Skip to Content

How long do you heat baked ziti in the oven?

Baked ziti is a classic Italian-American dish that is easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd. When baking ziti, one of the most common questions is: how long should you bake ziti in the oven? The answer depends on a few factors.

Oven Temperature

The temperature of your oven is one of the biggest factors that determines how long to bake ziti. Most recipes call for baking ziti at 350°F. At this temperature, ziti usually takes around 40-45 minutes to fully cook through and become bubbly. If you bake the ziti at a higher temperature like 375°F, it will cook faster and may only need 30-35 minutes. Lower oven temperatures around 325°F will make the cooking time longer, sometimes up to 50-60 minutes.

Amount of Ziti

The total amount of ziti you are cooking also impacts the baking time. A small 8×8 inch pan of ziti will bake faster than a 9×13 inch casserole dish filled to the brim. Here are some general guidelines for how long to bake ziti based on pan size:

Pan Size Ziti Amount Cooking Time
8×8 inch 4-6 servings 30-40 minutes
9×13 inch 8-10 servings 35-45 minutes
9×13 inch 12-15 servings 45-55 minutes

As you can see, the more ziti you bake, the longer the cooking time. Make sure to adjust your baking time up if you are cooking a large casserole.

Liquid Content

How much sauce or liquid is mixed into the ziti also affects how quickly it bakes. Ziti that is drier may cook faster, while ziti soaked in a lot of tomato sauce or ricotta cheese mixture will take longer to finish cooking. Be sure to account for extra moist ziti by increasing your baking time 5-10 minutes.

Type of Cheese

The types of cheese you top your baked ziti with impacts cooking time. Harder cheeses like parmesan or romano will take longer to fully melt and bubble compared to soft mozzarella. Allow extra baking time if using mostly hard cheeses.


The type of noodle used can also change the baking time. Ziti noodles are traditionally used, but sometimes penne or rigatoni are substituted. Larger, thicker noodles like rigatoni will take longer to become tender than smaller ziti. Undercooking the noodles is one of the main mistakes when rushing ziti, so make sure to adjust cooking times accordingly if using alternate noodle shapes.

Cooking from Frozen

Cooking frozen baked ziti takes extra time. Frozen ziti assembled raw needs about 60-70 minutes in the oven. Fully cooked frozen ziti only requires 45-55 minutes of baking. In both cases, make sure to cover the dish with foil at first to help slowly defrost and heat the center. Then uncover for the last 15 minutes to brown the cheese.


Baking time can vary quite a bit when making baked ziti. The typical range is 30-60 minutes based on oven temperature, pan size, ingredients, and whether cooking frozen ziti. Your best bet is to start checking the ziti around 40 minutes and continue cooking until the center is bubbling and the top is browned. Use a meat thermometer to confirm the middle reaches 165°F. Let the baked ziti rest 10 minutes before serving. With the right baking time, you’ll end up with perfectly cooked, ooey-gooey baked ziti every time.