Meatball and Ziti Bake

Meatball and Ziti Bake

This is a wonderful cheesy pasta that will satisfy your whole family.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4


  • 1 pkg. whole-wheat Ziti noodles uncooked
  • cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. 90% lean ground sirloin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil divided
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 28oz. can unsalted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 oz. part-skim mozzarella shredded


  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.                  
  • Drain in a colander over a bowl; reserve ½ cup cooking liquid.
  • Place panko breadcrumbs, 1 Tablespoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, beef, and egg in a bowl, stirring just until combined.
  • Shape beef mixture into 12-1" meatballs.
  • Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat.
  • Add meatballs to pan and cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
  • Add remaining 1 Tablespoon garlic, cook 30 seconds.
  • Add reserved ½ cup cooking liquid, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, 3 Tablespoons basil, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes to pan.
  • Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Stir pasta into tomato mixture, spread evenly in skillet.
  • Sprinkle cheese over top; broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tablespoon basil. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine.