Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella

March 28, 2020

This Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella is a classic recipe for the entire family! Packed with bold, savory flavors, this recipe is the perfect vegetarian option that is made with creamy ricotta, chunks of kales, and topped with well-seasoned tomato sauce, and generous amounts of Mozzarella cheese + parmesan cheeses. This is a sure crowd-pleaser and is finger-licking goodness on a plate. Make ahead option.

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella——-I love past dishes, especially pasta bakes. Honestly, they are the perfect lazy meals for during week or on weekends.

This meatless baked ziti is truly something delicious. This vegetarian option pasta bake is truly amazing. Nothing short of flavor and it’s even perfect once reheated!

With us being in the house fully these past days, I’ve been creating recipes that not only help to keep our Immune Systems boosted, but also our tase buds satisfied.

It’s totally different when you can’t find yourself getting your normal Starbucks run in the mornings or grab a bite to eat on a Friday or lazy day when you don’t feel like cooking.

So, these quick, easy meals come in real handy, especially on those days!

Of course, you can always search weeknight meals on our site for more deliciousness.

5 REASONS WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS PASTA!

It’s absolutely delicious—-creamy + velvety!

Super easy to make and quick (plus, no crazy clean-up! Can we say–Everything in a skillet?)

Loaded with Cheesy flavors, velvety ricotta, + chunks of kale.

Full of flavor + well seasoned! (The best reason!)

Perfect for any time of day—Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast (if that’s your thing), whatever!

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella

What You’ll Need For This Pasta?

Dried Ziti Pasta – My fave has been by Ancient Harvest. This version is packed with protein and made entirely from green lentils

Mozzarella Cheese – Makes things nice + creamy; plus, adds such rich cheesy flavor

Parmesan Cheese – Makes things rich in cheese flavor in addition to mozzarella

Kale – Adds great earthy flavor to everything

Herbs + Seasonings – A great addition of flavor. Adds such savoriness nice + a beautiful kick of spice

Tomato Sauce – Can be homemade or store-bought. Always add seasoning to enhance the taste

Ricotta Cheese – Adds such a creaminess to everything

Veggie Stock – Helps to add extra flavor and creaminess

Olive Oil – Used for cooking

Of course, you can always search weeknight meals on our site for more deliciousness.

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella

SERCRET TO A CREAMY FILLING?

The ricotta mixture. Simple!

In order to ensure that your filling for the pasta bake is smooth and creamy, you must ensure that your ricotta mixture is nice in velvety.

Since ricotta cheese usually comes out a bit thick, the trick to the ultimate creaminess is in mixing in a bit of the boiled pasta water. Yup. You’ve read right.

A few Tbsps of boiled pasta water loosens things up nicely and creates a nice smooth texture. So, once you fold in the parmesan and any other ingredients (i.e. kale or spinach), you’re good to go!

Since we’re on the topic of pasta—-I figured that you would really love the following Vegan + Vegetarian options below.

FAVORITE COMFORTING + SAVORY PASTA OPTIONS.

This One Pot Creamy Vegan Tuscan Kale Pasta recipe is a delicious weeknight meal option for the entire family. Packed with bold, savory flavors, this recipe is the perfect vegan and dairy-free option that is made with a creamy based made from cashews and filled with a nice velvety texture from the kale and tomatoes.

This Vegan Sweet Potato Pasta w/ Kale + Spinach is the perfect way to enjoy a good plate of creamy pasta much like the classic Alfredo version, without the dairy and cheese and of course with the amazing texture of Pappardelle noddles. This recipe is easy to make, light, bursting with ‘cheesy flavor’ from the use of nutritional yeast, dairy-free, and so healthy!

This Gluten-Free Weeknight Baked Meatball Penne Pasta Casserole is a healthier classic recipe for the entire family! Packed with bold, savory flavors, this recipe is the perfect hearty, vegetarian option that is made with creamy ricotta + vegan meatballs tucked away in between the penne pasta and topped with a seasoned tomato sauce, and generous amounts of Mozzarella cheese. This is a sure crowd-pleaser and is finger-licking goodness on a plate.

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella

How To Make Your Sauce More Flavorful?

It’s all about the seasoning! Whether you choose to make your tomato sauce from scratch or use a store-bought version, adding seasoning to your sauce is KEY! Adding flavor to the base of your sauce with garlic and seasonings will add more depth to your pasta bake and allow everything else to marry together well.

Just let it all simmer together and slowly bubble as the seasonings infuse deeply.

Begin by cooking ziti pasta according to the directions of the packaging (about 8-10 minutes) and drain (leaving aside 2-3 Tbsps of pasta water for later).

Baked Ziti Made in a Few Easy Steps.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly grease a standard baking dish.

In a pot on medium-high heat, add oil (1 Tbsp) and add the tomato sauce.

Add veggie stock, stir. Add seasonings and herbs (including garlic cloves), stir.

Let sauce bubble for 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Add ricotta cheese and a few Tbsps of pasta water, stir until smooth.

Fold in parmesan cheese + kale.

Add drained pasta, stir.

Add a bit of the tomato sauce to the base of the baking dish.

Add pasta-ricotta mixture. Spread evenly. Sprinkle a nice layer of mozzarella cheese.

Top with remaining tomato sauce + mozzarella cheese.

Loosely cover with foil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove foil paper and bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve!

Bon Appetit!

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella 

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves: 4 servings
Print It Pin It

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz.) box Ziti pasta, organic (I use California Olive Ranch)
  • 1 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1 Tbsp!
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, organic (I use Organic Valley)
  • 3-4 cups ricotta cheese (I use Part Skim; You can use regular if preferred)
  • 2 cups chopped kale, fresh or frozen
  • 2-3 Tbsps pasta water (See Notes for Instructions!)

Tomato Filling:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can organic tomato sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsps veggie stock, organic (I use Pacific Foods)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + black pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red papper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a standard baking dish.
  • Begin by cooking ziti pasta according to the directions of the packaging (about 8-10 minutes) and drain (leaving aside 2-3 Tbsps of pasta water for later).
  • In a pot on medium-high heat, add oil (1 Tbsp) and sauté minced garlic until translucent + fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and veggie stock and stir. Add seasonings and herbs and stir continue until well combined.
  • Let sauce bubble for 2-3 minutes before removing from heat.
  • Meanwhile, add ricotta cheese and a few Tbsps (2-3 at most) of pasta water and stir using a spatula until smooth. Fold in parmesan cheese and kale.
  • Add drained cooked pasta and gently stir until everything is well incorporated.
  • Add a bit of the tomato sauce to the base of the baking dish and add pasta-ricotta mixture. Spread evenly. Sprinkle a nice layer of mozzarella cheese (1 cup) for extra cheesiness.
  • Top with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  • Loosely cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil paper and bake for another 5 minutes or so, until cheese has fully melted and browned slightly.
  • Remove from oven and serve with your favorite salad or bread.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
BOILED PASTA WATER: Since ricotta cheese usually comes out a bit thick, the trick to the ultimate creaminess is in mixing in a bit of the boiled pasta water.
MAKE AHEAD: Cook your pasta and let it cool completely before storing in an air-tight refrigerator for 3-5 days. In a bowl, combine your ricotta, parmesan, and kale and place in an air tight container to refrigerate overnight as well. Follow steps to cook tomato sauce and after STEP 4, remove sauce from heat, let cool and store in the fridge the day before. On the day of, remove everything to room temp., about 15-20 minutes and continue assembly STEPS.
 

DID YOU MAKE THIS recipe?

Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

 

Meatless Baked Ziti with Ricotta + Mozzarella.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

Love this Post? SHARE!

LOVE THIS RECIPE?
LET US KNOW!

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

Love this Recipe?




  1. This recipe is perfect to implement into our ‘meatless Monday” rotation. You hardly miss the meats at all- as all of the other flavors are so robust. So happy I came across this one!

  2. My pantry is stocked with plenty of pasta, so I can’t wait to make this ziti this week. Thanks for sharing!

  3. WOW this ziti looks so delicious and comforting! I need to make this for my family, they would love it!