A simple casserole that can be made gluten, dairy and meat free in under an hour!

My dad had this rule when I was growing up – when it’s hot outside and the air conditioning is on, do NOT turn on the oven! Seriously. From June until about mid-September the oven wasn’t an option for cooking. It’s funny how ingrained those things become. I still wonder if I’m breaking some universal rule every time I turn on the oven while the air is on! But it’s more like fall outside now and the oven is the perfect option for baking up some goodies or even making a simple casserole, like this Baked Ziti, for dinner.

Baked Ziti Recipe

Baked Ziti Recipe

My baked ziti recipe is an easy one. Just a few simple ingredients cooked in a glass baking dish and voila!

It can even be made gluten and dairy free and vegan/vegetarian just by choosing rice pasta, meatless sauce and a cheese substitute!



Baked Ziti Recipe

Yield: 4 -6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A simple casserole that can be made gluten, dairy and meat free in under an hour!


  • 1 8 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded veggies, like carrots, zucchini, etc. (Optional)
  • 1 16 oz bag rice pasta of choice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cheese or cheese substitute, like Daiya


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, but don't overcook. Drain.
  2. Grease large glass lasagna pan (9"x13"x2").
  3. Mix sauce, cooked pasta and garlic in lasagna pan. Add optional shredded veggies, if desired. 
  4. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese melts and top is slightly crispy.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


The Baked Ziti can be served on it’s own, with a salad or with a chunky slice of garlic bread. And instead of using a jar of spaghetti sauce, you could use our Halfway Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe or your own homemade sauce.


Yummy and easy. Perfect.

Do you have any funny “rules” you still follow? Do you have a go-to casserole dish – like our baked ziti – that your family loves? Are you gluten or dairy free?

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  1. I love it! I had to chuckle as I read this because I too have that very rule. I cannot stand to have the oven on during the summer. However, hubs will occasionally break said rule and use it anyway. This looks so yummy that when it’s finally time to turn the oven on I’ll be trying this along with my chicken pot pie. That is a seasonal fare in our house served October through the beginning of March. In fact my kids are already anticipating the first one with the little one talking about it last week. I’m sure when they get older they’ll remember my quirky rules just like your dad’s has stuck with you.

  2. Hi. Do you think your gluten free, dairy free baked ziti could be made ahead of time and frozen? I plan to add zucchini. Thanks!