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Southern Ann: Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Over the past few months, I have been cutting my meat intake and realizing that anything can be absolutely delicious with the right amount of soul seasonings!

Listen, as someone who felt she needed meat, being on this journey of growing my own food and eating healthy has shown me that anything is possible.

For about 8 months, I have eaten meat about once a week. That is BIG for a girl who would eat ground beef every single day. From pastas to quiche, it has been so much fun experimenting in the kitchen with healthy recipes filled with southern flavors!

This Vegetarian Baked Ziti recipe is a big hit in my house and it smells delicious when it's cooking! Just make sure you don't overcook that pasta, because no one likes that!

Now let's dive into this vegetarian masterpiece.

Southern Ann Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 45 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

Servings 12

Author Jasmine Kelle


  • 1 lb. ziti pasta

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp. dried or fresh oregano

  • 1 tbsp. thyme

  • 1 tbsp. parsley

  • 1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 c. fresh ricotta

  • 1 (10oz.) package of frozen chopped spinach, drained

  • Zest of lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp. crushed red pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • Black Pepper

  • 2 tbsp. basil

  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until very al dente, drain.

  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Stir in garlic, tomato paste and oregano and cook for about 2 minutes.

  3. Add crushed tomatoes. Season with Kosher salt and pepper. Add thyme and parsley. Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally until flavors are melded, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

  4. While sauce is reducing, in a medium bowl combine ricotta, spinach, lemon zest and crushed red pepper flakes.

  5. In the sauce's pan or large bowl combine the sauce and pasta, mix well. Combine ricotta mixture, mix well.

  6. In a 13 x 9 casserole dish, spread about half of the pasta mixture. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and Parmesan over the pasta. Top with the rest of the pasta mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

  7. Cover with foil and bake until cheese is bubbling, about 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with more basil and enjoy!

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