This post is sponsored by Crystal Farms Cheese® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Baked Ziti With Summer Vegetables
Need a delicious dinner that is loved by all ages? This Baked Ziti With Summer Vegetables ideally fits the bill. This gluten-free casserole is the perfect comfort food for any night of the year!
Pasta is a frequent menu item for many families. Having said that, it is one of my favorite comfort foods and the most cooked meal in our house.
While planning a meal, I try to include dishes crammed in with seasonal veggies. It’s a perfect way to sneak nutrients into a meal that we know our kids will swallow.
And what could be better than pasta?
Let me admit – pasta is no doubt everyone’s favorite and a genuine way to hide vegetables in pretty much anything.
Kids will eat any pasta that is packed with cheese and sauce. And today, I am sharing with you my favorite Ziti recipe that is loaded with summer veggies and takes under 40 minutes to get this meal on the table.
And not to mention – it’s perfect for my picky eaters. 🙂
TODAY’S RECIPE MADE POSSIBLE BY –
Crystal Farms® shredded cheese. Crystal Farms® brand is one of the largest leading cheese brands in the country.
For the past 92 years (1926), Crystal Farms has been committed to providing the highest quality products to its consumers. Lake Mills, Wisconsin has been home to Crystal Farms for the past 25 years.
The hard-working, honest people of Lake Mills are devoted to delivering great tasting products for what they love – CHEESE!!
WHY CRYSTAL FARMS® CHEESE?
Pasta and cheese are like a match-made-in-heaven. Together this combo creates a perfect dish for any scenario, whether it be a dinner or potluck or lunch.
I used Crystal Farms® because it is –
- A natural product made with few preservatives
- Rich in Calcium
- Made by cheese lovers, for cheese lovers
- and Gluten-free!
Thank you Crystal Farms® for making my dinner an effortless one tonight!
NOW ONTO THE RECIPE!
This recipe is made up of three main elements –
- sauce and
Pretty simple, right? It sure is!
Let’s start by cooking the pasta. I have used curly rotini pasta as the choice of pasta for my ziti. Boil pasta for 5 minutes. DO NOT overcook your pasta as the rest of the cooking process will continue in the oven.
Time to prepare the sauce. I have used fresh ingredients such as broccoli, yellow bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, but feel free to improvise. I have sauteed the vegetables until they are fork-tender thus creating a delectable fusion of diﬀerent tastes.
Then I poured in the marina sauce along with fresh basil leaves, spices, and white wine. This created the base of my baked ziti.
TIME TO ASSEMBLE!
Grease a baking tray. Use a big spatula to coat the bottom of the pan with an ample amount of sauce. Layer it with pasta and cheese. Repeat this step by alternating each layer with pasta and sauce. Finish it with a generous amount of Crystal Farms® Cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven (@350 degrees F) for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the result was a sizzling hot pan of extremely delicious baked pasta.
Like I said in the beginning: “my kids absolutely love pasta”. This came true right away, it was as if they were getting some irresistible tug from the hot casserole pasta.
And as I predicted they devoured the pasta in minutes. All I can say is that you must give this recipe a try.
BLEND OF CHEESE!
I decided to use a blend of cheese Crystal Farms® shredded cheese – Mozzarella and Crystal Farms® Shredded – Cheddar! The unique combination of Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese added a creamy smooth texture to this pasta.
And all that melted cheese on top added a hearty layer of flavor to my Baked Ziti With Summer Vegetables and I ended up with a creamy and cheesy casserole that was loved by all!
MAKES GREAT LEFTOVERS!
This Baked Ziti With Summer Vegetables easily serves 8-10 people making it a great potluck casserole. Don’t have that many people no worries.
It makes terrific leftovers. Divide the remaining casserole into equal portions. Wrap the bowl with foil or plastic wrap and freeze for later use.
Makes a great luncheon the very next day!
I hope you give this recipe a try. If you do, please leave me a comment down below.
CAN’T MAKE IT NOW, PIN IT FOR LATER?
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Summer Vegetables Baked Zitti
- 1 LB Rotini or penne pasta, dried
- - - Salt
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 medium Onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1 cup Broccoli Florets
- 1 medium Yellow bell pepper, cubed
- 1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
- 2.5 cups Homemade Marinara sauce
- 3 tablespoons Chopped fresh Basil leaves
- 1.5 teaspoon Crushed red chili flakes
- Salt to taste
- 3/4 cup Cooking White Wine
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 3/4 cup Crystal Farms Shredded Cheese - Mozzarella
- 3/4 cup Crystal Farms Shredded Cheese -Cheddar
- - - Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
- Cook rotini pasta for 5 minutes. DO NOT overcook your pasta. Rest of the cooking process will continue in the oven.
- Drain and toss pasta with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Set it aside.
- Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the veggies. Cut into cubes.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add broccoli florets and cook for 2 minutes on medium-low flame.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, and onions. Cook until fork-tender.
- Pour in the sauce along with fresh basil leaves, chili flakes, white wine, and salt.
- Give the sauce a good stir.
- Grease a baking tray. Start by spreading a layer of tomato-veggie sauce at the bottom of the pan. Layer it with a single layer of pasta followed by cheese. Then add another layer of tomato-veggie sauce followed by pasta and cheese. Keep repeating until you reach the top.
- Finish the casserole with shredded cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese layer is all melted and gooey.
- Remove from oven.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
- Serve hot with your favorite bread for a great meal tonight.
- Or treat yourself to an individual baked ziti bowl.