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Cheesy One-Skillet Baked Ziti

This cheesy-one skillet baked ziti is the perfect comfort food on a cold day, and it's full of whole-grain nutrients!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Liv


  • 1/2 lb ground beef (I used 85% lean grass-fed beef)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. each black pepper and salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper for some heat (optional)
  • 12 oz. whole-grain uncooked ziti or penne pasta (I used Barilla)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 16 oz. whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Optional for topping: 1 small tomato, diced, and fresh chopped parsley


  • In a large skillet, cook onion and ground beef until beef is browned. Drain grease.
  • Add crushed and diced tomatoes to the pan, along with garlic powder, salt, pepper and stir.
  • Add uncooked pasta to pan. Top with water and stir. Cover pan with lid, turn heat to high, and bring liquid to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer with lid on, cooking until pasta is almost al dente (slightly undercooked still), stirring once or twice during cooking. This will likely be a couple of minutes more than the package directions says since it's on a lower heat than usual (ex: my package said 9 minutes and I did 12 minutes).
  • Stir in up to 1/2 cup more water if pasta seems dry. Top with dollops of ricotta cheese and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Return lid to pan to allow cheese to melt. Optional: if the skillet is oven-safe, place under broiler for one to two minutes. Top with fresh tomato and parsley, if desired, and serve.