Skip to Content

Delicious Meatless Baked Ziti {With Mushrooms}

Creamy and cheesy, and best of all, easy, this Vegetarian Baked Ziti is the perfect weeknight meal that the whole family will love. Anytime we are looking for a recipe for a “Meatless Monday”, our kids request this amazing meatless baked ziti, packed with yummy sautéed mushrooms.

Meatless Baked Ziti feature image.

We love how adaptable this recipe is. Add other veggies to the mix, or add some meat such as sausage, ground beef, or ground turkey. Once you have the basic idea, the recipe can be adapted to your specific preferences. The leftovers are also amazing and reheat easily to have another meal during the week!

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Super easy to make.
  • Comes together easily.
  • Kid friendly.
  • Readily available ingredients.
  • A great way to have your kids eat vegetables.
  • Make ahead meal.
  • Freezer friendly.
  • Easily adaptable to adding the protein/vegetable of your choice.
  • The Best Meatless Baked Ziti ever!
second feature image of meatless baked ziti.

Main Ingredients

This recipe uses super easy ingredients that can be purchased from a local grocery store if they are not already in your kitchen. Read the Recipe Card for the measurements.

  • Mushrooms – We use white button mushrooms as they are readily available in our local grocery store, but feel free to use any type of mushroom you prefer.
  • Ziti – What would Baked Ziti be without ziti as the pasta? If you don’t have ziti available, penne can also be used.
  • Cheeses – We use three cheeses; ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Ricotta cheese has a thick and creamy texture along with a mild, slightly nutty flavor. Mozzarella melts easily and creates that stretchy characteristic that kids love. The parmesan cheese adds additional nutty flavor along with a crusty topping.
  • Marinara Sauce – Feel free to use your favorite store bought or homemade marinara sauce.
Ingredient picture for the vegetarian baked ziti.

How To Make The Best Meatless Baked Ziti

Step 1: The Pasta

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and using the directions on the back of the pasta box, cook the ziti following the timing requirements for al dente, minus 3 minutes (the pasta will continue cooking in the oven).
  • Drain the pasta and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
first cook the pasta.

Step 2: The Mushrooms

  • While the pasta is cooking, heat a large heavy bottom pan over high heat and add the olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Let the mushrooms sit undisturbed in the pan for 2-3 minutes without turning. If the pan gets too hot, reduce the heat slightly.
  • When the mushrooms have browned, flip them over to continue browning on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. 
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, oregano, pepper and salt to the pan; sauté for 1 minute.
sauté the mushrooms.
  • Add both jars of marinara or homemade sauce to the mushrooms and cook until heated through. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Add marinara sauce to the mushrooms.

Step 3: The Cheeses

  • In a large bowl, add the egg, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and the chopped basil.
  • Using a rubber spatula, mix to gently combine; set aside. 
Add the cheeses to a large bowl.

Step 4: Putting it Together

  • Set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9×13 oven proof casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Add the drained pasta to the cheese mixture and gently incorporate using a rubber spatula. Be careful not to break up the ziti.  
combine all the ingredients into the large bowl.
  • In the prepared 9×13 dish, add a few ladles of the mushroom sauce to just cover the bottom of the dish (step 1).
  • Add half of the pasta and cheese mixture into the casserole dish and ladle half of the remaining mushroom sauce on top (steps 2 & 3). Repeat again by layering the other half of the pasta and cheese mixture and ladling the rest of the sauce on top.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese on top (step 4). 
layer the mushrooms and cheeses in the bowl for cooking.
  • Bake uncovered in the preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese has melted, browned on top.
  • Let the ziti rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and a sprinkle of grated parmesan, if desired.
final feature image of the baked ziti.

This Mushroom Baked Ziti pairs really well with our Kale Crunch Salad.

Delicious Meatless Baked Ziti {With Mushrooms}

Delicious Meatless Baked Ziti {With Mushrooms}

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Creamy and cheesy, and best of all, easy, this Vegetarian Baked Ziti is the perfect weeknight meal that the whole family will love. Anytime we are looking for a recipe for a "Meatless Monday", our kids request this amazing meatless baked ziti, packed with yummy sautéed mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ziti
  • Salt for pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or to taste
  • 2-24 oz jars marinara sauce or homemade sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and using the directions on the back of the pasta box, cook the ziti following the timing requirements for al dente, minus 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large heavy bottom pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Let the mushrooms sit undisturbed in the pan for 2-3 minutes without turning. If the pan gets too hot, reduce the heat slightly.
  3. When the mushrooms have browned, flip them over to continue browning on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, oregano, pepper and salt to the pan; sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add both jars of marinara or homemade sauce to the mushrooms and cook until heated through. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. In a large bowl, add the egg, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and the chopped basil. Using a rubber spatula, mix to gently combine; set aside. 
  6. Set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 oven proof casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the cheese mixture and gently incorporate using a rubber spatula. Be careful not to break up the ziti.
  8. In the prepared 9x13 dish, add a few ladles of the mushroom sauce to just cover the bottom of the dish. Add half of the pasta and cheese mixture into the casserole dish and ladle half of the remaining mushroom sauce on top. Repeat again by layering the other half of the pasta and cheese mixture and ladling the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese on top.  
  9. Bake uncovered in the preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese has melted, browned on top. Let the ziti rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and a sprinkle of grated parmesan, if desired.
Skip to Recipe