Baked Ziti with Shrimp

When it comes to hearty, comforting Italian-American dishes, baked ziti is a classic favorite. But why stick to the ordinary when you can elevate it with succulent shrimp? Baked Ziti with Shrimp combines the rich, tomatoey goodness of traditional baked ziti with the delightful taste of tender, seasoned shrimp. It’s a marriage of flavors that brings the warmth of home-cooked comfort and the allure of seafood to your table. Get ready to savor a dish that’s a true crowd-pleaser and perfect for gatherings or a cozy family dinner.


For the Baked Ziti:

  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

For Shrimp Seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preparing the Shrimp:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the shrimp with the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Toss to coat the shrimp evenly with the seasoning.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set them aside.

Cooking the Pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ziti pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Creating the Tomato Sauce:

  1. In the same skillet you used for the shrimp, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat it over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté them until the onion becomes translucent, usually taking about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Assembling the Baked Ziti:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti pasta, half of the tomato sauce, and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Toss to coat the pasta evenly.
  3. Arrange half of the pasta mixture in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
  4. Place the cooked shrimp on top of the pasta in an even layer.
  5. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the shrimp.
  6. Add the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Baking the Dish:

  1. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.


  1. Once your Baked Ziti with Shrimp is hot and bubbling, remove it from the oven.
  2. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.
  3. Scoop out generous servings and savor the delightful combination of flavors in each bite.

Variations and Tips

  • Cheese Variation: Feel free to experiment with different cheeses. Ricotta or fontina cheese can add a creamy texture, and a sprinkle of Gruyère cheese can introduce a nutty richness.
  • Vegetable Addition: Enhance the dish with sautéed vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, or mushrooms for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Spice It Up: If you enjoy more heat, increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add diced jalapeños to the tomato sauce.
  • Fresh Herbs: A handful of fresh basil leaves or parsley can provide a burst of freshness when added as a garnish.
  • Make-Ahead: You can assemble the dish in advance, refrigerate it, and bake it when you’re ready to serve, making it a convenient option for busy days.


Baked Ziti with Shrimp takes a beloved Italian-American classic and gives it a delectable seafood twist. With tender shrimp nestled in a rich, tomatoey embrace, this dish is a celebration of flavors and textures. Whether you’re sharing it with guests or enjoying a cozy meal at home, Baked Ziti with Shrimp offers a taste of comfort and sophistication in every bite. So, set your table, invite your loved ones, and savor the seafood-infused charm of this delightful dish. Enjoy!

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