Monday, February 25, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Ziti Cheesecake!

Made ya look huh? Yep this week's Tasty Tuesday is a Baked Ziti Cheesecake

Alright so I was spending a little time on Pinterest the other day and ran across this one. But *le gasp* the link was broken so I just had a picture to go by until I stumbled on a website that made one of these suckers. I didn't end up doing it quite like she did but I think it turned out great and it's one I'm going to make again. Just because it's fun ;) 

I went a little lazy and used store bought marinara. But I'm good with that. Made for a quick and easy meal.

I'm a veggie so my steps will be a little different than yours if you use real beef but just cook as you'd usually do I imagine. I sauteed 1/2 an onion then added my sauce and fake meat crumbles. 

Let everything simmer while your noodles are cooking. 

 Noodles should cook until they're al dente then drain them. Add in 1 cup of grated Parmesan and a good handful of shredded Parmesan if you'd like.

Using a springform pan like you'd use making a cheese cake (yeah my baking mom probably just about died when I told her what I was gonna do with the pan she bought me). 

Spray sides lightly with Pam cooking spray and coat bottom with extra marinara sauce. 

Then start layering in your noodles.

It's easiest if you do this with the pan tilted so they don't fall over on you.

Once your noodles are tightly packed (one box of noodles worked perfect) pour on your meat sauce. 
It's important to get all of the noodles filled with the sauce so spread it about, bang the pan on the table a bit, pour some more on. I even used a little of the plain marinara that I didn't add meat to to fill holes in.

It's a little messy but important or your cheese top will have holes in it. 

I also made the topping of meat sauce a little thicker on top.

Bake for 15 minutes, add shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan then bake until melted.

And....Baked Ziti Cheesecake. One thing. Let the cheese set a little after you pull it out of the oven or else you'll...well, I don't really know what "or else" there is but I envisioned a cheese slide of sorts. So just let it sit a bit before you cut into your cake. Before you open your springform pan you'll also want to slide a knife along the edges just to make sure it's not sticking. 

Cut yourself a slice and dig right on it. It actually cut really easily. 

So, you think you'll try this one? I thought it was pretty cute and it's really tasty. Just like Baked Ziti. Love trying your every day dishes and making them into something a little more...unique. 

Baked Ziti Cheesecake
1 box rigatoni noodles
1-2 jars marinara sauce of choice
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups ground Parmesan
1/4 cup Parmesan shredded
Shredded Mozzarella
Italian seasonings
ground beef or fake meat crumbles
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Boil noodles until al dente, drain and toss with 1 cup ground Parmesan and 1/4 cup shredded Paremesan
  • Cook your ground beef (if including that)
  • Saute onion in a little butter or oil, add marinara sauce, beef (or fake meat crumbles) and let simmer while you're setting up your noodles.
  • Spray springform pan with cooking spray, add a little marinara to bottom of pan then layer in your noodles standing them upright and packing them fairly tight.
  • Pour your meat marinara on top of noodles and work it into each noodle, bang the pan around a bit to settle the marinara and see where you need to add extra
  • Add a thin layer of marinara mixture on top of noodles then bake at 350 for 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven. Sprinkle with ground Parmesan, shredded Parmesan and cover completely with Mozzarella, sprinkle with Italian seasoning then bake until melted, lightly broil for color
  • Let cake sit a few minutes so the cheese firms up a little then cut and serve!


  1. Looks good! I might have to try this one. :)

    1. Oooo have fun if you do Kelly! It really did turn out tasty :)

  2. It does look good. Will have to try when I have more time! :)

    1. It really didn't take too much time Stephanie. No more than a regular baked Ziti would take :) About 15-20 minutes hands on and another 20 in the oven.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Steph! It turned out to be a pretty good dinner :)

  4. It does look like fun. You know, for us meat eaters, you could put pepperoni slices. Sliding them down between the noodles. Mushrooms would be good. It does look interesting. I have also made baked spaghetti. Really, just spaghetti in baked with cheese on top. Pepperoni or ham anything else layered in.
    Looks like something to try sometime for company. I bet you could make it all up ahead and then put it in the oven for a little while, add the cheese and a little more baking. Everything would already be cooked, so you are only warming up. :-)

    1. Oh yeah I think it would definitely work for company and getting it ready a bit ahead of time :)

      Hm. Yeah you could layer them in as your standing all the noodles up. Wouldn't be hard at all.

      Oooo I really like baked spaghetti. I've made it a couple times and did it as a Tasty Tuesday a few months back I think :)

  5. Wow this is fun. I had no idea what ziti was (still haven't, unless it is the pasta). And you can get a really nasty burn from too hot cheese. I sadly type out of experience.

    1. Oooo yeah it really can get ya. I've had some minor run ins but nothing too serious thankfully. Hope you're okay now!

      Yep the ziti part is the noodles :)

  6. Looks good! At first I was thinking I probably wouldn't make this b/c my guys are so dang picky that they wouldn't eat it. But actually I think if I tweak it a little & tell a little bitty white lie to my husband about what's in it he will eat it. The ingredients are not much different from the Cavatini I make & he loves that. My Cavatini has rotini swirly pasta.

    1. LOL Tonya which of the ingredients do they object to? Onion? I don't think I've ever made Cavatini!

    2. Yes, the onion. I use them often. I just chop them fine enough so they can't see them. lol I'll send you the recipe for Cavatini.

    3. LOL Picky boys. The onion was all my addition. The original recipe I don't think called for it. I just like adding it in :)

      Ooooo and thank you!

  7. Wow, that looks really good.

  8. That's the best presentation I have ever seen for Baked Ziti.

    1. Isn't it neat? It serves really easily too and isn't nearly as messy I didn't think. Was really good for lunch today too!

  9. That sucker looks huge! LOL. Mmmm sounds and looks very tasty too. I used to make baked ziti at my old job and it never looked this good. LOL.
    Sue B

    1. LOL it does look kinda big doesn't it? It's about Cheesecake size but not quite as tall. It's just one box of pasta so the same amount as a regular baked ziti but it does look huge in the picture! It was GOOD too :)

  10. I definitely want to try this sometime! WOW!


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