vegetarians & meat-eaters CAN live together. deliciously!


Vegetarian Four-Cheese Mushroom Baked Ziti

It’s kind of a bummer that most comfort food is on the fattening side. Macaroni and cheese, vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce, yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting, and, yeah. Baked ziti. If it’s not loaded with sugar, it’s loaded with cheese. And don’t get me started on the carbs.

Ah well. Sometimes cheese-loaded carb-city is in order. An added bonus cheese-wise is that if something’s got a lot of it, there’s not really room for meat – thus, the meat-eaters in your life probably hardly notice it’s not there. As in this baked ziti, for instance.

Most baked ziti recipes call for ground beef or crumbled sausage, but you know what? I’m going to argue that it’s just not needed. Superfluous, even. When you start with a great Italian tomato sauce, layer it with al dente pasta and four different cheeses – melty  provolone and mozzarella along with creamy gorgonzola and salty parmesan – then add sour cream and mushrooms, well … that’s just perfection right there.

Four-Cheese Mushroom Baked Ziti

This recipe is, however, super-easy to adapt for meat eaters, if you really insist. Use a pasta sauce that already includes meat, or cook up two separate versions, layering some browned ground beef or sausage in the middle of one of them for the carnivores.

Oh, and obviously you can leave the mushrooms out too, if you’re not too into them. Still perfectly delicious. I promise.

Scooping up the vegetarian baked ziti

However you slice – well, really, scoop – it, it’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy just like comfort food is supposed to.

 

[box type="info"] This recipe freezes beautifully. I scoop individual servings into Ziploc bags and freeze. Then I just pull it out, stick the frozen block on a plate, and microwave it on high for about three minutes. Instant lunch, and it tastes like it just came out of the oven. Gotta love it.

 

Print Recipe

Vegetarian Four-Cheese Mushroom Baked Ziti

This baked ziti boasts four different cheeses, making it comfort food at its very finest. Mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, and creamy Gorgonzola team up with rich Italian tomato sauce, tangy sour cream, sauteed mushrooms, and perfectly al dente pasta. When a pan of this is bubbling in the oven, you know life is about to get really, really good.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound dry rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups tomato-based pasta sauce (my go-to for this recipe is my beloved Italian Tomato Sauce)
  • 3 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, then add pasta. Cook until barely al dente, about 8 minutes, or about 2/3 of the time recommended on the pasta package directions. Drain.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the mushrooms in olive oil until softened, about 6-7 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes.
  4. In an 8" x 8" dish, layer half the cooked pasta, then half the tomato sauce. Cover with the provolone slices. Add the sour cream in spoonfuls, then carefully spread into a thin layer. Top with the Gorgonzola cheese. Add the remaining pasta, then the mozzarella cheese. Spread the rest of the pasta sauce over the top, and finally top with the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Cook for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a portion of the proceeds.

   

7 Responses to “Vegetarian Four-Cheese Mushroom Baked Ziti”

  1. Alida posted on May 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Four cheeses and mushrooms? YUM! This sounds fantastic!!

  2. TastefullyJulie posted on May 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Omg, this looks so amazing. I’m glad I found you on tasteologie. I married a carnivore, too!

  3. Pingback: Gratinado de cogumelos com 4 queijos | Imagens Salteadas

  4. Pingback: Friday Night Special | afunnykindalife

  5. amanda posted on April 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that after finding your recipe through a simple Google search, I tried making this dish and it was AMAZING!!! I changed nothing other than adding some Indian spice for a kick. It was perfect, and this recipe is going in my box :) thank you for a delicious recipe !!

    • Karen Troughton replied on May 6th, 2013 on 8:45 am

      I am so glad you loved it! My pleasure. Thanks so much for leaving a comment to let me know.

  6. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate posted on October 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I am so glad you added gorgonzola to this. Mushrooms and blue cheese are such a great combo!

Leave a Comment