Skillet Baked Ziti

Skillet Baked Ziti

It has been absolutely crazy around our house lately. We have been trying to figure out things for our move, started the process of listing our current house, and just dealing with all of the end of the school year stuff. Needless to say the days are going by way too quickly. Dinner hasn’t been at the forefront of my thoughts lately at all.

We also need to start using up the food in our pantry and freezer before we move. That is where the idea for this dinner came from. I needed something quick and easy to make. It also makes more than what we can eat in one setting so it’s a double win!

Skillet Baked Ziti

Quite honestly, I haven’t made this baked ziti in over a year. We just don’t eat wheat pasta much anymore, and I try to avoid a lot of dairy since Greta and I are sensitive to it. However, it is such a great recipe and so delicious. I’d like to try it some time using brown rice pasta instead of wheat pasta to see how it turns out. I bet it would be just as good.

Skillet Baked Ziti


I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. It’s always a crowd favorite whenever I make it for company!


Skillet Baked Ziti


1 lb. Italian sausage (spicy/hot is delicious)

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt & pepper

1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

3 cups water

12 oz. ziti pasta (about 3 3/4 cups)

1/2 cup heavy cream (see notes)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated (see notes)


  1. Using a 12-inch ovensafe skillet (non-stick is helpful), cook the sausage until it’s just no longer pink. Set the cooked sausage aside. I usually let it rest on a paper towel lined plate to drain a bit. Wipe out the excess fat from the skillet.
  2. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
  3. Add the oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to your skillet and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, ziti and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Cover and cook, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the ziti noodles are almost tender (15-18 minutes). Add the sausage back to the pan with the noodles when you have just a few minutes of cooking time remaining.
  6. Off heat, stir in heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (If your skillet is not ovensafe, you will want to transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before proceeding to the next step.)
  7. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the ziti. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes.
  8. Let rest for 10 minutes and then serve.


  • Instead of heavy cream I used this non-dairy creamer.
  • I urge you to shred your cheese yourself instead of buying the pre-shredded cheese. It will taste and melt much better. 😉

Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen


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