Merritt Bates-Thomas is back for another edition of What's Cookin'? and she's serving up a quick, easy and healthy Baked Ziti recipe.  Merritt says this is her "go-to" dish.  Once you try it, you'll agree!

Merritt Bates-Thomas


1 13.25 oz. box ziti or penne pasta
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce
Garlic to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
1 cup Italian cheese blend
Fresh basil for garnish (optional)


In a saucepan, bring water to boil and prepare pasta according to package directions.  In skillet, brown ground beef.  Add garlic and Italian seasoning to ground beef as it cooks.   Drain any excess liquid or fat from ground beef.  In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, ground beef and marinara sauce.  Add ziti mix to a 13 x 9 baking dish that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove foil and add cheese.  Cook until cheese is golden brown.

Merritt Bates-Thomas is a Nutrition Services Supervisor with Green River District Health Department.

What's Cookin'? is sponsored each week by Murphy Appliance Company in Owensboro!