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The large rustic bowl of cheesy tomato sauce ziti.

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Three Cheese Baked Ziti that is bubbly and browned, extra creamy, extra saucy, and incredibly easy with NO RICOTTA! A baked pasta masterpiece.


Units Scale

The Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

The Baked Ziti

  • 1 pound ziti
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded


  1. Sauce: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add pancetta and sauté until slightly crisped, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic; turn heat down and sauté for 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and tomato paste; sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and salt. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Ziti: Cook ziti according to package directions. Toss with about two thirds of the pasta sauce. Reserve remaining 2-or-so cups of sauce.
  3. Mascarpone: Mix mascarpone with grated garlic and a pinch of salt.
  4. Layering: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer half of the pasta to a 9×13 baking dish. Spoon the mascarpone over the top in little blobs. Cover with half of the mozzarella and half of the provolone. Cover with about a cup of sauce. Transfer the rest of the saucy ziti on top of your cheese layer. Finish with remaining mozzarella, provolone, and spoon the remaining sauce around on top for prettiness.
  5. Bake: Bake for 20 minutes until warm, delicious, molten-cheesy, and bubbly. Top with some parmesan, fresh basil, or freshly cracked black pepper to be a baked ziti superstar.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: baked ziti, three cheese baked ziti, baked pasta, baked spaghetti