The Best One Pot Baked Ziti

The best cheesy One Pot Baked Ziti recipe with sausage and spinach; everything, including the noodles are cooked in one pot and then finished in the oven.

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Baked Pasta, One Pot Cheesy Sausage Pasta and Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon are some of my other really great recipes for baked pasta.

The best cheesy One Pot Baked Ziti recipe with sausage and spinach; everything, including the noodles are cooked in one pot and then finished in the oven.

One Pot Baked Ziti

Few things are more delicious than a big bowl of warm cheesy pasta. Throw in spinach and a little sausage and you really have my attention. This one pot baked ziti recipe is one of my all-time favorite simple family-friendly meals and I have been so excited to share it with you. This recipe is great because it truly only takes one pot to make the whole meal. You start by cooking the sausage and garlic and then add your tomatoes and let it simmer to create a killer sauce. Then you add water and your pasta and cook the pasta right in the sauce. Add your cheese and broil to bubbly pasta perfection. Did I mention you only need to dirty one pot?! I’m telling you, this is the way to cook. There’s actually a lot of spinach in this one pot baked ziti dish, which I loved. It’s rich and hearty, but full of vegetables too. Make this recipe and you’ll be winning at life.

The best cheesy One Pot Baked Ziti recipe with sausage and spinach; everything, including the noodles are cooked in one pot and then finished in the oven.

This recipe comes from Cook’s Country One-Pan Wonders cookbook (Cook’s Country is a sister company with America’s Test Kitchen), and I’m excited to review the book with you today. Oh man, there is so much to love! When I got an email announcing this book, I was super excited. Easy delicious family-friendly meals are what I’m all about, and this book is a powerhouse of knowledge. One-Pan Wonders is divided up by the type of pan that you use to cook the meal – sheet pan, Dutch oven, skillet, roasting pan, casserole, and slow cooker. I thought this was a super practical/fun/useful way to divide up the sections of the book.

The best cheesy One Pot Baked Ziti recipe with sausage and spinach; everything, including the noodles are cooked in one pot and then finished in the oven.

Here are a few tips and trick for this One Pot Baked Ziti recipe:

  • It makes a lot of food, so plan on leftovers or having it when you have company; it’s definitely company worthy.
  • My kids did not like the whole cooked spinach leaves. Next time I’m going to give the spinach a rough chop before adding it to the pot. That way the pieces will be easier to eat and harder for the kids to notice/pick out.
  • Full-fat cheese really makes this extra ooey-gooey rich and hearty. I highly recommend seeking it out.

What dutch oven do you recommend?

Can I make this recipe with gluten free pasta?

I did not try this recipe with gluten-free or whole wheat pasta. I think that the amount of liquid need and cooking times will vary a lot if you use either of those. I recommend traditional pasta for this recipe.

I can’t find ziti at the store, what can I use as a substitute?

Penne pasta is a good substitute for ziti pasta if your little store doesn’t carry ziti #smalltownlife .

What side dishes go well with baked pasta?

This is great served with a side of crusty no knead bread or some super easy bread sticks. I also love this berry salad or any salad with homemade dressing!

Isn’t that cheese perfection?! Long live bubbly broiled cheese! I can’t wait for you to make this One Pot Baked Ziti recipe because you are going to love it.

The best cheesy One Pot Baked Ziti recipe with sausage and spinach; everything, including the noodles are cooked in one pot and then finished in the oven.


The Best One Pot Baked Ziti

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 to 6 large servings 1x


The best cheesy One Pot Baked Ziti recipe with sausage and spinach; everything, including the noodles are cooked in one pot and then finished in the oven.



  • 8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can tomato sauce (28-ounce)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 ounces ziti (about 3 3/4 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 6 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups)
  • 6 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (1 cup)


  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking the meat into 1/2-inch pieces, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomato (with the juice), oregano, salt, sugar, and pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the water, pasta, 1/4 cup basil, and increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer vigorously, stirring often, until the pasta is still very firm but starting to soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack 8 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler.
  3. Remove the pasta from the heat and stir in the spinach, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Dollop the surface of the pasta evenly with the ricotta and then top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
  4. Broil the ziti until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the dish cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of basil and serve.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 475
  • Sugar: 3.6g
  • Sodium: 912.4mg
  • Fat: 16.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.7g
  • Protein: 29.7g
  • Cholesterol: 51.4mg

Keywords: Baked Pasta, Comfort Food, One Pot, Sausage

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If you liked this recipe, try these:

One Pot Baked Ziti is a recipe I hope you make as  soon as you have room in your meal plan. Enjoy, from my kitchen to yours, and don’t forget to pick up your own copy of Cook’s Country One-Pan Wonders. It’s a book you’ll go back to again and again!

Disclosure: The folks at America’s Test Kitchen sent me a copy of the cookbook to review. I was not paid to write this post or for my review.

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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I really enjoyed your page. Thanks so much!

These look AMAZING!I definitely have to try this recipe.

I’m so happy! My kids like this. It took me a long time to make this because I am an amateur at cooking, but it was worth it. I went out and bought a dutch oven just for this recipe, and then it wouldn’t fit under my broiler so I had to transfer it to a cast iron skilllet. Next time it will be much easier to make, I’m sure.

This looks too good!

Google searched one pot baked ziti and your blog comes up! 😀

Hi,I log on to your blogs named “The Best One Pot Baked Ziti — Bless this mess” daily.Your writing style is witty, keep it up! And you can look our website about love spell.

I made this for dinner tonight and it is really delicious – thank you!

And another winning recipe! No ziti = NO PROBLEM…… Just used the rotini I had.. No fresh basil = NO PROBLEM…. I used dried basil. Still yummy. No ricotta cheese = NO PROBLEM. I used more mozzarella and parmesan. It came out DELICIOUS and was a breeze to clean up!

LOVE this comment! I feel like you are totally what makes blogging/cooking fun, let’s get together and make this sometime mmmkay!

Tomorrow i made this dish in my house party. Yummy it so cheese Me any My friend really enjoy it. After eat it they said ” please Andy send me this dish recipe”. Italian sausage are hero in this recipe.

I cut(chiffinade?) spinach up so his eye balls think its basil. He has no clue what basil tastes like…bahahahahhaha. You get to play with some fun cookbooks! Someday I will have to make Ziti… has a cool name!

This looks too good! Who knew you could make so many different things in one pot! That Lemony linguine with shrimp and spinach sounds amazing!

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.