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No Boil Baked Ziti

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 Enjoy all of the goodness of baked ziti with a fraction of the prep work! You don’t have to boil the noodles or brown the meat, just layer it up and bake it to perfection. 

spoon lifting serving of baked ziti out of pan.

If you love baked pasta meals like lasagna and baked ziti, but hate the effort of putting them together, you are in the right place!

This recipe lets you skip the boiling and browning, that saves time and dirty dishes! You can have this family friendly dinner on the table looking like a rock star with very little prep.

Have you tried making no boil pasta recipes? It isn’t a fully new concept, I remember using no boil lasagna noodles as a kid.

raw pasta and beef in sauce ready to bake.

But we still browned the meat. To be perfectly honest we boiled the pasta most of the time too.

Then a couple of years ago a blogging friend introduced us to no boil macaroni and cheese. We were instantly hooked.

Earlier this year I took it a step further and made a cheesy no boil Italian sausage pasta casserole with raw sausage. No boiling, no browning.

partially cooked baked ziti with pasta plumping up and ground beef looking cooked.

That got me thinking that it would be easy to convert some of our favorite recipes the same way. Mimi’s baked ziti has always been a favorite, but we only make it a couple of times a year because of the preparation involved. 

Don’t get me wrong, it really isn’t a complicated recipe. But after a long day the thought of boiling pasta, browning meat and layering it all to bake can seem like a bit much.

If you can cut the steps to just layering and baking it seems much more doable when you are already tired. Guess what… it works fabulously! 

baked ziti topped with shredded cheese ready to go back into the oven.

You can really just put it together and bake it. You can kick your feet up while it bakes. 

Then just toss together a salad or roast some broccoli and make some garlic bread while it rests. You will be extra popular at the dinner table and nobody will know you took a shortcut. 

Easy alterations or substitutions 

This recipe is easily made meatless by just omitting the ground beef. Then it’s a great meal for Lent or vegetarian friends. 

You can also use water or vegetable broth instead of the chicken stock. Just make sure you get the right amount of liquid in there, the pasta will soak it right up.

No boil baked ziti served on small plate ready to eat.

If the sour cream seems strange, I assure you it’s good. This has been our favorite baked ziti recipe for years. 

However you could easily use ricotta cheese instead of the sour cream. Or use cottage cheese if that’s your preference. Any of those options will work great.

Do you have to boil pasta before baking?

No, with enough liquid and a long enough bake time, there is no need to boil it first. This no-boil baked ziti is easy to make because you just put the ingredients in the pan and bake it until it’s ready to go.

More great no boil pasta ideas

Turn leftover ham into a delicious meal with a no boil macaroni and cheese and ham. It’s a comforting and easy meal that is kid friendly. 

No boil recipes can be made in the slow cooker as well. Crock pot beef and noodles is a great example of that. 

There are fun no boil side dish ideas as well. We love slow cooker macaroni and cheese with corn. It’s like two side dishes in one crock pot and it is delicious with barbecue or for an easy party side dish.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

spoon lifting serving of baked ziti out of pan.

No Boil Baked Ziti

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
Enjoy all of the goodness of baked ziti with a fraction of the prep work! You don't have to boil the noodles or brown the meat, just layer it up and bake it to perfection. 
4.71 from 58 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 16 oz uncooked ziti pasta
  • 8 oz provolone cheese slices or shredded
  • cups sour cream
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 425° F and grease a 9×13-inch pan.
  • Spread half of the dry pasta in the bottom of the pan.
    16 oz uncooked ziti pasta
  • Distribute the provolone cheese and sour cream over the pasta. Break the ground beef into small pieces, then distribute half of them over the casserole.
    8 oz provolone cheese, 1½ cups sour cream
  • Break the ground beef into small pieces, distribute half of them over the casserole.
    1 pound ground beef
  • Top with remaining pasta and ground beef.
  • In a large bowl mix together the spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, garlic powder and oregano. Pour over top of the casserole.
    24 oz jar spaghetti sauce, 3 cups chicken broth, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Tightly cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes.  The pasta should be close to al dente and the meat should look cooked.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the casserole and return to the oven uncovered. Bake 10-15 more minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned to your liking.
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 


If you would like to make vegetarian or Lent friendly baked ziti, use water instead of the chicken stock and omit the ground beef. It will still be delicious, just meat-free. 



Serving: 1servingCalories: 349kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 22gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 958mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 18th of October 2023

Has anyone tried ricotta instead of sour cream? I typically mix ricotta with egg


Thursday 19th of October 2023

You could definitely use ricotta, it's delicious that way too!


Saturday 7th of May 2022

This was perfect for a lazy dinner night at my MILs. A great way to clean out the pantry with almost no prep and it was delish! Thank you for sharing this with the world.


Friday 9th of July 2021

If you didn't use any meat do you think I should cook it less or still the same amount of time for the noodles to cook? Also, have you tried it with Gluten free noodles by any chance?


Friday 9th of July 2021

I have not tried with gluten free noodles, but if the cook time is similar I think it should work. Cook it the same amount of time without the meat.


Friday 6th of November 2020

I saw how you did the meat but there has to be a bunch of grease in the meal.


Sunday 8th of November 2020

If you use a good lean ground beef, there isn't that much grease.


Friday 6th of November 2020

How do you chop up the meat before putting it in the oven AND doesn't the grease from the meat make the dish very greasy?


Sunday 8th of November 2020

I just use my fingers to take little bits of the meat. Use a lean beef and it doesn't give off much grease.