Skillet Baked Ziti

I want to hide in my house for the next four weeks until I have this baby.

I can’t handle the comments anymore.

I realize that I’m a freak of nature and that my body is defying all laws of gravity but does EVERYONE have to comment on it?

Here’s an example of 20 minutes of my day:

  • I walked into the gym with my kids and handed my pass to the lady at the front desk to scan who then blurts out an expletive.

“@#&$()@!%, you’re huge!”

Thanks. Super professional…and when my 4-year-old repeats that later today, I’ll know who to blame.

  • I headed upstairs to the gym area where a man stops me and asks if he can rub my belly. Surprisingly this doesn’t bother me. People in South Florida are very touchy feely.
  • After getting on the elliptical a man stops me and spends five minutes trying to convince me that I am indeed having twins. He’s sure of it. Nevermind the weekly ultrasounds I get at the perinatal. This guy knows better.

Really, just those comments aren’t all that bad. But when you get that times 10 a day, my patience wears thin. I’m aware I may be a tad hormonal and sensitive, but I just don’t want anyone to talk to me until I give birth. Thanks. And I should probably stop blogging until my thick skin comes back…

Skillet Baked Ziti

I got really excited about this Skillet Baked Ziti dish because everything is cooked in one skillet. Turns out you need a large skillet with a lid which I didn’t have so I used a smaller saucepan and it worked great. I was under the impression that the whole thing is done in the skillet but at the end the cheese is browned in the oven. I was hoping to not have to turn on the oven…and I’m sure if you’re really against it you can just put
the lid on in the end and melt the cheese that way. You just won’t have the browned, toasty top.

Be careful when you take it out of the oven. Not thinking, I grabbed the hot handle and spent the rest of the night nursing a burn on my entire hand. Was it worth it? YES. The aroma of the garlic, basil and the tomato sauce cooking was unreal. The ricotta adds a light and creamy finish to the dish. This had an authentic Italian flavor with hardly any work.

Skillet Baked Ziti

Skillet Baked Ziti
Prep Time
22 hrs 1 min
Cook Time
22 hrs 1 min
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (I like Hunts)
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 ounces ziti pasta 3¾ cups
  • 4 ounces 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet and saute over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, water, ziti and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15-18 minutes. Make sure you don't cook it too much. It will continue to cook in the oven.
  5. Meanwhile, combine ricotta, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  6. Stir in cream, Parmesan, and basil into the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. At this point if your skillet is not ovensafe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the ricotta and cheese and baking. If you're really against turning on the oven you could cover the skillet with a lid and melt the cheese that way but it won't get browned and toasty.
  8. Add dollops of the ricotta mixture with a spoon and sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti.
  9. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of basil. Serve.


Speak Your Mind



  1. Marsha Anderson Corns says:

    The recipe looks yummy and has some of my favorite food groups – carbs, cheese & peppers… I’m sorry that people do not use their edit button before blurting their first thoughts! It is tempting to retort something about you’ll have the baby but they will still be rude… take care.

  2. I know exactly how you feel…..I endured similar comments for all 5 of my pregnancies, and no…I didn’t have any twins, thank you very much. I just carry straight out in front of me….can’t help it. It never ceased to amaze me how insensitive people can be to a pregnant lady. Like it makes my day to hear how gigantic i am. Best wishes on the remainder of your pregnancy …..hope you can enjoy it just a little!
    Ps. The pasta looks!

  3. Please don’t stop blogging. I’ll miss you.

    While I understand not wanting to talk to people, don’t forget you are in prime position to use the “STFU or I’ll eat you” line. You may just scare them enough that they will shut their face. Pregnant rage is no joke.

    But the food. Oh, the food. Little ol pregnant me is SO STOKED that you’ve posted this yummy looking pasta. I know what I’ll be making VERY soon.

  4. I feel your pain. I gave birth to our little guy 4 weeks ago. I gained 50 pounds, yes 50. I know I was big but I certainly didn’t need anyone to tell me that too. Best of luck to you and show off those extra curves with pride 🙂 P.S. This recipe looks delicious!

  5. This looks yummy! Do you think the tomatoes need to be crushed or are diced okay?

    And I think people don’t know what to say to pregnant ladies or they are trying to be funny but they come across as rude. I had a guy ask me “don’t you know how that happens!?” I really wanted to say “no. Could you tell me?” But I just laughed an awkward laugh.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Funny! I think you could use diced for sure. If you wanted a creamier texture you could stick your diced tomatoes in a blender!

  6. OMG this looks delicious I can’t wait to try it. Love, love your recipes keep them coming and thank-you!

  7. LOOK AT ALL THAT CHEESE. Ohhh come to mama. PS. I’m sure you are just as gorgeous as ever lady! 🙂

  8. 3 types of cheese…I’m there! Sorry to hear people are being rude. The belly rubbing would really freak me out although people do that here too!

  9. Mary Anne Wiltse says:

    It is a rough time, Just keep cooking! You are doing a great job 😉

  10. Wow, this looks delicious! I LOVEE pasta and creating new pasta dishes! Can’t wait to try this!

  11. Caitlin Smale says:

    First time commenting but after reading your post today I had to plead…PLEASE DON’T STOP BLOGGING, you would be so missed. It’s so unfortunate that folks don’t come with a mute button! Everyone told me that they were sure I was having twins both of my pregnancies too but who am I to help that I married a giant?
    My family loved your other baked ziti recipe, I can’t wait to try this one on them. Thanks for posting and for pressing on.

  12. I’m a long time reader….first time to comment. I’m really sorry you are running into so many rude people in the last month of your pregnancy. I cannot believe some of the things people feel free to say to pregnant women. My youngest daughter is 27. During my last month of pregnancy with her my neighbor told me I looked as if I were giving birth to an entire county as opposed to a baby. All these years later I haven’t forgotten his rude and unkind comment. I don’t know what’s wrong with people. In just a few short weeks you’ll hold a sweet little baby in your arms and it will have all been more than worth it. Take good care of yourself in the meantime. And…this recipe looks delicious. I’m going to make it tonight! I really enjoy your blog and have made many of your recipes. I should have said so a long time ago. Take good care and be sure you are kind to yourself by resting as much as possible this last month.

    • Actually, I just can’t believe the things people say about others’ bodies, pregnant or not. I would like the world to repeat after me: other people’s bodies are none of your business. Everything from “My god, you’re HUGE!” to “Eat a cheeseburger!” is simply inappropriate.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Thanks for commenting! This is #5 for me so I guess I can hang in there for the last .2 miles of the baby making marathon.

  13. I was the full 42 weeks when I delivered my son and I felt enormous…and everyone told me so. I was so over them making me feel like crap in my special moment!

  14. Awww….you’re almost there, hang in there! Oh, and BTW; I’m convinced that all men think that all pregnant woman are having twins!

    I would like a double dose of this delicious baked ziti though!!!

  15. Waaant! Love all that cheese!

  16. So delicious! It’s rainy and nasty here today– would love to make this tonight to enjoy with some wine and a movie!


  17. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love baked ziti. My oven is broken, and the recipe I normally use makes so much I couldn’t possibly make it in my toaster oven. I don’t care if the cheese is browned or not, so this would be perfect! Thanks again!

  18. That’s too funny about the guy saying you’re having twins. My goodness. haha

    The dish looks great. You can’t go wrong with cheese!

  19. Recipe sounds fab! People can be so ignorant it just amazes me. Chin up lady. Heck, I’ve been in a bad mood all week and I have absolutely nothing to blame it on besides just feeling like being a bitch. LOL! Have a good day. Take care of yourself and that little one in your belly. Hugs!

  20. angelitacarmelita says:

    Bless your heart. I’m from Central Florida, now living in Northern Virginia and thought it was super funny when I moved here because I hugged EVERYBODY and EVERYBODY doesn’t like being hugged! lol! I’ve had to learn to reel that in. The other draw-back to that habit is that if your not familiar with that particular custom and a blonde woman comes up suddenly and hugs you, well you might get the wrong impression… I don’t have enough fingers and toes to tell you how many times THAT’s happened to me…. The other thing is who in their right mind curses in front of children? it’s hard enough keeping most of that kinda talk away from them, but to have it put right out there is not professional. And for the record, no one but your husband, your mother or one of your children should ever put their hands on a pregnant woman’s belly, or even ask. Ever. If you feel the need to nest, and stop blogging until after the birth, we’d all totally understand, but we’d also miss you terribly! Do what’s right for you, we’ll be here when you get back. waiting. hungry. and stuff. xoxo.

  21. I am soooooo sorry about the sensitivity of people!! and the sad part is they probably don’t even realize that they are being rude OR don’t really need you comments I MEAN.. HELLO aren’t you the one who is PREGNANT!!???!!!….UGH..that is probably the one MAJOR thing that “I” couldn’t handle when i was pregnant…besides the touching thing..I could NOT deal with that either…I can totally understand u not wanting to leave the house…AND for u still exercising!!! AWESOME!! I hope your next 4 weeks are “survivable” and not to irritating..OH! THE RECIPE is awesome.. thanks

  22. I JUST did that on a pan I made a frittata in so I feel your pain 🙁

    I learned this trick back when I worked in a diner, if you have a burn put some mustard on it and let it sit for a few minutes then wash it off. Your hands smell for a few days but it really helps the burn! I promise it works!

    I know it’s gotta be so hard for you right now but don’t let them get to you. In a few weeks you’ll have a beautiful addition to your already wonderful family! 🙂

  23. I am currently kitchen less, an I only have an electric skillet. I think this might work in that! Woo hoo!

  24. How FANTASTIC of you to still be exercising at the gym…..YAY YOU!!!!
    You just keep on with your regular routine, that’s the best way to handle any stage of being pregnant, worked for me. 🙂
    You’re a lovely person with a fabulous blog, that’s all that matters in my book.
    When you’re holding your little bundle of love you’ll forget all the snarky remarks.
    You’re one lucky lady and to be so blessed, it’s wonderful!

    The dishes on your blog always look so tasty and actually, not hard to make, we love them in my house!
    This is another recipe that will be made and soon too! Yummy for our tummy’s! LOL!
    I mean really…….cheese?! Who doesn’t love cheese on top of cheese with more cheese!!
    Have a great day!

  25. Hi! I just found your blog for the first time via pinterest! So many things I want to try! I am also pregnant, due 9/11 so I understand the frustrating comments! People are crazy! Can’t wait to start following you!

  26. Thanks for being so transparent about your day. Recipe looks freaking awesome! May the rest of your pregnancy go by QUICKLY!! ~Angie

  27. I tried this recipe tonight. It was really good, it had a lot of flavor…I’ll be making it again for sure. I will cut back on the salt a bit and maybe add a little more ricotta(since I have some left anyway) next time, but other than that I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for sharing and hang in there. You are in the home stretch now.

  28. Hi- I am new to the blogging world (I know I am way behind) and I felt compelled to comment. I have had five kids too and they were back to back and I would get lots of comments on why would I want to do that or are you done yet or do you know what causes that. People can just be down right rude!!! Hang in there and take it easy!! Also I love your blog and your recipes are becoming my families new favorites!!!

  29. This looks so amazing! I could seriously reach right in and grab that skillet. Hopefully with an oven mitt or something. 😉 Hope your hand feels better!

  30. People are so strange. Would it be inappropriate for a pregnant lady to swear and throw her arms about? I am pretty sure that would be my reaction. This pasta hopefully put you in the best of moods. Looks wonderful!

  31. When I was at the end of my pregnancy with my last one, a guy at the grocery store told me I was “Huge” to which I responded, “Yeah, so are you.” I’m not super proud of that, but seriously, what is wrong with people??? Good luck!! Wish I could walk next to you and say all the mean things back that I’m sure you are too nice to say. This looks amazing!!

  32. I hated those comments. Thinking of you!

    (And I pinned this.)

  33. This looks and sounds amazing, YUM!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  34. Screw what everyone else thinks, it all depends on how you carry the baby – I’m 29 weeks pregnant and massive in comparison to my friend who is only a week behind me. Reason is she has a tilted womb, so most of the bub is hidden on the inside and only now showing. I’ve had plenty of people comment on my size, and I still have 11 weeks to get even bigger *eeeep*

    I can’t believe you are going to the gym! I am so lazy being pregnant 🙂

    Btw, this meal looks delicious, I definitely need to try this out!

  35. This dinner is right up my alley. Looks and sounds amazing. And considering we’re in the middle of a kitchen gut (literally looking at studs) I’m all over something that can be brewed up in one pot. Yum.

    Is it wrong that I now want to see pictures of your freak of nature belly? LOL I’ve had three, so I know the comments that can be thrown out every time you leave the house. Soon, everyone will want to be touching your baby instead. 🙂

  36. This looks so delicious. Thanks! Sorry about your hand…i have done that, too…think it’s almost automatic to grab the handle like that. Good luck with your baby. My best friend refused to leave the house when she was past due because of people’s reactions! Sorry you’re having to deal with that but won’t it be wonderful when baby’s here!!!! Thanks again and have a great day

  37. Hi! I’m going to be making this for dinner tonight and I was wondering if I can subsitute the crushed tomatoes for Hunt’s tomato sauce? I’m also wondering how many servings does this make? I’m cooking for two so I’m wondering if I should cut down on the ingredients.


  38. OMG you poor thing!!! The one that would bug me the most is the guy insisting you’re having twins-I just get so bugged when people insist they know better than like…everyone. Soon you’ll just have a sweet little baby, though, so yay! And YAY for this incredible skillet baked ziti-it looks mouthwateringggg

  39. I am sorry you have to put up with these stupid people who don’t think first before running off with the mouth. 28 years ago when I was pregnant with my son and living in Puerto Rico; complete strangers would pat my tummy. At first, I was creeped out by this. I got used to it real quick. Babies and pregnant women are loved there.
    The baked ziti looks yummy! I love your blog and recipes!! Take care…

  40. Sent this in email but thought I would add it here as well

    I know this sounds absolutely bonkers but for future reference…plain yellow mustard works WONDERS on burns. You can look it up…I did when my mom told me to slather mustard on my burn When I grabbed the wrong end of an iron. Seriously slater it on and let it dry then rinse. I repeated a few times. It is a little inconvenient to have mustard all over you hand when you are as clumsy as me but I was amazed when the next day you couldn’t even tell I had burned my hand. If you get this email soon enough you may still want to try it. Now I have a “first aid” container of yellow mustard in my fridge at all times.

    Best of luck

  41. Aw you poor thing – people are so rude!! But good thing you had this great ziti to go home to for dinner – it looks amazing!! Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

  42. This blog post made my day since I relate to it so well! And I made this tonight (though had to modify a few things because of what I had) and loved it. Also loved that it’s a delicious meal in ONE dish. I never like doing dishes, but at the end of pregnancy with swollen legs and no energy, this is a lifesaver!

  43. I made this for dinner Friday night and my family loved it! It was soooo yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  44. I made this for dinner last night and it’s delicious. I got behind on time so I was rushing to get dinner ready and I was amazed at how fast and easily this came together. I feel like baked pastas always take a long time, so the quick factor scored major points with me. Plus, I loved that it was creamy but not all cream. The perfect sauce for it. Thank for posting this! Good luck in the coming weeks with both the people around you and with your family!

  45. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be thankful for what you have and will soon have….a bundle of love.

  46. After I learned that pregnant women get asked about/commented on, all day every day about the baby, I always make it a point not to say a word! AND my b’day is August 23rd so definitely a good time to have a baby. (Altho my mother would say that being pregnant all summer is not much fun.)

  47. I know how you feel! I am 36 weeks pregnant and get MULTIPLE comments everyday. We decided not to find out what we are having but everyone else seems to know what it is and isn’t afraid to voice their opinions. I too get the comments that I look like I am going to pop!

  48. You are awsome, do not care about rude comments.

  49. How many people does this serve? It looks lush!

  50. This is in my oven right now and it smells SO GOOD! I’m sure it will be tasty. Can’t wait to try it. It’s a little early for this but I may have a small helping for breakfast, haha.

  51. That looks amazing! Cheesy yumminess… I could eat the whole thing.

  52. I love this recipe…it turned out great, so satisfying, so yummy! I just recently discovered your website and I really find a lot of great ideas and feel inspired to try many things! Thank you! 🙂

  53. I LOVE this recipe…it turned out great the very first time I tried it! Very satisfying and yummy 🙂 I have just recently discovered your website and I feel very inspired to try a lot of your recipes! Thank you 🙂

  54. next time anyone says something as rude as those folks did, smile sweetly and punch them in the throat. Tell them that the doctor said the baby is prone to violence.

  55. Ugh, I know how you feel!! I was huge for all 3 of my pregnancies. People couldn’t shut up about it. This third time I felt like you. Every single time I went out of the house people had something to say. Once or twice a day someone would ask if it’s twins. Or how big is the baby? How much longer? Like you said, dealing with this 10 times a day is tiring and annoying. I wanted to say I was fat before I got pregnant but thanks for pointing out how huge I am…

  56. Oh honey, you just need access to a good copier and make up some comments to hand back.

    Yes, I know I’m huge and pregnant…. I noticed that just the other day…

    Just one in here according to my ultrasound, for $5 I’ll sell you a copy.

    If you want to touch my belly, you must first wash your hands.

    Make multiple copies to hand out! or make it into a tee shirt…. or maybe a lot of tee-shirts to sell to other poor pregnant women for use in their 3rd trimester….

  57. Great recipe. Although I have not found any such thing as a large enough non stick skillet that is oven safe up to 475 degrees. So I have to always transfer to a dutch oven to bake. Delicious though!