Baked Ziti with Spinach

From by Lisa Grant
Baked Ziti with Spinach

Baked Ziti with Spinach Photo

Pasta has always been my signature dinner. I grew up in an Italian family and on most Sundays, there would be a big bowl of spaghetti on the table next to meatballs or Italian Pot Roast. I feel very comfortable cooking Italian and there is always a batch of marinara sauce in my freezer. Italian dinners are what I am most comfortable with but also some of my family’s favorites.

These days we don’t have hours to sit down on a Sunday or weeknight for dinner but that is no reason not to cook. There are plenty of easy Italian recipes to go around. Even if dinner is over in a quick half hour, it is worth having that time with my family.

I love the ease of this baked ziti recipe and the fact that it can be made in advance. I like to assemble it in the morning then bake it right before dinner. While the whole recipe takes about an hour to make, the baking time is only 30 minutes.

Baked Ziti with Spinach Picture

It is also a perfect dinner to reheat in the microwave for any family members that straggle into dinner late. It is pretty nice to come home from soccer practice at 8 pm but still be able to have a warm hearty dinner ready in two minutes.

While I frequently serve this dinner with Italian bread, a salad and a glass of wine, it really is a complete meal with meat, pasta, cheese and vegetables included. What more can you want from a meal?

Baked Ziti with Spinach Image

This is just one of my easy pasta dinners. I am the queen of serving pasta to my family and I’ve never heard a complaint about too much pasta on anyone’s plate. For other easy pasta meals, why don’t you try serving these? Your family will thank you when they see what’s on the table!


Baked Ziti with Spinach Recipe



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, homemade or jarred
  • 1 10 ounce package chopped frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 12 ounce box ziti pasta, or penne pasta
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, brown ground beef on medium high heat for 10 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add marinara sauce and spinach to the pan and simmer on low for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  3. While sauce is simmering, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain.
  4. Add drained pasta to saucepan and turn off heat. Stir in the ricotta cheese, half the mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Put the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Loosely cover with foil.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.    


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