Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings (about 1½ cups each)
Meat Sauce:
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lb dry ziti pasta
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta, divided
  • 1½ cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped or torn into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To make the meat sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and cook 8-10 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper; stir. Bring it to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook ziti until al dente, 8-9 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to pot. Top with meat sauce and mix well.
  4. To assemble, place half of the ziti onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place ½ cup of the ricotta cheese in dollops evenly on the meat sauce, along with ½ cup of the shredded mozzarella, and all of the fresh mozzarella, covering the surface evenly. Spread the rest of the ziti evenly as a second layer. Top the ziti with small dollops of the ricotta cheese followed by the rest of the shredded mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese on top turns golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
Recipe from Foolproof Living
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 475 Fat: 14.8 Carbohydrates: 54.3 Sugar: 10.0 Sodium: 509 Fiber: 4.8 Protein: 35.3 Cholesterol: 72
Recipe by Prevention RD at