Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Copycat Five Cheese Ziti from Olive Garden

Today's recipe could not be more of a win if it tried!  I found this recipe via Pinterest several months ago, and since then it has become a favorite staple in our house.

I love it for so many reasons!
  1. It really does taste almost exactly like Olive Garden's Five Cheese Ziti (my favorite)!
  2. It is so incredibly easy to make.
  3. It's almost better as leftovers (which I hardly ever say about ANYTHING).
  4. It's amazing.
  5. It's delicious.
  6. It's super easy.
  7. Did I mention it was easy to make?!
Seriously, if your family likes pasta, this is a MUST-TRY!

The mixture of sauces is incredibly creamy and the blend of cheeses make this dish rich and flavorful!  Oh so yum!  One of my main suggestions is to buy a sauce that you know has good flavor.  The sauce is one of the main ingredients in this meal, so if you buy tasteless sauce, it will definitely affect the pasta.  I absolutely love Prego Mushroom for the red sauce and Classico Light Asiago Romano for the alfredo.

Five Cheese Ziti
An Olive Garden Copycat Recipe
Adapted from: Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour
Servings: 6-8
*Optional:  I like to throw all the ingredients together in the morning and leave it in the fridge all day so that all of the flavors start to meld together.  This is not required, but a very delicious option.  Then, I just have to pop it in the oven when dinnertime rolls around.

1/2 pound penne pasta
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I like Prego Mushroom.)
1 cup alfredo sauce (Our fave is Classico Light Asiago Romano.  It's got a lot less fat than the originals and it has a really nice flavor.)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

  1. Boil the pasta noodles as per the instructions on the box.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the sauces and cheeses in a large bowl.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, rinse and drain it a few times to cool it off a little.
  4. When it has been drained well, pour the pasta into the sauce/cheese mixture and stir until everything is mixed together.
  5. Pour into a glass pie dish or an oven-safe bowl (like a Pyrex).  
  6. *Optional: Cover and place in the fridge until ready to bake.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Cover pan with aluminum foil.  Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice during the baking process.
  9. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy!!!  We absolutely love this meal, especially because Five Cheese Ziti is one of our favorite meals at Olive Garden.  I hope your family likes it too!

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