Garden Baked Ziti

Jenna Helwig

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Makes 8 servings

Cooking spray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound whole wheat ziti

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-ounce can or carton crushed tomatoes

½ cup water

1½ teaspoons salt, divided

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Freshly ground pepper to taste

This recipe makes two batches of ziti—one for tonight’s dinner and one for freezing.


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat two 8-by-8-inch baking pans with cooking spray.

2. In a large pot over high heat, cook the ziti in boiling water until tender. Drain and return to the pot.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

4. Add the tomato sauce to the ziti, along with the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, zucchini, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.

5. Divide the pasta between the two prepared pans. Top with the mozzarella. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

TO FREEZE: Complete ziti preparation through step 5. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months. To cook: transfer covered frozen ziti directly from freezer to 375°F oven. Bake for 90 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden.

Per Serving:

Calories: 654

Carbohydrates: 93 g

Fat: 19 g

Protein: 28 g

Fiber: 13 g

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

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