Plate of baked ziti

Easy Cheesy Lentil Pasta Baked Ziti [Gluten-Free]

This Easy Cheesy Red Lentil Baked Ziti is a hearty, delicious, gluten-free Italian meal featuring three kinds of cheese.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked ziti, gluten free, Italian, italian food, lentil pasta, pasta, ricotta cheese filling
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 -10 people
Author Sherri Hall



  • Prepare ricotta cheese mixture according to recipe and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. 
  • Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, grated cheese and parsley to a 4-quart saucepan. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is done, remove from heat.
  • While sauce is cooking, prepare the pasta according to package directions except cook molto al dente, which is slightly undercooked. It should be slightly firm but not too hard. For example, the pasta I used had a cooking time of 8-10 minutes, and I cooked it for 6 minutes. I'd recommend starting with 2 minutes less than suggested to ensure it does not become overcooked which will result in the pasta falling apart when it is baked.
  • After draining the pasta, return to pot.
  • Carefully add the sauce to the pasta as it will still be hot.
  • Stir in ricotta cheese mixture.
  • Scoop evenly into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish
  • Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and ziti is bubbly.


FOR THE VEGETARIAN OPTION: To make this ziti vegetarian, replace the Pecorino Romano cheese in both the sauce and ricotta cheese filling with vegetarian-friendly Romano cheese or vegetarian-friendly Parmesan cheese, and ensure the mozzarella and tomato sauce being used are also vegetarian.