Budget Friendly and Easy To Make
I have always loved a trip to Olive Garden, and one of my favorite dishes is baked ziti. Today the mission was to make a slightly healthier version of this dish and include some veggies! We’ll just say mission accomplished! It turned out fantastic! This vegetable baked ziti makes a great main dish for a dinner party or family dinner. It also is perfect for meal prep lunches!
Baked ziti is also super budget friendly coming at just over $5 for all of the ingredients. Also leaving you with half a box of pasta for another meal! I used my other half for Chicken Alfredo which is another one of my favorite meal prep recipes!
Baked Ziti Preparation
Begin with preheating your oven to 350°.
After gathering all of your ingredients, start with bringing the water to a slight boil and cooking the ziti (or penne pasta) for about 3/4 of the time listed on the box. I cooked mine for 8 minutes this morning. Drain your pasta and combine with the spaghetti sauce.
Set your noodle mixture aside. Then slice up your vegetables. I sliced my zucchini in approx 3/4 inch pieces and then quartered these. I did the same with the smaller end of the yellow squash and the larger rings were cut into six pieces to make them approximately the same size.
Dump your cut up zucchini and yellow squash into your spaghetti sauce mixture. Once this is mixed well, dump the mixture into a medium sized baking pan. I used a 9″ square baking stone, and it was the perfect size.
Then cover your pasta mixture with the Parmesan cheese first before topping it with the mozzarella provolone cheese. If you can’t find a shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese mixture, you can use provolone slices and then top with mozzarella cheese. Having the provolone cheese mixed in helps give the finished product a more creamy texture to the melted cheese.
Baking and Serving
To bake your vegetable baked ziti place it in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. The noodles should be fully cooked now and will have absorbed the spaghetti sauce giving them more flavor. Once your finished cooking let set out of the oven for 5-10 minutes before serving to help the cheese and sauce thicken slightly.
If you are going to use the vegetable baked ziti for a meal prep, transfer the ziti to your dishes. Wait for the ziti to cool prior to putting on lids and storing them for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Ingredients Vegetable Baked Ziti
8 oz Penne Pasta
24 oz Spaghetti Sauce
1 Yellow Squash
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella and Provolone Cheese
Vegetable Baked Ziti
- 8 oz Penne Pasta
- 24 oz Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Yellow Squash
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese Grated
- 1 Cup Mozzarella Provolone Cheese Shredded
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Boil water, cook penne past for 8 minutes at a slow boil.
- Drain pasta, then mix pasta and spaghetti sauce in sauce pan. Set Aside.
- Dice up zucchini and yellow squash into 3/4" rings and then quarter zucchini and smaller rings of squash. For larger pieces of yellow squash cut into 6 pieces.
- Mix noodles, sauce, zucchini and yellow squash together until sauce completely covers all ingredients.
- Dump into a medium sized baking pan. Even out the pasta mixture.
- Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Top with shredded mozzarella provolone cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
- Let set for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.