Kid-Friendly Baked Ziti with Italian Chicken Sausage
Cooking up dinners that are equally as enjoyable for the children and adults at the table can be a challenge. However, with this kid-friendly baked ziti recipe in your back pocket, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how popular the clean plate club becomes in your home.
What to expect when this savory, protein-packed dish hits the table?
Kids reaching for forks… and eventually for seconds.
But what about satisfied appetites and no request for late night snacks?
Oh, and don’t forget the secret servings of vegetables and protein that slide their way into every bite.
So, all in all, with this recipe on the dinner menu, you can rest assured your entire family is taken care of, deliciously and nutritiously.
Baked Ziti with Italian Chicken Sausage Ingredients
- 8 oz. of ziti or penne pasta
- 2 packages of Charcutnuvo Italian Chicken Sausage
- 20 oz. of your favorite marinara sauce | divided
- 1 egg
- 8 oz. spinach chopped spinach | roughly chopped
- 15 oz. Ricotta cheese
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese | divided
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 3 garlic cloves | minced
- Roughly chopped basil
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
Baked Ziti with Italian Chicken Sausage Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Add 6 cups of water to a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and pasta. Boil pasta just until al dente. Pasta will cook again in the oven, so do not over cook here.
2. While pasta is cooking, slice the Charcutnuvo Italian Chicken Sausage into medallions. Warm a large pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken sausage and minced garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a large bowl.
3. Next, roughly chop spinach and mix into the ricotta.
4. Add ricotta and spinach mixture, 6 oz. of mozzarella cheese, 10 oz. of marinara sauce, egg, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to the chicken sausage and garlic. Mix well.
5. Then, gently stir in the cooked noodles and spread into a large casserole dish.
6. Cover with the last 10oz of marinara sauce and sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
7. Then, bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. For the last 1-2 minutes of baking, turn oven to broil to crisp the top of the casserole. Watch closely to make sure the casserole doesn’t burn.
8. Lastly, remove from the oven and top with roughly chopped basil. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then dig in and enjoy!