What Veggies Go With Baked Ziti?

Baked ziti is a tasty Italian-American dish that goes well with many vegetables. Adding veggies not only makes it healthier but also adds color and texture. You can mix them in the casserole or serve them on the side. Spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini are all great choices.

They each bring their own yummy taste. This article will help you pick the best veggies for your baked ziti and give you ideas on how to use them. It’s a great dish for family meals and get-togethers, making it not just tasty but also well-rounded.

What Veggies Go With Baked Ziti?

When making baked ziti, adding vegetables can make it taste better and healthier. Here are some good vegetables to use with this pasta dish:

1. Spinach

This green leafy vegetable is great for baked ziti because its mild taste blends well without taking over. It softens nicely in between the layers of cheese and sauce, making the dish more moist and nutritious.

2. Mushrooms

Mushrooms have a hearty texture and a strong, natural flavor that goes well with the tasty cheese and tomato sauce. They soak up flavors nicely, making the casserole more interesting.

3. Bell Peppers

The bell peppers give a nice crunch to the pasta and add some fresh taste. Their bright colors make the dish look good, and they also add more flavor.

4. Zucchini

The zucchini slices are light and slightly sweet, blending well with the ziti pasta. They add a nice crunch and help balance out the richness of the cheesy pasta with their mild, refreshing flavor.

5. Eggplant 

When you roast eggplant cubes and add them to ziti, they give a smooth texture that goes well with the chewy pasta and melted cheese. The eggplant also soaks up the tomato sauce, making the dish even more flavorful.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli pieces add a crunchy texture and healthy green color to the dish. Their natural taste contrasts with the creamy cheese, making each bite tasty and good for you.

7. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic add important flavors to the ziti. Cook them until browned before adding them to the dish to enhance their sweet, strong smells.

8. Carrots 

Carrots add a little sweetness and color to the dish. When chopped or grated finely, they mix into the sauce, making it thicker and improving the taste of the dish.

How To Make Baked Ziti?

Baked ziti is a popular Italian-American dish that is tasty and not too hard to make. Here is a simple recipe to help you make it:


  • 1 pound ziti pasta, not cooked
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil,
  • 1 small diced zucchini
  • 1 small summer squash, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped herbs, like basil or parsley (if you want)
  • 2 jars marinara sauce
  • 2 cups of smooth, blended cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, separated.


Heat oven to 400 degree F and get out a big baking dish, like a 9×13 size. Boil water in a big pot on medium-high heat. Put in the ziti pasta and cook until it’s not too soft. Drain pasta and keep it aside. You can add butter or little oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking together.

Put a big skillet on the stove and heat it up. Pour in 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Then, put in all your chopped vegetables (zucchini, squash, bell peppers, and onion). Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, and 1/2 tsp of black pepper.

Stir everything together and cook the veggies until they’re soft, which should take about 10 minutes. Finally, add in the garlic and fresh herbs and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Combine the marinara sauce with the vegetables and mix everything together. Then add the cooked pasta and mix again. You may find it easier to use a large bowl if your skillet is too small. Put the mixture aside.

Put cottage cheese and 3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese into a medium sized bowl. You can also add herbs or seasonings if you want. Stir everything together until it’s well mixed.

Put half of the ziti and veggies in the bottom of the baking dish. Spread it out. Put all the cheese on top and spread it out to the edges. Add the remaining of the pasta and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.

Put on aluminum foil and put in the hot oven. Cook ziti for 45-50 minutes, taking off the foil after about 2/3 of the time so the cheese on top can get brown. Ziti is ready when the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Wait a bit before eating.

How To Store Baked Ziti?

To keep baked ziti tasty for later, store it properly. Here’s how:

Cool Properly: Let the baked ziti cool down after baking. Don’t leave it out for more than two hours to keep bacteria from growing.

Refrigerate: Put the cooled ziti in a container and cover it with a lid. Keep it in the fridge.

Shelf Life: When you put baked ziti in the fridge the right way, it can stay good for 3 to 5 days. Just make sure to keep it cold all the time.

Freezing: To store the ziti for a long time, put it in the freezer. Divide it into servings or wrap it in foil and place it in a freezer bag. You can freeze it for 2 months.

Thawing and Reheating: Defrost the frozen ziti in the fridge overnight before heating it up again. Heat it in the oven at 350°F until it’s hot all the way through, which should take around 20-30 minutes.

How To Serve Baked Ziti?

Serving baked ziti really makes it taste great as a comfort food and can make it stand out in any meal. Here are some tips on how to serve baked ziti:

Heat Thoroughly: Before you serve it, make sure the baked ziti is hot all the way through. If it’s been in the fridge, warm it up in the oven at 350°F until it’s warm and bubbly, which should take about 20 minutes.

Cheese Topping: Add more grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese on top before reheating. This will make the dish tastier and look better.

Garnish: Once you reheat it, add some new herbs like basil or parsley on top. This will make it look better and taste fresher.

Serve with Sides: Serve baked ziti with garlic bread or a salad to balance the flavors and make a delicious meal.

Portioning: Use a big spoon or spatula to serve the baked ziti. Make sure each serving has a mix of the crispy top and cheesy middle, so everyone enjoys it.

Adding vegetables to baked ziti makes it healthier and tastier. You can use veggies like spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant to add color, texture, and flavor. You can mix them in the casserole or serve them on the side to balance out the pasta. These veggies make the dish more nutritious and can be customized to suit different preferences. By picking the right vegetables, you can make baked ziti more delicious and attractive for any meal.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find it helpful.

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