Million Dollar Baked Ziti – seriously delicious! Meat sauce, ziti pasta, and 3 kinds of cheese! The BEST pasta casserole EVER! Can make ahead and refrigerate or freeze for later. Ziti pasta, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, Italian sausage, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Serve with a simple salad and garlic bread. Great for dinner parties and potlucks! Everyone loves this easy casserole. Super easy to make & tastes like a million bucks!
Preheat oven to 350ºF degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink. Drain fat. Add spaghetti sauce.
In a large bowl, mix together cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir in meat sauce and cooked pasta and pour into prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Can substitute ground beef, ground turkey, breakfast sausage, or turkey sausage for the Italian sausage.
My favorite store-bought spaghetti sauces are Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic Marinara (green label), Rao's, and La Famiglia DelGrosso.
This casserole uses cottage cheese. I NEVER ever eat it straight out of the container – yuck! BUT it is heavenly in casseroles. If you haven’t tried it, I really encourage you to branch out and try it. If you aren’t ready to trust the word of a tried and true picky eater, you can try and substitute ricotta for the cottage cheese.
Can Baked Ziti be made ahead of time? Yes! You can assemble the casserole in advance and refrigerate it until you are ready to bake. You may need to add a few minutes to the baking time since it will be cold.
Can Baked Ziti be frozen? Yes! You can assemble the casserole and freeze it for later. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Write the baking directions on the foil and freeze. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake as directed.
To reheat the casserole after freezing, thaw completely and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350ºF until warmed through, approximately 45 minutes.