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A serving of baked ziti being lifted up with cheese pulling and pasta falling off.
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5 from 8 votes

Baked Ziti With Vodka Sauce

Baked Ziti with Vodka Sauce is made with pasta, ground beef, vegetables, spices and plenty of cheese! It’s very similar to a traditional baked ziti recipe, but instead of classic marinara sauce, this version uses vodka sauce which is a bit creamier.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 624kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ziti pasta (or penne)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (finely diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (divided)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 32 ounces vodka sauce
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded, divided)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded, divided)
  • fresh parsley (minced, for garnish)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    1 pound ziti pasta
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Stir in the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning and cook an additional 30-60 seconds.
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up, until it is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and return to the skillet.
    1 pound ground beef, salt, pepper
  • Stir in the vodka sauce.
    32 ounces vodka sauce
  • Combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella1/4 cup of the Parmesan and 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning in a large bowl and mix well.
    2 cups ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Spread half of the pasta into the bottom of a large, deep casserole dish. Top with dollops of half of the cheese mixture, then half of the meat sauce.
  • Repeat with the second half of pasta, cheese mixture and meat sauce.
  • Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake, covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake and additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown.
  • Garnish with fresh, minced parsley, if desired.
    fresh parsley

Notes

Tips and Techniques

  • You can substitute a different ground meat for beef. Ground turkey, chicken or bison would work great in this recipe.
  • If you’d rather not use vodka sauce, you can use any other tomato-based sauce that you prefer.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 3-4 days for best results.
** Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 624kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 907mg | Potassium: 749mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1012IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 396mg | Iron: 4mg