Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti

8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti is your new favorite comfort food dish! Easy beefy pasta recipe loaded with bacon and melty cheese goodness.

Delicious Baked Ziti is a classic comforting recipe for an easy weeknight meal! This delicious twist adds the beef and bacon goodness of our favorite Bacon, Beer, and Cheese Sloppy Joes into a hearty Pasta Dish. The warm flavors and melty cheese make it an instant favorite meal and sure to be a hit with everyone in the family!

About our Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti

Casserole-style dishes like baked ziti are always a great recipe for a big family dinner. They’re easy, filling, and you don’t have to worry about baking different parts of the dinner separately. Just combine the prepped ingredients, and bake them all in one pan for the perfect Main Dish you know everyone will love.

This Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti is the perfect way to experiment with the flavor of a classic baked ziti. You still get pasta, melty cheese, and some tomato sauce. But, instead of typical Italian flavors, we’ve added Worcestershire sauce, bacon, mustard, dark beer, and beef broth. They all bake together into the most amazing comfort food dinner ever.

Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti Ingredients

  • Pasta: This dish is traditionally made with ziti pasta. It’s a thick, tube-shaped noodle. The sturdy pasta is great for baked dishes. You could also use large shell pasta or rigatoni if you like.
  • Beef: Beef makes up the bulk of the filling versus normal ricotta and Italian cheese filling in stuffed shells. We usually like to use 85/15 fat ratio so you get lots of flavor but make sure to drain the fat before making the sauce or it could be greasy.
  • Bacon: The crispy, smoky bacon adds depth to the meaty savory flavors, making it irresistibly delicious. Plus, the crispy bacon adds some extra texture and flavor to the cheesy sauce and tender pasta.
  • Cheese: The flavor of cheese with beer is a classic combination that’s absolutely perfect in this dish. It’s up to you if you want to use sharp cheddar cheese but we find it melts best and the bold, tangy flavor that doesn’t get lost in all the hearty meat flavor. 
  • Beer: You can use any kind of beer like stout beer, a lager, or dark ale that isn’t heavily flavored and that you like to drink. The alcohol will cook out, so it’s family friendly, but you’ll still have the rich taste that makes the meat sauce more savory.
  • Sauce: The beef, bacon, and beer is cooked with tomato sauce and savory ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, beef broth, and yellow onions to make a rich, robust flavorful sauce.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Baking Dish: You’ll use a 9x-13, or 3 quart baking dish to make this Baked Ziti recipe. You want it deep enough so you can make two layers of pasta to get cheese in the center. You can also split it between two 8 or 9 inch square pans.
  • Skillet: The meat filling is made on the stove top. You’ll need a big enough skillet to hold all the meat and sauce. A heavy bottom skillet will help brown the meat well without overcooking it or burning as easily.

How to Make

Time needed: 45 minutes.

  1. Prep Work

    Before starting the recipe, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out a 9×13-inch baking dish. To make clean up a bit easier, you can spray your baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Boil the Pasta

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta to cook. Continue to cook until the pasta is mostly tender, about 2 minutes shy of the box instructions. Drain the pasta and rinse with water. Set the pasta to the side.

  3. Cook the Bacon

    Add the bacon to the pan. Cook and chop the bacon over medium heat. Drain and discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Set the crisp bacon to the side.

  4. Make the Beef Mixture

    Add the ground beef and chopped onions to a pan over medium-high heat. Break apart the beef while it browns on all sides. Drain excess grease, and then add the bacon back into the pot. Mix in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, beer, and beef broth. Stir the beef broth mixture together, and bring it all to a simmer. Finally, add in the cooked pasta.

  5. Bake the Pasta

    Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top it off with a sprinkle of half the cheese. Finish the dish with a second layer of beef ziti and cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. If the cheese is browning too fast, you can cover the dish with foil then remove the foil in the last 5 minutes.Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti assembled ziti in baking dish topped with cheese

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti
Amount Per Serving
Calories 605 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 86mg29%
Sodium 813mg35%
Potassium 544mg16%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 419IU8%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 238mg24%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tip for Baked Ziti that Isn’t Watery

The issue of baked pasta turning out watery is usually too much liquid in the filling and sauce. With this delicious dish, you’ll want to drain the grease from the beef so it doesn’t add extra liquid. If your sauce seems really thin, you want it to be more like Sloppy Joes consistency, then lit it simmer for a few minutes and thicken before adding the pasta.

What to Pair With Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti

Drinks: Bring out the flavors of your beef and beer sauce by pairing this baked ziti with the same beer you used in the sauce. A glass of dark red wine would taste great with the robust flavors in the sauce too!

Side Dishes: This hearty, meaty Bacon Beer and Beef Baked Ziti would go great with quick sides like fresh salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing and Cheesy Bacon Bread. If you want some veggies, try family-friendly favorites like Roasted Broccoli or Sauteed Green Beans.

How to Store

Serve: After baking, you don’t want to leave this recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Let the Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti cool down before you cover it in aluminum foil to store in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Reheat: The best way to reheat baked pasta dishes like this Beefy Bacon and Beer Ziti is to reheat it in the oven. Spoon it in the baking dish and cover the pan with foil. You can also add a little beef broth to the bottom of the dish to keep the pasta from drying out.

Freeze: This is also a great make-ahead dish that you can store in the freezer for 2 months. Cover the dish in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before you freeze it. Remove the plastic wrap, and then cover it again with foil before reheating the dish in the oven.

FAQ for Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti

What does adding beer to beef recipes do?

Including beer in beef dishes helps to tenderize it, while also enhancing the overall flavor of the dish by adding a subtle savory bitterness. It’s important to use a flavor of beer that works with the flavors of your dish, and also one you would enjoy drinking since you’ll taste it.

Can you make this dish without beer?

Yes, you have the option to substitute the beer with an equal amount of beef broth or chicken broth for a more subdued taste. Alternatively, you can also use non-alcoholic beer without altering the overall flavor. just pick one with a robust flavor not a light “beer”.

Recipe Card

Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti

Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti is your new favorite comfort food dish! Easy beefy pasta recipe loaded with bacon and melty cheese goodness.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 16 ounces ziti pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 1 cup yellow onion , chopped
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cook pasta two minutes shy of the instructions, drain, and rinse.
  • To the pasta pot, add the bacon to the pan, cook, and chop.
  • Discard all but one tablespoon of bacon grease.
  • Add ground beef and onions on medium-high heat and cook, breaking it apart, until well browned.
  • Drain grease, add the bacon back into the pot.
  • Add in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, beer, and beef broth.
  • Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the pasta back in and stir well.
  • Add half the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish, then top with half the cheddar.
  • Add the remaining pasta mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 813mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 238mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword: Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti

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Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti Variations

Cheese: You can sprinkle different kinds of shredded cheese into the recipe to go along with the cheddar. Parmesan cheese, Gouda, provolone, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella cheese would all taste great and add to the melty goodness in the recipe.

Meat: Instead of regular beef, you could try using lean ground beef for a more healthy dish. You could also use Italian sausage, ground turkey, or ground chicken.

Seasonings: For some extra flavoring in the recipe add spices like red pepper flakes, oregano, ground thyme sprigs, onion powder, or minced cloves garlic.

Vegetables: You could add some vegetables to this Baked Ziti recipe like green onions, green peppers, roasted red pepper, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Just fold into the sauce with the rest of the ingredients.

More Delicious Baked Pasta Recipes

Beefy Bacon and Beer Baked Ziti collage baked in dish and served on plate with recipe name across center in blue box

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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