This baked Ziti with meat sauce is an impressive dinner made with ground beef and mozzarella cheese. It is a comfort food at its finest and one of the best Italian recipes I’ve tried!

This dish is crazy delicious. It is excellent for casual gatherings, Sunday suppers, or weeknight dinners with the family. This Ziti mimics lasagna. But I like this Ziti better because this is much easy to throw together. The sauce is the star here. If desired, you can double the sauce and save the other half for later. You can even serve the sauce over spaghetti!


1 pound ground beef

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

6 ounces can tomato paste

½ c. diced tomatoes

1 c. water

2 teaspoons sugar

3 c. cooked penne pasta

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon parsley flakes, optional

2 ½ c. shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Step 1: Following the package directions, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain when done and run the pasta under cold water.

Step 2: Into a pan, place the ground beef. Season with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook the meat over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink.

Step 3: Drain any excess grease, then add 1 tsp of minced garlic followed by the tomatoes, tomato pasta, and water. Stir well.

Step 4: Next, stir in the sugar and continue to cook the meat sauce for another 5 minutes over medium heat.

Step 5: In the baking dish, pour the meat sauce and add the pasta. Stir well and sprinkle with 1 c cheese. Mix again. On top, add the rest of the cheese and sprinkle with parsley.

Step 6: Place in the oven and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Step 7: Remove from the oven when done and allow the Ziti to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!