Loaded Baked Ziti


Baked ziti with chicken is one of David’s favorite foods, and whenever I ask him what he wants, he usually requests it. Sadly for David, I rarely make it because I don’t love chicken in my baked ziti. He recently conquered a huge academic milestone, so I decided to surprise him with some ziti. But instead of chicken, I used shrimp, and EUREKA! It’s incredible. This is one meal that I will crave and crave. I love that the ziti is spiked with vegetables too, so it isn’t a complete carb-overload. Delicious!


To make this baked ziti, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water boils, defrost some shrimp (about 1/2 pound), remove their shells and tails, and cut them into pieces. To serve about 4 people, cook 1/2 pound of penne pasta until it is shy of al dente, about 2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time on the box. In the last minute of cooking the pasta, add the shrimp to the pot. When the time is up, strain out the pasta and shrimp, and run it under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer the pasta and shrimp to a large mixing bowl.


Preheat your oven to 350º F. Then, cut up the vegetables of your choice. I used scallions, asparagus, and tomato.


Add the vegetables to the bowl of pasta along with 1 can (14 ounces) of marinara sauce and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Stir everything together until it is well distributed.


Stella could not get enough of the delicious smell, even before everything was cooked! She has a serious sniffer. And check out that toe hair…


Transfer the ziti mixture to a greased baking dish, and spread it evenly. Top the pasta with sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese.


Bake the ziti for 30 minutes, rotating the dish half way through, until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Top the baked ziti with chopped basil for a burst of freshness. Let the ziti rest for a few minutes, and then serve it out. I love the succulent morsels of delicious shrimp, but the browned cheese and crispy top noodles are my absolute favorite. And David enjoyed it too!

Shopping list:

  • Penne pasta- 1/2 pound
  • Shrimp- 1/2 pound
  • Asparagus- 2 spears
  • Scallions- 3
  • Tomato- 1
  • Marinara sauce- 14 ounces
  • Mozzarella cheese- Approximately 2 cups, shredded
  • Basil
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Loaded Baked Ziti — 6 Comments

  1. Oh My Glory..this Stella is beyond a “star”. (my aunt’s name is Stella, we are Italian, so i know Stella means Star). Now when i see your blog coming in my in box i can’t wait to see what Stella is up to. I have a male cat named Paris (I Love Paris In The Springtime), and i have been twirling him around from the day we picked him up at Persian breeder, he too is hysterical, he is black with 3 white paws ,lots of hair on toes like Stella, and 1 black paw…he is silly , should have named him Pagliacci…I should start up my blog again so i can include him, like u do Stella. I’ll try your recipe this week. I’ve never tried shrimp w/ziti in tomato sauce, but can tell by the ingredients it will be wonderful. You are becoming a wonderful cook ! congrats to your hubby…

  2. I made this tonight!! Delicious. I added some red pepper flakes to make Daddy happy. I also loved that I was able to assemble the whole thing this afternoon, keep it in the fridge, and pop it into the oven when I was ready. Very Yummy!! xox

  3. I really don’t think ur mom and dad could have finished all that baked ziti.
    I’ll find out if there r any leftovers for their parents. Not that it looks
    Difficult to make, ur Pop Pop and I would enjoy this so much if someone
    Made it and was willing to share. Can’t wait for ur next blog and another
    Stella sighting. What a cutie!!!
    Give Stella and, of course, David hugs and kisses. David is so lucky to be
    Ur taste tester.

    Luv u so much

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