/ / / / / / / /

Baked Ziti with Sausage & Ricotta

This post may contain affiliate links. See site Terms here.   

This Baked Ziti with Sausage & Ricotta is filled with flavor – browned sausage, creamy ricotta, marinara, spinach, and ziti pasta.

I love a meal that can be prepped early and then easy to warm up when it’s meal time – this Baked Ziti with Sausage & Ricotta is one of our family’s all-time favorite meals. Traditional Baked Ziti can be a little dry to me, and I can’t stand when there’s a low meat to pasta ratio, so this recipe has tons of browned sausage (2 lbs!), lots of marinara sauce, and dollops of creamy ricotta and parmesan cheese throughout. This gives is the best flavor and texture of any baked ziti you’ve ever tried. It is creamy, full of flavor from the sausage, fresh parmesan cheese, and ricotta – and easy to prepare.

I also love to sneak a bunch of spinach into this recipe – my kids don’t notice as it cooks down in the red sauce. It really is a one-and-done kind of recipe – all the protein, veggies, and carbs in one meal, easy to make and serve.

I love to serve this Baked Ziti with my homemade Lion House Rolls, or with my Easy Peasant Bread. A simple and filling meal that everyone in the family loves.

What is Ziti?

Ziti is a type of short-cut pasta, similar to penne or rigatoni. It is a hollow pasta in the shape of a smooth, short tube. Baked Ziti is similar to lasagna in that it typically has pasta, meat, red sauce and cheese in varying layers. (Click here to see my homemade lasagna recipe.) However, the texture is quite different with the pasta rather than the sheets of lasagna.

Baked Ziti with Sausage & Ricotta

This Baked Ziti with Sausage & Ricotta is filled with flavor – browned sausage, creamy ricotta, marinara, spinach, and ziti pasta.
Servings 10 servings
Author Shannon Lyon


  • 1 lb. ziti pasta (or another short cut pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lbs. mild sausage
  • 36 oz. marinara sauce (1½ jars)
  • 4 cups fresh spinach

Ricotta Mixture

  • 1 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese

For Assembly

  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil, optional


Sausage Red Sauce

  • Start by browning the sausage in a medium-sized saucepan. I like it pretty brown, as it gets really flavorful as it gets more color.
  • Once the sausage is browned and broken into small bits, add the pasta sauce and the spinach.
    Cover and cook until spinach is cooked down. Keep warm until ready to build the pasta dish.


  • Cook the ziti in a large pot of boiling water until Al Dente.
  • Once cooked, lightly drizzle with olive oil so pasta doesn't stick.

Ricotta Mixture

  • While pasta is cooking, mix all the ricotta ingredients together.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13" pan with cooking spray.
  • Start by adding a layer of half the pasta in the pan.
    Then cover that layer with half of the sausage red sauce mixture.
  • Next, add dollops of the ricotta mixture across the top of the red sauce mixture.
  • Repeat by adding the remaining pasta, another layer of red sauce, dollops of the remaining ricotta mixture, and then top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and red sauce is slightly bubbling.
  • Remove from oven and top with fresh basil, if desired. Wait about 10 minutes before serving – it will be hot. Enjoy!
  • Stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

I hope you get a chance to make this Baked Ziti with Sausage & Ricotta, and I hope the recipe is a hit with your family. Be sure to tag me me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram if you make these!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating