This Meatless Million Dollar Baked Ziti is a lightened up take on the classic comfort food. Full of “meaty” mushrooms and four types of cheeses, your family will love this dish!
If you haven’t heard of “million dollar ziti”, you’re in for a treat!
This meatless million dollar baked ziti is packed full of flavor and my new favorite vegetarian pasta recipe!
Million dollar baked ziti is classically known for a creamy middle layer of cheesy goodness, sandwiched between meaty pasta sauce and topped with even more cheese on top.
As usual, we make meatless baked ziti around here, so this recipe is vegetarian.
Today I’m sharing that same classic favorite gone meatless.
I use meaty baby bella mushrooms and four different types of cheeses for an irresistible vegetarian baked ziti.
Mushrooms + cheese = a match made in heaven in my book.
How to make meatless baked ziti
Baby bellas are my mushroom of choice for making a “meat” sauce.
You can’t go wrong with mushrooms.
Dice into chunks for just the right texture.
Add them to a large pot or dutch oven (I used my dutch oven).
Add in fresh garlic and onion (more big flavor here) and cook it all up!
Once your mushrooms finish cooking, add in the pasta sauce and parmesan cheese and stir until combined.
The finished meat sauce.
Doesn’t that look good?
Now we are ready to start building our meatless baked ziti!
After the pasta sauce is finished, you will mix it together with the cooked penne noodles.
Be sure to only cook your noodles to al dente, or a minute less, as overcooking will lead to mushy noodles.
Half of your sauce and noodle mixture goes into a big 13 X 9 baking dish.
Next up: provolone cheese slices.
Cover the top of the ziti with provolone.
On top of the provolone, you’ll add the cream cheese layer, followed by the remaining pasta/sauce.
Top with lots of shredded mozzarella!
Bake for 15 – 20ish minutes, or until the cheese looks all browned and amazing like this!
Those browned cheesy bits are GOLD.
So yummy. My favorite part of baked pasta are those crispy cheesy edges!
Top with parsley for a little pop of color, and you’re ready to serve!
I am so hungry looking at these pictures.
This has HUGE flavor thanks to four cheeses (cream cheese, provolone, parmesan, and mozzarella) and the addition of fresh basil and parsley.
Fresh herbs really bring any dish to the next level!
This makes a huge amount of food and will feed a crowd.
We love leftovers, so this easily feeds our family 3 – 4 times.
You could always freeze leftovers too!
The mushrooms really give this a meaty texture just like the classic favorite.
Serve this to any omnivore, one bite and they won’t even question you.
If you loved my wildly popular crockpot baked ziti, you’ll love this one too.
Serve with veggies and garlic bread for the perfect pasta dinner.
I typically roast up a bag of frozen broccoli and we split our plates with half veggies and half pasta.
Are you making this recipe? I want to see! Be sure to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!
meatless pasta recipes
Hungry for more?
Here are some more delicious meatless pasta recipes!
- Easy Crockpot Baked Ziti
- Three Cheese Lasagna
- Healthy Baked Spaghetti
- Easy Meatless Spaghetti Sauce
- Vegan Creamy Tomato Shells
- Mushroom Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Vegetable Bolognese
- Veggie Lover’s Baked Rigatoni
- Parmesan and Ricotta Pasta Bake
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Meatless Baked Ziti Recipe
- 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup plain 0% greek yogurt (or use sour cream)
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 3 - 4 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 50 oz jarred pasta sauce (I used mushroom flavor)
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large onion, diced
- 15 - 20 cloves of garlic, minced
- 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped into chunks
- 8 slices of provolone cheese
- In a medium sized bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, greek yogurt (or sour cream), basil, and parsley. Set aside or place in the fridge
- In a dutch oven or large pot, add garlic, onion, mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
- Saute on medium high heat for 15 - 20 minutes, or until mushroom cook off their liquid
- Cook penne to al dente while mushrooms are cooking
- Once mushrooms finish cooking, add pasta sauce and 1 cup of parmesan cheese and remove from heat
- Add cooked penne to the sauce and stir. Salt to taste (I added another teaspoon of salt)
- In a large 13 X 9 dish, add half of the penne/sauce mixture
- Top with provolone cheese slices
- Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the provolone, using a rubber spatula to smooth carefully
- Add remaining sauce/noodles
- Top with mozzarella cheese
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly
- Garnish with parsley, if desired
I used 0% greek yogurt in place of sour cream to make it healthier. I didn't notice any flavor difference, but you can use sour cream in place if that's what you have!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 515Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 1599mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 8gSugar: 16gProtein: 26g