Baked Ziti Pizza

Share this post

What could be tastier than an Italian delicacy topped with another Italian delicacy! It’s Baked Ziti Pizza—a traditional crust covered in marinara sauce, three cheeses, avocado, and yes… pasta!

Some nights, I’ll find myself standing in the middle of the kitchen, staring off into space, wondering whether it’s a pizza night or a pasta night. So I’ll confer with the kids. That doesn’t help, as they are worse at making decisions than I am. I’ll ask my husband, who will inevitably reply, “Steak.” Again, not a lot of help. This recipe is the result of those nights when, fed up with having to decide between the two, I amalgamated them to make one super-duper Italian feast.

I start with a pizza base (for this to be considered first and foremost a pizza, a crust is a necessity). Then I add marinara (so far, this sounds like a typical pizza, I realize). Then some bacon (because what is a pizza without bacon?), basil, and cherry tomatoes (those last two give the “pizza” a margherita feel). Then I take it up a notch with the addition of not one, not two, not four, but THREE cheeses. And then, the piece de resistance: ziti noodles. (Yes, I realize that is a French term. No, I don’t know the Italian equivalent.)

You’re free to experiment with different toppings, as you would when making pizza or, indeed, pasta. But I recommend using my recipe as a base. It’s tried and true (many times) and will not disappoint. Cooking should be fun, and I can’t think of a more fun dish to cook (and eat) than this one!

How Do I Make My Own Pizza Crust?

Excellent question. And I have an excellent answer with my recipe for just this exact thing. I use my Kitchen-Aid to make life easier but if you don’t have one, don’t worry! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

Just follow the recipe I’ve linked to above and quickly and easily, you will have your own bespoke dough. Enjoy!


  • 2 pizza bases
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups ziti, cooked
  • ½ cup crispy bacon bits
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups mozzarella shredded
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, finely shredded
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ½ avocado (optional)
Baked Ziti Pizza ingredients

How to Make Baked Ziti Pizza

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Smear the pizza crusts with ricotta and marinara sauce.

Baked Ziti Pizza step 1

Step 2: Divide the cooked ziti between the two pizzas. Top with bacon and tomatoes.

Baked Ziti Pizza step 2

Step 3: Top with the mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown in spots.

Baked Ziti Pizza step 3

Step 4: Sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil. Enjoy!

Baked Ziti Pizza step 4

FAQs & Tips

Can I prep the pizza and cook later?

You sure can. Make the pizza according to the recipe but hold off preheating that oven. You may also want to avoid adding the pasta at this stage. If you plan on eating it within a few days, just cover it in plastic or aluminum and store it in the fridge. If you want to save it for much later, wrap it in plastic first, then aluminum, then store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking it. Now would be a good time to add that ziti.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

You can use whichever pasta you prefer, though I would recommend a short, tubed noodle. Tubes easily trap sauce while the diminutive size of the noodle makes the pizza easier to slice and serve. This is, of course, assuming tidiness is important to you when eating. Considering you’re making a recipe for Baked Ziti Pizza, that is one big assumption.

Can I use real bacon?

Sure. Partially cook the bacon strips first then apply them to your pizza. It’s up to you whether you cut them up or leave them as strips that span the width of your pizza.

Do I need to cover the pizzas while in the oven?

Assuming you put the pizza on the middle rack, you don’t NEED to cover them in foil; however, some ovens are hotter than others and you run the risk of burning the top of the pizza. Now, I like those little burnt spots on my pizza, but not everyone does. If you fall under this latter category then cover that ziti pizza so that it cooks evenly and avoids the brown spots. If you are a bit wishy-washy then cover it up initially then remove the foil for the last few minutes to lightly singe the cheese.

How do I prevent a soggy crust?

Drain your ziti completely. You could even use a paper towel to dry it. The pizza bases I buy from the store are pretty good with keeping out the moisture but if you like, place them in the oven for a few minutes before loading up all those toppings. By toasting them, an outer layer will form, which will repel some of that unwanted moisture.

Baked Ziti Pizza featured image below

Serving Suggestions

Tough question! I mean, you already have pasta and pizza… what more could you want??? I suppose, while the basil and avocado bring the green, you may want something more substantial, like BLT Pasta Salad, which carries over the bacon and pasta from the pizza and is served on a bed of butter lettuce. I also find Roasted Chickpeas to be a simple and tasty side dish (you can also put it out as an appetizer). Speaking of appetizers, a bowl of Classic Minestrone Soup will warm you up while you wait for your pizza to finish baking. For dessert, end on a natural sweet note with a Citrus Mint Fruit Salad.

Baked Ziti Pizza featured image below

Baked Ziti Pizza

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 pizza bases
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups ziti cooked
  • ½ cup crispy bacon bits
  • 8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups mozzarella shredded
  • ¼ cup Parmesan finely shredded
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ½ avocado optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Smear the pizza crusts with ricotta and marinara sauce.
  • Divide the cooked ziti between the two pizzas. Top with bacon and tomatoes.
  • Top with the mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown in spots.
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating