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5 from 1 vote

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 485kcal


  • 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


  • Cook the Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausages according to the instructions on the packaging. Cool, then slice them into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside.
  • While sausages are cooking, heat oil in a pot over medium heat and add jalapeno and onion. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and salt and pepper. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Get a pot of water boiling for the ziti noodles and add a generous pinch of salt.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To a large baking dish, add the cooked noodles, tomato sauce, bechamel sauce, sliced sausages and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  • Top with mozarrella cheese and bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted.
  • Top with fresh chopped basil and extra Parmesan cheese. Serve!


Serves 6-8.


Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 640mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 740IU | Vitamin C: 13.2mg | Calcium: 337mg | Iron: 2.7mg