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One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

October 16, 2022

No need to separately boil the pasta or make a separate sauce! This weeknight friendly, one pan gluten free baked ziti has a super fast prep, and even easier clean up!

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

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Fall weather is here!

I think we have made the final pivot from warm, summer weather into a cooler, and more crisp fall pattern – and my crew eats. that. up! They are true Michiganders and are perfectly giddy for fall, and the anticipation of those first snow flakes in the coming months! Their momma, on the other hand…well, she would prefer summer stick around, but if we are going to make a shift to cooler weather, then I’m going to take advantage and get my oven on!

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Comforting oven meals on a week night time frame!

Because as the kids get older, man alive do things get busier! When they were little, we were home a lot more often, so flipping the oven on all afternoon, even on a weekday, was not out of the norm. The girls are older now, and each have their own passions to pursue, and of course zipping them around to hang out with friends is so important for this very social age as well! With a work at home mom that also likes to be involved at school (they are only at that helping out at school age for so long!), my plate is also happily full, and I’ve developed some really great, nourishing dinners to help me keep real food on the table, even on a busy weeknight.

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Baked ziti in one pan?!

It’s like a dream, right?! Sometimes those pasta dishes seem daunting on a weekday just because you have to boil the pasta. I’ve taken the boiling step out of this super fun, kid favorite dinner, making this “dump it all in dinner” a perfect weeknight solution! Chop a quick side salad and your crew will have dinner on the table in no time!

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Let’s get this simple one pot meal started!

You’ll want to use on oven safe casserole dish, braiser, or pot that has a lid. I like to use my pan that I can use stovetop as well so that I can brown the meat, and then dump the rest of the ingredients right in. If you don’t have a casserole pan or brasier that can be used stovetop, you can brown the meat separately, and then add everything to your casserole pan or baking dish to bake. Again, you’ll want a pan or pot that has a lid – if you don’t, you can use a baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Now for the “dump it all in” part!

Once the meat is seasoned and browned, just stir the rest of the ingredients in – yes, even the dried pasta and uncooked spinach! It will all cook together in the oven! Put the lid on your casserole, and you are free for 30 minutes to help kids with homework, pack lunchboxes, change a diaper, or even {gasp!} read a chapter of your book! Easy peasy, right?!

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Can I veggie load this baked ziti?

This baked ziti has a load of spinach, and even some creamy pumpkin puree inside, so I tend to serve it with a side salad for simplicities sake. You absolutely can “veggie load” the sauce if you have hesitant salad eaters, or little ones not loving salads yet. My suggestion would be to use finely chopped cauliflower and shredded carrot which will all blend in super easy.

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Let’s talk toppings for my dairy free friends!

Our family is dairy free for the most part, but we do tolerate sheep’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses, so I keep a lot of manchego on hand. My family also enjoys the Violife Vegan cheese that is coconut oil based with a great ingredient list. I don’t use a lot of vegan cheeses because of the ingredients, but this is a good one and tastes pretty great! You could also top your baked ziti with bread crumbs, gluten free bread crumbs, or a ground up nut combo.

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

One Pan Gluten Free Baked Ziti

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp friendly fat to cook in butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil
  • 2 lbs grassfed ground beef
  • 1– 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast optional – see Notes for details
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree fresh or canned
  • 2 cups bone broth or water
  • 1 – 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 2– 3 cups baby spinach You can finely chop this if you want it less noticeable
  • 12 oz dry pasta of choice We use GF rice pasta
  • 2 cups cheese of choice to top I use a Manchego since we tolerate sheep’s milk best. See Notes for dairy free options

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • You can make this entire dish in a stove top/oven safe casserole, braiser, or pot with a lid. If you do not have this, you can brown the meat in a skillet and transfer everything to an oven safe casserole pan with a lid or use aluminum foil.
  • Melt the fat in a large oven safe casserole pan or braiser over medium high heat, and brown the beef with the sea salt. Add the Italian seasoning, onion & garlic powders, and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, and add the nutritional yeast, pumpkin puree, bone broth, tomato sauce, spinach, and pasta. Stir to combine and top with cheese.
  • Put the lid on your casserole, and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. I like to take the lid off at the end and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top and crisp up any edges too!

Notes

  • If you don’t use nutritional yeast, you can leave this out, or if you can have dairy, you can stir some cheese into the mixture.
  • If you are dairy free, you can top your baked ziti with bread crumbs, gluten free bread crumbs, or a ground up nut combo.
  • If you have little ones that don’t like to eat a salad along side dinners like these, you can definitely “veggie-load” this baked ziti wit a couple cups of finely chopped cauliflower or cabbage, or shredded carrots! 
  • I don’t even drain the grease from browning the meat, because it add so much flavor. We get a half side of grassfed beef every year for the freezer, and the meat from grassfed cows is super lean. If your beef lends a lot of grease, you can drain some of it.

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