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Three Cheese Skillet Ziti

Three Cheese Skillet Ziti

  • Author: Seasoned Sprinkles
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Delicious three cheese skillet ziti cuts down the prep time on traditional baked ziti and offers a vegetarian meal option perfect for a holiday gathering or a cozy night in.


  • 12 ounces of uncooked penne or ziti noodles**

For Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 42 ounces of tomato puree divided (1 big can and 1 small can)
  • 8 pressed cloves of garlic, divided
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of wine, water, or vegetable broth
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the ricotta cheese mix

  • 15 ounces of ricotta cheese (any other than non fat)
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 pressed cloves of garlic
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

To assemble

  • 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella***
  • 3/4 cup of shredded parmesan***
  • 10 ounces of fresh mozzarella, sliced evenly
  • 810 leaves of fresh basil, cut into ribbons


  1. Boil a large pot of water and cook noodles according to directions on package, reducing cook time by a minute of the lower end of suggested cook time. If it says 8-10 minutes, cook for 7.
  2. While you are waiting for water to boil, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, 7 pressed garlic cloves, unchopped basil leaves, and the large can of tomato puree. Season with red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Cook until the basil begins to wilt, stirring regularly and pull basil out. Continue cooking while waiting for noodles to finish.
  3. While the sauce and noodles cook, stir together all the ingredients for the ricotta cheese and set aside.
  4. When noodles are done, drain pasta water, reserving 1 cup of water if using water (or skip if using wine or broth). Add noodles to skillet with sauce. Stir in grated parmesan cheese. At this point, add reserved water (or broth or wine) a little at a time, to thin sauce to desired consistency. The sauce shouldn’t be too thick or noodles will be dry. Stir in shredded mozzarella and parmesan. Add the ricotta mixture in even dollops throughout pan.
  5. To finish, open the reserved can of tomato puree, stir in the extra garlic clove and a little extra red pepper and salt and pepper and pour over top of pan. Distribute the slices of mozzarella evenly across the top. Place skillet on top rack of oven, under broiler, and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and has some small golden spots. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil ribbons. Sever hot and enjoy.


*Don’t be intimidated by the length of this recipe. None of the prep is complicated- there is no chopping. It all comes together super fast and easily.

**We used gluten free penne. Feel free to use whatever you like.

***Feel free to add more mozzarella and parmesan. Extra cheese is always good.

  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian, American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving