Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cheater cheater baked ziti.


I am very Irish.
I am very not Italian.
This is for those days when you want to make a meal and take a nap.
This is not a legit baked ziti.  This is not the kind that I am sure some people have gotten married, not for love, but for the hopes that one day they will be taught how to make it by their husband's grandmother.

But it feeds a hungry crowd and makes them very happy.  All the while you are very happy, because instead of slaving over the stove, you snuck in a nap.  I won't tell if you don't.  Us Irish girls are good at keeping secrets.

 The ground beef isn't pictured because A.  Everyone knows what it looks like. and B.  Everyone knows that it looks really, really, really gross.  Also, disregard the minced garlic.  While it is amazing for making your own germ fighting garlic cream cheese, it is not awesome for this recipe.  Use standard garlic powder instead.  As for the Parmesan, if you are Jeannett, don't judge.  Just keep freshening your carpets.
 While I am still a little (a lot) bitter about the double oven situation, I am so very happy that I stayed strong with the desire for a big old stove top.  I have yet to use all five simultaneously, but I am waiting for that day.  It will be glorious.  Now I just need a few more Caribbean Le Creusets to make it a sea of simmering happiness.
 The half & half is a tip from my (really needs to start a food blog) friend Richelle.  It adds just the right amount of richness and creaminess to a standard jar of red sauce.
 Just think, you are mere minutes away from nap time.  Just minutes.
 I didn't measure the mozzarella, but cover it like you have never covered anything in your life.  Is it not one of the most delightful of cheeses?  I mean, I can't think of a single cheese variety that isn't delightful. But mozzarella is certainly up there.
Just like that.  Nap time is over.  Your house smells amazing.  You didn't have to marry a creeper to get this recipe.  Now it is time to dig in.  Who ever said that cheaters never prosper?


  1. Looks good. Except for the nasty that is fake parmesean.

    I'll make it with REAL stuff shredded in the rotary shredder doohicky like they have at Olive Garden...and I'll nap while my carpets are springtime fresh.

  2. I am trying this this week sometime! Sounds delish.

  3. Oh my goodness that looks really delish! AND easy!!
    Have a happy night

  4. Thank you thank you...this looks delish...AND my husband loves italian food....its perfect! xoxo

  5. first brownie covered oreos and now are becoming my pioneer woman!

  6. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!

  7. Jealous of your Caribbean Le Crusets. #want

    And I am down with any recipe that involves a nap. YUM!

  8. Yummy yummy! I have a recipe just like this, but instead of ground beef, I use ground Italian sausage. I am going to try your ground beef version sometime, then maybe my girls will eat it!

  9. I love that I am the only one that isn't loyal to any one supermarket...I see Ralphs, Albertson's, Target and Costco being represented in this meal! Looks {muy delicioso}....that's Italian, right? ;-)

  10. WHAT!! You mean this isn't how you make bakes ziti? he, he.... ;)

    I've been making it like this for years, and my Hubby loves it. I don't want the real deal. For us this is.

  11. I know what we're having tomorrow night for dinner! *insert evil cackle here*

  12. Oh my goodness Julie! How did you know I was looking for an EASY baked ziti recipe for dinner tomorrow night??

  13. YUM!
    totally making it tomorrow.
    thank you.
    annnnnnd a nap.

  14. Yum, I had thought of making lasagne this weekend for our house church but I've changed my mind. I'm all about easy.

  15. I'm super duper Italian and I am fairly certain that baked ziti is meatless and capital N Needs Ricotta cheese! Just saying. Nevertheless, your meal looks good and quite yummy. Like a quick lasagna made with ziti actually. And with that much cheese on top who could go wrong! I just may have to try this.

  16. Yummy! Funnily enough I made something very similar for dinner here tonight (adjusting for what ingredients are to be found in my kitchen). Everyone has enjoyed it so far... have to see what hubby thinks about his reheated portion later...!

  17. Joy YOU have saved yet another dinner funk here at my house,

    My 3 boys know you as my go to girl of all recipes!!!

    THANK YOU MUAHxoxoox

    Keep rocking the recipes and keep the naps coming!!!

    Best Shauna

  18. Looks great... just sent the recipe to two other friends. Always nice to have an easy, yummy recipe on hand especially with a houseful of kids. :) Oh... and we make toffee crack at least once a week, sometimes more in here. ADDICTIVE!!!

  19. Looks delicious! I cheat even more & use alfredo sauce & red sauce together. Creamy & cheesy goodness in one easy step!

  20. i need this. i think you should make it for me at blog suga.

  21. Now I have to look to see what real ziti looks like because this is basically what I make too. Looks good!

  22. You didn't have to marry a creeper to get this recipe.

    Ahh, Julie, you sure know how to give a girl a laugh!! I'll have to try this recipe...

  23. :D You make me smile.
    I made 'real' (although who knows ... it's not like I learned it from my husband's Italian grandmother ... because he's German/Irish and I'm Dutch ... no signs of Italy in our blood line) Baked Ziti 2 weekends ago for a crowd of 20. I used America's Test Kitchen recipe and it was SO, SO, SO good. But this looks very similar and I'm all about naps ... so bookmarking this one for next time ;).

    Happy Weekend Friend!!

    P.S. In your current state naps are not optional!! ;).

  24. Oh my gosh this was super duper easy to make and came out delicious!!! Being a mom of 2 active boys it isn't always easy to come up with quick dinner ideas that are tasty and fast. Please please share more recipes like this one!!! I used marinara sauce and added a can of fire roasted tomatoes, that added some additional flavor. Again thank you and can't wait for more meal ideas. By the way love your site!!!

  25. I'm married to a youth minister, too. On Saturday night he remembered that he invited the youth worship band and some of student leaders to Sunday lunch.

    While he racked his brain trying to figure out how he was going to feed everyone, I pulled open your ziti recipe.

    You made me a hero!

    Thank you :-) :-)

  26. I made it tonight and it was great! My husband loved it, so it's a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

  27. made it!
    it was perfect.
    not one bite left!

  28. Trying this out for our youth retreat next weekend after we snowboard all day. Thanks for sharing!

  29. i just made this for our college BIble study group. as i imagined, it was a hit! :) thanks for sharing.


I love sunshine, happy people, and the power to delete. Sparkles! Rainbows! Unicorns!