Baked Ziti Recipe with Spinach

Simple Baked Ziti Recipe with Spinach, Artichokes and Pesto

If there’s one thing that will instantly make our knees buckle, it’s baked ziti. Just the thought of it makes us gasp. We love it. Since we weren’t happy to just think about a plate of steaming, cheesy baked pasta, we made some. We made this simple baked ziti with spinach and artichokes and it was incredible!

You see, it all starts with pasta tossed with marinara sauce (we used store-bought) then we add  fresh baby spinach leaves and a whole jar of quartered artichokes. Then, since that wasn’t enough for us, we sneaked a layer of sour cream mixed with pesto in the middle. Oh, and topped with cheese.

Simple Baked Ziti with Spinach, Artichokes and Pesto

It’s So Easy to Make Our Baked Ziti Recipe with Spinach, Artichokes and Pesto

There really isn’t much time required from you at all for this. Just about 15 minutes in the beginning to boil pasta and mix everything together. Not bad, right?

Simple Baked Ziti with Spinach, Artichokes and Pesto

That’s the layer of sour cream and pesto I mentioned earlier – it is so good! By the way, if you didn’t have sour cream, you could use cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. They would all be delicious.

Simple Baked Ziti with Spinach, Artichokes and Pesto

One of our favorite parts to this easy baked ziti is the crust. Since we bake it for 30 minutes before serving, the tips of the pasta on top become a little crunchy, the cheese melts and browns and any artichokes peeking out of the ziti become caramelized.

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5.0 from 9 reviews
Simple Baked Ziti with Spinach, Artichokes and Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
With only about 15 minutes of hands-on time this easy baked ziti with spinach and artichokes is perfect for a weekday. A layer of sour cream and pesto is sandwiched in the middle of the baked ziti. If you do not have sour cream, feel free to use cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.
Created By:
Yield: 6
You Will Need
  • 1 pound (454 grams) dry ziti pasta
  • One 26-ounce (737 grams) jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) basil pesto
  • 3/4 cup (175 grams) sour cream
  • 6 cups (180 grams) loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • One 12-ounce (340 grams) jar artichokes, drained
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Spray a 3-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. (A 13-inch by 9-inch pan works well for this).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then add pasta and cook according to the package directions (this usually takes about 10 minutes). Before draining, reserve about a 1/4 cup of the pasta water - we will use this later. Then, drain pasta.
  3. While the pasta cooks, heat the tomato sauce. You can do this on the stove or in the microwave, and then set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, stir the basil pesto and sour cream together, and then set aside.
  5. Add drained pasta to a large bowl then add spinach, drained artichokes, hot tomato sauce and about a 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Then, toss.
  6. Add about half of the pasta and spinach mixture to the baking dish. Then, spread the sour cream and pesto on top. Scatter about half of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sour cream then add the rest of the pasta on top of that. Press everything down into the baking dish then scatter the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top.Easy Baked Ziti Recipe with Spinach and Artichokes Steps
  7. Place the baking dish onto an aluminum-lined baking sheet (just in case any sauce drips over the sides of the baking dish). Then, bake for about 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling.
  8. Let the baked ziti cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving - it’s really hot! Then, enjoy!

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52 comments… Leave a Comment
  • John Waye December 5, 2015, 4:09 pm

    Someone told me to add an egg if I substitute ricotta cheese. Is that necessary or better?

    • Joanne December 22, 2015, 1:06 pm

      The egg will make form up the ricotta a bit. It isn’t necessary, but some people prefer the texture with the egg.

  • Gail August 30, 2015, 12:48 pm

    I’ve made this dish countless times now and my hubby and I enjoy very much!! The only suggestion I have is to make sure to use marinated artichokes. We used plain ones once and it turned out kind of bland, so the marinated artichokes definitely add flavor to the dish. Love love love!

  • MPaula April 11, 2015, 9:18 pm

    The only artichokes in a jar available to me are marinated, which seems to be correct per one of the comments, but they do not look like what you have pictured. Unfortunately this looks like my idea of a perfect comfort food, which means I will have to stock up on artichokes and pesto, although I do usually make pesto all summer and freeze for winter use.

    • Joanne April 21, 2015, 1:06 pm

      We have seen artichokes in cans (usually in water), in jars (usually in oil) and sold in the frozen section. Any of these will work. Hope you love the ziti 🙂


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