Easy Baked Ziti with Spicy Italian Sausage - Recipe

This baked ziti recipe is quick and easy to prepare and feeds a crowd, made with ziti noodles, melty mozzarella cheese, and loads of spicy Italian sausage. A perfect midweek dinner for the family.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 485 kcal


  • 1 package Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausages 19 ounces, 5 links
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil + more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 16 ounce package mini ziti
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese cubed or shredded


  1. Cook the Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausages according to the instructions on the packaging. Cool, then slice them into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside.
  2. While sausages are cooking, heat oil in a pot over medium heat and add jalapeno and onion. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
  3. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and salt and pepper. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Get a pot of water boiling for the ziti noodles and add a generous pinch of salt.
  6. Next, melt butter in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a roux, or butter/flour paste. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes to darken slightly. Whisk in milk and continue whisking over medium heat until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. This is a bechamel sauce. Remove from heat and stir in chili powder.
  7. Add the ziti noodles to the boiling salted water and cook according to the package directions, until al dente. For firmer noodles, stop cooking them a couple minutes before they finish, as they will cook more as we bake them.
  8. To a large baking dish, add the cooked noodles, tomato sauce, bechamel sauce, sliced sausages and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  9. Top with mozarrella cheese and bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted.
  10. Top with fresh chopped basil and extra Parmesan cheese. Serve!

Recipe Notes

Serves 6-8.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Baked Ziti with Spicy Italian Sausage - Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 485 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 640mg27%
Potassium 525mg15%
Carbohydrates 54g18%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 740IU15%
Vitamin C 13.2mg16%
Calcium 337mg34%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.