This is a sponsored post on behalf of al fresco®.
Who doesn’t love a meal that you can prep on Sunday and serve later in the week?! This Chicken Sausage Ziti Bake is a great meal to prep ahead for your family or to bring to a neighbor, potluck or other social occasions! It’s super easy to make and is sure to be a hit with all ages!
This ziti bake features al fresco Sweet Italian sausage, ziti, an Italian three-cheese blend, Italian seasonings, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and creamy ricotta cheese! Using al fresco sausage is a HUGE timesaver since it’s pre-cooked (no worrying about checking meat temps!) and all you need to do is slice, lightly brown in the skillet and you’re good to go. What’s not to love?!
Even though this meal features ziti, you can substitute penne or rotini or another similar pasta you might have in your pantry (even gluten-free)! I love the ziti because it soaks up all of the delicious flavors and is large enough for small hands (which translates to less clean-up for me!). I like to use Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes in my ziti bakes as another way of saving time without sacrificing flavor— they’re a great pantry staple!
When it comes to the cheese, you can definitely feel free to use your favorite Italian cheese. I like to use blends that have several different flavors, but you could use plain mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan or whatever you like. In this recipe, I chose a six-cheese Italian blend. After the dish is baked and ready to serve, I garnish with some fresh flat leaf parsley to add a nice green color– it really makes the dish pop!
So let’s get started and prep this ziti bake to enjoy tonight or later this week…
- 1 lb of dry ziti
- 1 pkg of Al Fresco Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage
- 8 oz of shredded Italian six-cheese blend
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- 15 oz of ricotta
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)seasoned with basil, oregano, and garlic (drained)
- 1 jar of marinara sauce (23.5 oz
- 1 tsp of Italian seasoning blend
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- Preheat over to 350°. Spray the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan with olive oil to coat.
- Fill a large pot of water and add a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a rolling boil and add ziti. Cook for 9 minutes and drain in a colander.
- While preparing the ziti, remove sausage casings and cut links into bite-sized pieces.
- Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat (about 10 minutes) and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
- Add the drained tomatoes, sausage, and pasta and mix well.
- Add 1/3 of the jar of marinara to the bottom of the 9×13 pan and then layer 1/2 of the pasta mixture, 1/3 of the marinara and 1/2 of the cheese. Layer the remaining pasta, marinara, and cheese.
- Top with the shredded parmesan.
- Bake for 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
- Garnish with finely chopped Italian parsley.