Pasta casseroles are one of the best go-to dishes for easy weeknight meals. And this Baked Ziti casserole recipe is no exception.
Tomatoes, summer squash, and zucchini are abundant in the summer months, making them perfect additions to this hearty casserole. And, it’s OK to get creative with this baked ziti recipe! Can’t find summer squash? Use butternut squash instead! Or, if you’re not a fan of tomatoes, substitute with red or yellow bell peppers. This will, of course, adjust the nutritional content a little bit, but if you want to add more (or different) veggies, we won’t say no!
This baked ziti recipe can easily be prepped in advance and baked just before dinner (just factor in a bit of extra baking time as the dish will take a bit longer to heat, given it’ll be cold from the refrigerator). It also tastes delicious reheated for a quick lunch!
Baked Ziti with Summer Veggies
This Baked Ziti recipe can be made ahead of time, making it a great go-to dish for weeknight meals or for an easy lunch!
- 4 oz. dry whole-grain ziti or penne pasta
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 2 cups chopped summer squash
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes optional
- ¾ cup part-skim Mozzarella cheese divided use
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- Nonstick cooking spray
Cook ziti according to package directions; drain. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, summer squash, and zucchini; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes.
Combine onion mixture, pasta, basil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (if desired), ½ cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese in a large bowl; mix well. Place in a 2½ to 3-quart casserole that is lightly coated with spray.
Top evenly with remaining ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.