This Vegetable Baked Ziti is a great make ahead meal because it’s comforting, healthy, and super easy to put together. It’s very versatile, and you can customize it to what you like.
Swap out the vegetables with whatever you like or whatever you have on hand. Use fresh, frozen, canned, leftover veggies in any combination that sounds good to you. Just shoot for about 4 total cups of veg.
The cream cheese in the sauce makes it creamy and almost makes it taste like penne ala vodka or a cheater version of vegetable lasagna. You could omit it, substitute ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, or even some mashed tofu if you’d like. Or use a creamy tomato sauce in place of the marinara.
Vegetable Baked Ziti
A salad on the side certainly wouldn’t hurt, but if you’re running short on time, just warm up a serving of this ziti and dinner is ready. Makes about 6 servings. Freezes well.
- 4 cups cooked pasta (I used bowties)
- 2 medium zucchini, medium dice (about 2 cups chopped)
- 2 cups shredded broccoli
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 2 handfuls shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- pinch red pepper flakes
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cook the pasta according to package directions in your largest pot. When done, drain and set aside. Return the pot to the stove and add a splash of olive oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Add the zucchini and broccoli and stir. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened. Add the marinara sauce and cream cheese and stir thoroughly to combine. Add the cooked pasta to the pot and stir well.
Transfer the pasta mixture to an 8×8 glass pan. Top with Parmesan, mozzarella, and panko bread crumbs.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the topping is golden brown. Makes about 6 servings.