This Healthy Baked Ziti recipe is going to be your new weekday favorite. It’s made with gluten-free pasta and a flavorful marinara sauce, and it’s super customizable, so you can use up what ever veggies you have stored in that refrigerator of yours. For me, I’ve always got mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini, so whatever you have, toss it in this amazing dish!
Ingredients in Healthy Baked Ziti
Gluten-Free Pasta: I used gluten-free ziti pasta in this recipe, but you can really use any pasta you like.
Italian sausage: In this recipe, I always go for uncooked Italian sausage, that I can just squeeze out of the casing and sauté in a pan. If you don’t feel like doing that, feel free to get any pre-cooked sausage of choice and just chop it into coins. And you can also sauté some ground beef, if you want to go that direction as well. It’s totally up to you.
Mushrooms: For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that mushrooms are my favorite vegetable. For this recipe, I always grab shiitake, though I know they are expensive. You can feel free to use any mushrooms that you like, or omit all together in lieu of veggies that you have on hand!
Marinara sauce: You can definitely make your own homemade marinara sauce, but I always just pick up a jar of Rao’s at the grocery store. Again, I know that Rao’s is pricey, so just use what ever is within your budget. It won’t matter!
Mozzarella cheese: I love a good mozzarella cheese, so I pick up a package of shredded organic mozzarella from the store. My go-to brand is Organic Valley, but listen, you guys, I am not that picky. If I can’t find it, no big deal. Another yummy cheese for this particular recipe is fontina! And, if you are trying to keep this recipe dairy free, just omit the cheese all together. It’s ok, it won’t affect the taste and you won’t hurt my feelings. I promise.
Gluten-Free Panko Bread Crumbs: I always love the crunch factor on top of baked ziti, hence the bread crumbs. These days, gluten-free bread crumbs are easy to find, but if you can’t find them, grab regular or omit all together.
Fresh basil: This just adds an extra pop of flavor when mixed with the panko breadcrumbs and added to the top of the dish. You can use dried basil if you don’t have fresh on hand.
Olive oil: I love the flavor of olive oil in this recipe, and it’s such a heart-healthy oil, I like to sneak it in when I can. But use what you have on hand!
How To Prepare Healthy Baked Ziti
This recipe requires a few steps, but don’t let it deter you. Since you aren’t chopping anything except the basil, the dish comes together really quickly. You essentially prepare the pasta according to package instructions, and while the pasta is boiling, you then cook the sausage, mushrooms, and sauce!
Once that’s all done, you toss the pasta in the cheese and the sauce, transfer it all to a baking dish, sprinkle the panko-basil topping on top, and BAKE for 5-10 minutes—that’s so the cheese gets nice and melty and the panko crumbs get nice and crispy.
Just move along quickly in the kitchen and you’ll see how amazing this turns out!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy!
This Healthy Baked Ziti recipe is going to be your new weekday favorite, and it comes together in 30 minutes flat. It’s made with gluten-free pasta and a flavorful marinara sauce, and it’s super customizable, so you can use up what ever veggies you have stored in that refrigerator of yours. For me, I’ve always got mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini, so whatever you have, toss it in this amazing dish!
1 16ozpackage gluten-free pasta of choice
1 1/2lbs Italian sausage
1lbmushrooms of choice
32oz jarmarinara sauce
1cupshredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
1/2cupgluten-free panko bread crumbs
1/4cupfresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare pasta according to package instructions; once pasta is al dente, drain, rinse, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large (or extra large!) skillet over low-medium heat.
Add the Italian sausage to the pan, squeezing it out of the casing. If using pre-cooked sausage, chop it into coins and then add it to the pan.
Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms, and mix together well for another 5 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Next, add the marinara sauce, and mix well to ensure everything is coated well.
Then add the cooked pasta to the pan with the sausage-mushrooms-sauce, along with half of the cheese, mixing well.
Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish, and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese, followed by the panko bread crumbs and chopped basil.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, let cool a bit before serving, and enjoy!
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