This week, I have been craving this baked ziti no-meat recipe! I blame it on spending too much time on Pinterest looking at all the comfort foods. Even when the weather turns nice, I still crave and think about pasta goodness. Plus, I needed the excuse to buy a few dishes I had been dreaming about.
Baked Ziti No Meat Recipe
Pre-warning: when you make this Cheesy Baked Ziti recipe, your house will smell so good that it is hard not to dive headfirst into the bowl when it comes out of the oven. I had to wait a few minutes for John to come home from work so we could have dinner, and they were the longest 10 minutes of my life; I could not wait a second longer for the cheesy goodness.
Here we go - how to make this cheesy baked ziti recipe that will make you so happy!
Here is a quick overview of the simple ingredients for making an epic meat-free Cheesy Baked Ziti! The printable recipe card at the bottom of the post includes specific measurements and step-by-step instructions.
- Ziti Pasta
- Vodka Sauce
- Alfredo Sauce
- Ricotta Cheese
- Shredded Mozzarella
Optional garnish - A sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese, fresh basil, fresh herbs, oregano, Romano cheese
We served this with a side of garlic bread, a salad, and Tiramisu for dessert. The perfect easy date night meal at home. I love that this meatless baked ziti is so fast to put together and tastes amazing.
- Saucepan/Large Pot
- Kitchen Spoon/Stirring Utensil
- Large Bowl
- Casserole Dish
How to Make Cheesy Baked Ziti (No Meat)
I've included complete instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, but here's a quick version.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cook pasta until just under al dente; it will cook more in the oven.
- Combine vodka sauce, Alfredo sauce, and ricotta cheese in a bowl, then stir.
- Cover the bottom of your casserole dish with sauce, spoon cooked pasta over it, and cover with more sauce than cheese, layering 2-3 times, depending on the size of your casserole dish. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Serve and enjoy!
Preparation and Storage
Make-Ahead + Storage: This vegetarian Baked Ziti is make-ahead-friendly! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then enjoy them within three days.
Freezing/How to Freeze: Transfer freezer-bound portions to an airtight, freezer-safe container and enjoy them within three months. Consider double-insulating the dish with foil or plastic wrap if you keep your leftovers in the casserole dish.
How to Reheat: Reheat cooked Baked Ziti in the microwave for individual servings or in the oven for more servings. You can thaw the casserole overnight in the fridge or bake it from frozen, keeping in mind that reheating from frozen always takes longer.
Any thick, tubular pasta that holds sauce well works with this recipe. Rigatoni, penne, and mostaccioli are solid options if you don’t have ziti.
We use jarred Alfredo sauce for convenience and ease of measurement, but you can use our copycat Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce if you want to go the DIY route.
You can use your favorite spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce for the best baked ziti recipe.
Vegetarian Option: This pasta casserole recipe is 100 percent vegetarian!
Add in zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, or your favorite veggies for even more flavor.
Vegan Option: To make this recipe a vegan baked ziti, vegans should replace the Alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese, and shredded mozzarella with plant-based options.
Gluten-Free: Gluten-free eaters should replace pasta noodles and each sauce with gluten-free alternatives. There are some fantastic gluten free pasta options available.
Alcohol-Free Option: The cooking process renders the vodka obsolete but keeps the spirit’s flavor, even in the jarred versions. Use marinara sauce if you want to avoid vodka altogether.
Smaller Serving Size + Larger Group/More Servings: The written recipe makes six servings. Scale it up or down to your desired yield, keeping in mind that you may need to work in batches if you scale up.
Make it Spicy: Spice up your Cheesy Baked Ziti with red pepper flakes, or replace the vodka sauce with arrabbiata sauce, a spicy Italian pasta sauce made from dried red chili peppers.
Sugar-Free: The written recipe contains 9 grams of sugar per serving. Replace the pasta sauces with the lowest-sugar options to lower the sugar content.
Tips for the Best Cheesy Baked Ziti (No Meat)
- We have a CrockPot Cheesy Ziti recipe if you want to use your slow cooker.
- Whether you want to keep this dish meat-free or add meat to it is up to you. Add some browned plant-based ground meat, such as Beyond Meat, to keep it vegetarian but pack it with protein. Ground Italian sausage, beef, chicken, pork, or turkey are all fantastic choices if you want to add meat.
What to Serve with Cheesy Baked Ziti (No Meat)
Here are some menu planning suggestions.
Sides: Sugared Cranberries, Hasselback Potatoes, Caprese Pasta Salad, Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash, Carrot Soufflé, Crock Pot Stuffed Tomatoes, CrockPot Shrimp & Grits, Strawberry Bruschetta, Shrimp Remoulade, CrockPot Bacon Wrapped Potatoes
Main Dishes: CrockPot Port Braised Beef Short Ribs, CrockPot Rosemary Pork, Caprese Eggs Benedict, Balsamic Chicken Skewers, CrockPot Salisbury Steak, CrockPot Beef Tips & Gravy, Shrimp Linguini, CrockPot Roast with Red Potatoes, Grilled Shrimp with Avocado Butter
Desserts: Hershey Pie, Sweet & Salty Chocolate Dessert Bar, Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars, Carrot Cake with Pineapple, Coconut & Port Wine, CopyCat Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, CrockPot Cherries Jubilee, Apple Blackberry Fruit Tart
Drinks: Alchemy Bar Revved Up Mojito Martini, Chocolate Cake Shot, Chocolate Covered Cherry Shot, Classic Grasshopper Drink, Cranberry Mimosa, Raspberry Pomegranate Lemonade Cocktail, 40 Is the New 20 Martini Cocktail, Martini Seduction, Alchemist Sidecar
When to Serve
- Dinner Date Night
- Dinner and Drinks
- Pasta Dinner
- Italian night
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Vegetarian Baked Ziti Recipe
- pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook pasta until it is short of being done, it will cook more in the oven
- Combine vodka sauce, alfredo sauce, and ricotta cheese in a bowl, stir to mix together
- Cover the bottom of your casserole dish in sauce, spoon cooked pasta over it and cover with more sauce then cheese, layer 2-3 times depending on your casserole dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, broil the last minute or so until the cheese is bubbling and brown
- Serve and enjoy
Recipe originally shared on May 7, 2017. Updated January 2021.