We reimagined this family classic using store-bought rotisserie chicken.

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Credit: Photographer: Will Dickey Prop Stylist: Missie Crawford Food Stylist: Erin Merhar

Recipe Summary

active:
30 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
8
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When you're in the market for a comforting weeknight dinner recipe that feeds a hungry family and doesn't require a whole lot of cleanup, baked ziti is about as dependable as it gets. Cheesy, hearty, and customizable for when you want to use store-bought ingredients, the baked pasta casserole can make even leftovers sound exciting. This recipe chooses to forgo the usual ground beef or Italian sausage in favor of something even easier: rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Simply shred and throw into the dish for a filling protein that tends to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. While the recipe chooses to use low-prep, store-bought options like rotisserie chicken and pre-shredded cheese, the homemade sauce makes all the difference. Simmering it down into a rich tomato sauce allows insanely savory flavor to be soaked into every noodle when baking later. Trust us on this one—and enjoy! 

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add plum tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper; bring to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add ziti, and boil until just al dente, according to package directions. Drain and return ziti to pot.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Add tomato mixture, shredded chicken, and basil to ziti; stir to coat thoroughly. Pour half of ziti mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Top with remaining ziti mixture, and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella.

  • Bake in preheated oven until cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let rest 10 minutes. Garnish with additional basil before serving.

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