costs would be closer to
    $25+ . I NEED to learn to grocery shop better. Or find a cheaper store…lol

  15. Thanks for the recipe! It is definitely a new family FAVE!

  16. Monica says:

    Thanks so much for posting pictures as you go in a step by step fashion. Its so hard to cook something for the first time if you have no idea what its supposed look like along the way. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  17. I can almost always find jarred spaghetti sauce for $.99, if not in the regular grocery on sale, then at Dollar Tree and other dollar-type stores. I make sure that the first ingredient is tomatoes or tomato paste so I’m not just buying water. If and when I can get it cheaper, I stock up.

  18. Susan Jackson says:

    Dumb question here but how do you freeze this meal? I have wanted to start freezing casseroles and things but just not sure how to put it up in the freezer.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      There are no dumb questions! I actually have directions on how to freeze the baked ziti in my freezer cooking update which will publish on Monday.
      Thanks for asking!


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