Recipe

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Ricotta (no meat)

Servings:
6-8
Total Time:
0
hr
45
min
Jump to RecipeA spoon in a meatless baked ziti.

Baked pasta is the perfect meal to feed a crowd. I love to make this ahead of time and just popping it in the oven when we are ready to enjoy.

This baked ziti has no meat and is instead loaded with fresh veggies, tomato sauce, and cheeses. It is a great recipe that is always a family favorite.

Meatless Baked Ziti Recipe Ingredients

  • Pasta: I use ziti for this baked pasta recipe, you can also use penne if you prefer. I use regular pasta but you can easily swap it out for whole wheat or gluten free pasta.
  • Onion: This recipe calls for 1 yellow onion. You could also substitute a red onion or 2 shallots instead.
  • Zucchini: The zucchini adds some texture to the pasta. You can easily skip this or add more if you want. If you want to swap it out for another vegetable, asparagus or broccoli would also work.
  • Bell Pepper: The red bell pepper blends really nicely with the tomato sauce. You could easily swap out with other bell peppers if you prefer.
  • Garlic: This recipe calls for 3 garlic cloves. Feel free to use more or less based on preference.
  • Seasonings: The seasonings use in this recipe are salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. If you are sensitive to spice you can skip the red pepper flakes. You could also add in Italian seasoning or some dried basil.
  • Marinara Sauce: You can use any type of tomato sauce in this recipe. I have made it with a roasted garlic tomato sauce, a classic maranaa, or even and arriabata sauce. Any type of pasta sauce you choose should be good here
  • Spinach: This recipe calls for 3 cups of spinach. It sounds like a lot but it cooks down quite a bit. You could even add more if you want.
  • Ricotta: The creamy ricotta adds a great flavor and creaminess to the dish. I sometimes see people use cottage cheese in their pasta but I think ricotta tastes so much better.
  • Parmesan: Parmesan cheese adds a great saltiness to the pasta. If you want more cheese you can easily double the amount of parmesan or have extra to add on top for serving.
  • Mozzarella: For the top of the pasta bake, add some shredded mozzarella to melt over the pasta. I like to use a ball of fresh mozzarella and just pull off little piece to add to the top of the sauce.
  • Basil: I love to top this ziti pasta with a little bit of fresh herbs. If you don’t have any fresh basil it will be fine without it.

How to Make a Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Making a baked pasta is actually simplier than it may seem. Here are the main steps to making a baked ziti:

  1. Cook your pasta
  2. Cook your veggies
  3. Mix together pasta, veggies, sauce, and cheese
  4. Bake for 30 minutes
Glass dish of baked ziti.

What to Serve with Baked Ziti

This is a fairly heavy pasta dish so I love to serve it with some type of light side salad. You can also serve it with some garlic bread to soak up any extra sauce.

A few of my favorite salad pairing with this meal are:

How to Make Ahead

This is a great meal to make ahead of time. After step 5, before baking, put a lid on your baking dish and place in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you want to store for longer you can put it in the freezer for up to 1 month.

When you go to bake the pasta it might take a little bit longer since it is baking from cold.

I love to use baking pans that come with a lid so it is in a sealer airtight container. I use these ones from Ikea. Here are similar baking dished from Amazon.

Close up of a vegetarian baked ziti.

How to Store

You can store left overs in the fridge in an airtight container. If your pasta has dried out at all, add a little extra tomato sauce or water when reheating.

Other Pasta Recipes You Might Like

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Ricotta (no meat)

5 stars4 stars
(
1
)
Servings:
6-8
Prep Time:
5
min
Cook Time:
0
hr
40
min
Total Time:
0
hr
45
min
A spoon in a meatless baked ziti.
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb ziti or penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella
  • fresh basil, for topping

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package directions. Save about 1/2 cup of pasta water, you can use this later to thin out the pasta sauce.
  3. While the pasta is cooking , cook the vegetables. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Then add diced zucchini, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables have softened and cooked through. Add in salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta, vegetables, 2 cups of marinara sauce, ricotta, and parmesan. Taste and adjust for seasoning. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water to thin it out.
  5. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. With the other cup of marinara sauce add a little bit to the bottom of the pan. Pour in the pasta mixture. Top with the rest of the marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella.
  6. Cook on the middle rack of the oven, uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest about 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with fresh basil.

Notes

Products Used

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