Looking for an easy freezer meal to save time? Or, are you just looking for an easy weeknight meal that your kids will actually eat? Give this baked ziti with Italian sausage a try. You won’t be disappointed.
I’ve never tried an Italian dish that I didn’t like. Some I love more than others, but they all taste good. I even like the Americanized versions, mostly because they’re easy to make.
When I prepped my 14 freezer meals in 2 hours, I knew I needed to have a couple of Italian dishes in the mix. They are so easy to throw together, and my entire family loves them.
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This baked ziti is no exception. Simply boil the ziti noodles until they’re al dente. While they’re boiling, brown about a pound of Italian sausage in a skillet. Drain any grease once the sausage is finished and add your favorite spaghetti sauce to the pan. You can add any number of veggies to this dish as well. Zucchini, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, carrots, or black olives are a few that come to mind. Return your pan to the heat and mix together the sausage and sauce while continuing to cook until it’s thoroughly heated.
Toss the cooked noodles in with your sauce and give it a good stir. Then, transfer everything to a 11×7 casserole dish and top it with some mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Spray one side of a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cover the dish with the foil, sprayed side down, and then pop it in the oven.
This dish doesn’t take long to cook in the oven since everything is already pre-cooked, but you do want to bake it for 25-30 minutes to get the cheese nice and bubbly. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes to brown the cheese slightly.
Serve a salad on the side, and you have an easy, somewhat healthy meal for the entire family.
If you’d like to prep this as a freezer meal, cook your noodles and meat as described above. Once everything is mixed together, you can transfer it to an aluminum baking pan or a gallon-size storage bag. Pop it in the freezer until you’re ready to cook it. If using the foil pan, thaw it in the oven before baking. If you used a storage bag, you can thaw it in the refrigerator or microwave (make sure to use the defrost setting, so you don’t melt your bag). Once it’s thawed, transfer the contents to a 11×7 baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, and then bake for 25-30 minutes or until nice and hot.
Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
This easy Italian dish can be prepped as a freezer meal or cooked fresh as an easy weeknight dinner to please the whole family.
- 2 cups uncooked ziti pasta
- 1 lb Italian pork sausage
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 375°.
Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. In 12-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink and then drain. Return meat to the pan, add sauce, and mix well, continuing to cook over medium heat until hot. Add cooked pasta and stir together.
Transfer to ungreased 11x7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan and top with a piece of foil coated with cooking spray (spray side down).
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, removing foil during last 10 minutes of bake time. Serve with a side salad and a smile!
I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as mine does. If you give it a try, leave a comment and let me know how it turns out.