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Three Cheese Baked Ziti With Meatballs and Sausage

Three Cheese Baked Ziti with Meatballs and Sausage - A fantastic dish that is quick to prepare and great for feeding a crowd.

We developed this Three-Cheese Baked Ziti with Meatballs and Sausage as part of a sponsored post for Johnsonville Sausage. All opinions are 100% mine.

This time of year – when schedules are crazy-hectic and hungry visitors are walking in the door – let’s face it. Sometimes you need a little help to pull off a delicious meal for a crowd of family and friends!

Even us food bloggers need to take a few short cuts in the kitchen now and then – and that’s why I reach for the convenience of Johnsonville Fully-Cooked Meatballs. These delicious meatballs come in three flavors: Classic Italian, Three Cheese, and Homestyle – and they add fantastic sausage flavor to our Three Cheese Baked Ziti with Meatballs and Sausage! (Even my cook-from-scratch husband Jack was raving about this meal!)

Three Cheese Baked Ziti with Meatballs and Sausage - A fantastic dish that is quick to prepare and great for feeding a crowd.

Simply layer some cooked ziti, your favorite Italian tomato sauce, and Johnsonville Meatballs and Italian sausage slices in a casserole dish along with sautéed onions and bell pepper, mozzarella, Fontina and Parmesan cheeses. Bake and serve – and relax and enjoy visiting with your family and friends over a delicious meal!

Johnsonville Meatballs can be found in your grocer’s freezer aisle, and it’s a great idea to keep a bag on hand in your freezer at home. These pre-cooked meatballs can be tossed in a slow-cooker, skillet or oven to heat through, and within minutes you can serve up your favorite pasta dish, pizza, soup or sub sandwich.

Three Cheese Baked Ziti - A Family Feast

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And here’s that delicious Three Cheese Baked Ziti with Meatballs and Sausage recipe!

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Three Cheese Baked Ziti With Meatballs and Sausage

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (*see Step 1)
  • 1 package Johnsonville Fully-Cooked Italian Sausage Slices or 1 ½ pounds (uncooked) Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage Links (*see Step 1)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ pound yellow onion cut into one inch dice
  • ¾ pound green bell pepper cut into one inch dice
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms sliced thick
  • 1 pound dry rigatoni
  • 5 cups tomato sauce plus more for serving, heated
  • 1 pound sliced Fontina cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 1 24-ounce bag Johnsonville Fully-Cooked Three Cheese Italian Style Meatballs, heated in the microwave until hot.
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. *Follow this step only if using Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage Links. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the one tablespoon of olive oil and cook sausage links until browned and cooked through, about five minutes. Once done, remove from pan, then cool and slice into one inch links. (If using Johnsonville Fully-Cooked Italian Sausage Slices, start with the next step omitting the first single tablespoon of olive oil in the ingredients list that would have been used to cook the raw sausage.)
  2. In the same large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high and add onion, peppers and mushrooms. Cook until onions are just tender, about five minutes. Add sausage slices (the ones you cooked or the Johnsonville fully-cooked) and heat just to hot and remove from heat.
  3. While peppers and onions are cooking, bring a large well-salted pot of water to a boil and cook rigatoni to just under al dente. They should still be chewy. Once done, drain and hold.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Spray a 9x13x3-inch casserole with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Layer a cup of hot tomato sauce in bottom of casserole dish.
  7. Mix 2 cups of tomato sauce with the drained rigatoni and pour one third of this into the pan, reserving the other two thirds for different layers.
  8. Layer half the Fontina over the pasta.
  9. Layer all of the sausage and pepper mixture over the Fontina.
  10. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the sausages.
  11. Layer another third of the pasta and top with the remaining Fontina.
  12. Layer the entire bag of bag Johnsonville® Fully-Cooked Three Cheese Italian Style Meatballs over the Fontina and top with one cup of tomato sauce.
  13. Layer the final third of pasta and top with the last cup of tomato sauce and the remaining Parmesan cheese, letting some of the Johnsonville® Meatballs poke through from the previous layer.
  14. Top with the mozzarella and bake uncovered for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly and just starting to brown on top.
  15. Serve hot with additional tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.