Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno (Copycat)

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Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno copycat recipe made with marinara, alfredo, mozzarella, fontina, romano and parmesan cheese baked together with a crispy panko topping.

This baked ziti recipe is a huge hit with crowds and potlucks just like my super popular Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti and Ultimate Meat Lasagna.

Olive Garden Ziti al Forno Copycat
 Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno (Copycat)

This Ziti al Forno is like the best baked ziti recipe you’ve ever had kicked up about ten more notches. A mixture of marinara and alfredo sauce along with five (yes, I mean five) additional cheeses maked this dish an over the top extravagant recipe you won’t have to wait for a trip to Olive Garden to enjoy.

This baked ziti is different than the traditional baked ziti which is made with marinara sauce, mozzarella and ricotta cheese. With a mix of two sauces and five cheeses you’d think that all the flavors would be muddled, but they work so well together that you’ll find yourself routinely mixing marinara sauce and alfredo sauce even when making a simple spaghetti dinner.

Can you make this ziti al forno lasagna?

YES and I love the way you think. We had a girls night in recently and experimented with this recipe as lasagna. Let me tell you, it was probably the best lasagna I’ve EVER eaten. We did add ground beef to the recipe because it needed more substance than just cheese. We also definitely added the crispy topping.

This Olive Garden recipe is vegetarian but you can absolutely add meat or seafood to the dish. Adding shrimp is a fantastic option, sliced and seared chicken would be great too.

Ziti Al Forno Recipe

Can you freeze/reheat Ziti al Forno?

Yes, sort of. We tried this a couple of times and ended up with dry pasta. Then we tried something we’ve seen in frozen pastas and cooked the pasta, freezing it on a sheet in a single layer. Once frozen we made the recipe as directed.

Why freeze the pasta you ask? Pasta has this annoying quality where it sucks up all the liquids in a dish when there are leftovers. This means the next day your pasta is all dried out. By freezing the pasta before assembling we prevent the pasta from acting like a sponge.

Looking for more Copycat pasta recipes?

Let me know if you have any copycat recipe requests. I have a lot more coming, some from Olive Garden in fact! If you have a recipe you’d like to see let me know in the comments below.



Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno

5 from 23 votes
  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno copycat recipe made with marinara, alfredo, mozzarella, fontina, romano and parmesan cheese baked together with a cripy panko topping.




  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup romano cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the pasta one minute shy of the directions on the box and drain.

  3. In a large metal bowl add the pasta, marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese and fontina cheese and mix well.
  4. Add to a large oven safe skillet or 9x13 pan.
  5. Mix the mozzarella, panko, romano, parmesan and garlic together and add the topping over the pasta.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes uncovered until golden brown and bubbly.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: 534 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 534g, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 1431mg, Potassium: 581mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 900g, Vitamin C: 8.8g, Calcium: 325g, Iron: 2.4g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno copycat
Olive Garden Ziti Al Forno
Ziti Al Forno

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  1. This was very good. Did the freezing method you suggested and I was surprised it worked. My family loves sauce so I made extra to serve on the side.
    I have been trying for years to obtain the recipe for POLLYS back burner soup,
    Any chance you would have a copycat of it?

  2. Every recipe I have “copied”.from you has been fantastic! I let my grand kids help grind the cheeses ! Each cheese separate bowl. They both were so excited they could not wait to eat. They ate well are aged (B) 5
    (G) 4. We made the 5 cheese ziti
    I doubled the sauce put it in jars
    Thank you. Delicious easy to follow

  3. I’m interested in making this for a family meal. I have a couple of meat lovers attending and I’m wondering if I can add ground beef to it. If so, when would I incorporate the ground beef? When I mix the pasta and sauces together?

  4. Before baking, we mix the cheeses and pasta up versus just pouring on top and it really works great for us. Thank you for the great recipe.

  5. I made this for my daughter. She would have never tried it (incredibly picky) if she didn’t know it was an Olive Garden copy cat. She loved it. We all loved it. This will definitely be a family favorite!!

  6. I made this for my daughter-in-law, she loves Olive Garden’s Baked Ziti. It was delicious and easy to make. I will definitely make this again (maybe tomorrow!!)

  7. I made this recipe exactly as written EXCEPT added some shredded rotisserie chicken…. It was delicious! The kids (and especially) the husband loved it! And it’s fairly easy. This will be in the regular dinner rotation. Thank you!

  8. Looks delicious! I’ll be making it for New year’s Eve tomorrow! Do you make yours in a baking pan or glass casserole dish? Will it make a difference?

  9. I made this for our Christmas dinner this year and my family gave raving reviews. It’s such a simple recipe for everyday but my family thought it was so good they want it for Christmas every year! I used store bought sauces and made no recipe alterations and it was BOMB dot com! Thank you so much Sabrina!

  10. I have been making this kopy Kat recipe for years (since this is my favorite O.G. dish!)! I do exactly as you have, but I love cottage cheese in all my Italian dishes, just like the flavor better than ricotta, I use a little less Alfredo to avoid a chef-boy-r-dee flavor lol, and sometimes I use a little olive oil when I mix the topping. This is one of my families favorite recipes and pairs wonderfully with breaded chicken (they insist on meat so I add it to the SIDE!)!! ?

  11. This sounds amazing! Can I leave out the ricotta or substitute it with something else? My husband and I don’t like ricotta. Thanks!

    1. I haven’t substituted anything for ricotta in this recipe, but I know you can substitute cottage cheese or mascarpone in most recipes. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you do!

      1. I’ve substituted cream cheese and it works great! I don’t always have ricotta, but I do always have cream cheese in the fridge. In a pinch, give it a try. Delicious!!

  12. Baked this beauty copy cot today . Only substitution we did was gouda cheese for Fontina cheese . Delicious ?. Thank you

    1. Oh no! I’m able to find it at any local grocer around here. You can use a mild provolone, gruyere, or gouda cheese to substitue if needed. Good luck!

        1. Yes, I would freeze it unbaked. When you’re ready to serve it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake the next day.

  13. What is the green stuff sprinkled on top? I notice that ingredient in the recipe posted but I see it in the photo!

  14. Fontina cheese is not readily available to me as I am located in another part of the world. Would this recipe still work without it? I’m not fussed about replicating Olive Garden’s recipe, but instead, I want it to still taste good.

    1. I absolutely love Olive Garden’s ziti and this tastes exactly like it. It’s a family favorite and we’ve had it probably bout 4 times now in the past couple months and we’re making it again tonight! Thank you!

  15. You have some really great recipes. I see you listed servings and calories but I have the carbs. I am diabetic and I am on a stick diet. I have to know every carb so I can adjust my insulin. Can you please list carbs. I love these recipes!

    1. I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes. 🙂 All of the nutritional content comes from a computer plug in not a nutritionalist. I would suggest calculating on your own to be sure it’s completely accurate since it has to be so precise.

    2. I’m a Type2 diabetic. I’ve just made it using chickpea pasta (ziti, available at Target, $3 for 8oz box,, other shapes available as well), very good protein and fiber numbers to overcome what few sugars are present. Prego makes a no-sugar added pasta sauce that works very nicely. All that being said, my timer for letting it set up after coming out of the oven just went off, and if it tastes half as good as it smells, this is a real keeper.

  16. Hi! Is there a specific brand (or recipe) of marinara and alfredo you use? Mine didn’t come out quite right and I think it’s because of the sauces I used. Thanks!

  17. I just made this for company and everyone absolutely raved about it! I added sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, and tomatoes. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

  18. I made this recipe for a few of my friends and it was a huge hit!! Everyone went back for seconds and wanted to take some home. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who loves a good 5 cheese ziti!! It tastes very similar to the Olive Garden 5 cheese Ziti al Forno!!

  19. What??? You tease us with reassurances that this drool-worthy dish can be turned into lasagna then give no specifics for added ingredients or changes in directions? Please, please give some details, or even a whole recipe. Thanks so much!

      1. Yay! In hopeful anticipation, I had added Dinner Then Dessert to my Bloglovin’ feed. I already know that 3 out of the 4 of us will love this, and the to-come lasagna. (My older son doesn’t like cheese! I know, right?) Anyway, have a fantabulous rest of the week.