Skillet Baked Ziti is a big time favorite pasta recipe!
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s made all in one skillet. You won’t be messing up a lot of dishes. Everything is just made in one pan, and the result is wonderful. Skillet Baked Ziti is a delicious and easy pasta recipe to make. It’s totally family friendly. Everyone usually loves this one. You’re not likely to have much in the way of leftovers! This recipe was originally found in The Best 30-Minute Recipe by Cooks Illustrated, one of my favorite go-to cookbooks for making easy dinner recipes.
How to make Skillet Baked Ziti:
Be sure to scroll to the end of this post to print out the complete recipe. It’s best if you can use an oven-safe skillet for this recipe. A large cast iron works well, or an all-metal skillet without plastic handles. If you don’t have one though, you can still make this recipe so read on!
You’ll begin by sautéing oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. The red pepper flakes add just a teeny-tiny amount of spice, so I wouldn’t skip them because they are a good part of this recipe.
Next, you’ll add a can of crushed tomatoes, water, the ziti pasta and more salt. If you don’t have ziti, you can sub penne pasta. This is the part where the pasta cooks in the pan, so you’ll cover the pan and let the pasta cook for about 15 minutes.
It’s amazing, but the pasta cooks well in the skillet with the tomato sauce and the water!
The final step is adding in some cream, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, at this point you can scrape the pasta mixture into a casserole dish and continue with the recipe. You will sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese and transfer it to the oven to bake for 10 minutes- just until the cheese melts.
And that’s how your Skillet Baked Ziti will look when it comes out of the oven. It’s so good!!
Note: I’ve been making this recipe for a long time. I often make it for friends in need– someone who is sick and needs a drop off dinner or someone who just had a baby. You can prepare it to the point just before baking in the oven with the cheese and just cover and deliver with instructions to warm it up in the oven.
Try this for dinner, and I think you will be pleased. There are instructions in the recipe below for cutting the recipe in half to serve only 3 to 4 people if you don’t want to make the full recipe. Enjoy!
Here are a few more pasta recipes you might like to try:
- Creamy Gruyere and Shrimp Pasta
- Salmon Pasta
- Cheesy Beef and Pasta Casserole
- Baked Pasta
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
- Chicken Caprese Pasta Bake
- Greek Chicken Pasta Toss
Skillet Baked Ziti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- 12 ounces ziti or penne pasta
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Place the oven rack in the middle position.
- Combine the oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt in 12-inch oven-safe skillet (I use a cast-iron) and sauté over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, pasta, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is almost tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Stir in the cream, Parmesan and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the pasta. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes. Serve.
- *If your skillet is not oven-safe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the cheese and baking.
- *To make a smaller portion of this pasta: use a 10-inch oven-safe skillet to saute 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes & a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add one (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes with garlic, oregano & basil + 1 1/2 cups of water and 6 ounces of pasta. Bring to a boil, cover; reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for about 8 minutes at 475 degrees F. until bubbling and lightly browned. This smaller portion will serve 3 to 4.