Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baked Ziti Tutorial (FREEZER MEAL)

Baked Ziti- a favorite "make ahead" meal.

I'm a huge pasta lover and this is a great make-ahead and freeze meal. This recipe is for a 9X13 inch pan, but I divided it into two smaller 8X8 pans. I only took photo's of the one I was baking for that night's dinner. The other one was assembled until right before it was to be baked, then covered with tinfoil and froze.

I substituted the ground beef for ground turkey, as usual. =)

This makes a great freezer meal. Just line your casserole with tinfoil and then saran wrap. Assemble the Baked Ziti like normal but instead of baking it, freeze it! To reheat, put the unwrapped frozen Baked Ziti back into the pan you froze it in, and let thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, bake as normal.


Ingredients


1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook about 8 minutes; drain. 

Step 2


Brown onion and ground beef over medium heat.


Step 3


Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes. 

Step 4


Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti.

Step 5


Then all the Provolone cheese and sour cream.

Step 6


Then 1/2 of the sauce mixture.

Step 7


Then remaining ziti.

Step 8


Then all the mozzarella cheese.

Step 9


Then the remaining sauce mixture.

Step 10



Top with grated Parmesan cheese. 


Step 11




Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

11 comments:

Sarah Hendrix said...

Ok I have a crazy question because I am new to freezer cooking. Did you cook the pasta before freezing?

The Virtuous Wife said...

Yes, it's cooked before I add it to the ziti, I don't bake it before I freeze it though. :)

Anonymous said...

Question: At which temperature did you bake the ziti?

Anonymous said...

Once frozen, should you thaw out before baking or bake from frozen and what temp and how long

Anonymous said...

Answer: thaw before cooking, 30 minutes.

Temp wasnt mentioned, though you're really just reheating it and melting the cheese.

Anonymous said...

So, bake at 350 for 30 minutes?

Anonymous said...

Step 1 says to preheat oven to 350... Step 11 says to bake for 30mins

*me & her* said...

Is there an alternative to sour cream, or can it be left out?

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Quiana .Torres said...

So you tinfoil then saran wrap the pan to pull out after freezing and store frozen until ready to cook right

Quiana .Torres said...

So you tinfoil then saran wrap the pan to pull out after freezing and store frozen until ready to cook right