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 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.
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?
- Cheesecake Factory Pasta Da Vinci
- CPK Chicken Tequila Fettuccine
- Cheesecake Factory Pasta Da Vinci
- Cheesecake Factory Louisiana Chicken Pasta
- Boston Market Mac and Cheese
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.
- 1 pound ziti pasta
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups alfredo sauce
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Fontina cheese shredded
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook the pasta one minute shy of the directions on the box and drain.
- In a large metal bowl add the pasta, marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese and fontina cheese and mix well.
- Add to a large oven safe skillet or 9x13 pan.
- Mix the mozzarella, panko, romano, parmesan and garlic together and add the topping over the pasta.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes uncovered until golden brown and bubbly.
Mine turned out good but very dry like all the sauce was pretty much gone
can i make this in the crockpot?
I haven’t tested it in the slow cooker so I couldn’t give you directions on how, I’m sorry.
I’m so excited to try this for my sister’s birthday. Can I assemble this the night before and cook it the next day?
I’m in the process of making this for the first time but trust that it will be delicious.
BUT – is anyone else as frustrated as I am with buying food in jars or containers and there being less than the packaging says!? I bought the jar sauce. On the Alfredo sauce, it says it is 16 oz.,1 lb. – which would be 2 cups. There was actually a little less that 1 3/4 cups of sauce! I really hope this won’t make a difference. If the jar had said it was 14 oz. I would have bought 2! Grrrrr!!
Alfredo sauce is really easy to make…melt a stick of butter add 2cups of crème..heat on low as you mix in grated parmesan cheese until thickened..add black pepper and salt to taste…always a hit at my house!!!
Can you use a 15 oz container of ricotta in this recipe?
We’re moving to a town where the nearest Olive Garden is overlap two hours away, so I NEEDED this recipe!
Now, could you figure out how to make Mei Wei’s Thai Coconut Soup?? I’ve been trying, but my turns out too sour or too sweet.
Just made this recipe for my husband and I and Oh My God!! It is so good and maybe even better then olive garden.LOVEEE. Definitely saving this recipe. Thank You!
I did this recipe a long time ago for a family reunion and everyone loved it!!! I did enough big portions (we are Cubans…) and it finished and people wanted more!!! There was about 20 people and I did enough for like 60 people thinking some of us could bring home some…DID NOT HAPPEN!!!
The bread crumbs burned and got hard? Any suggestions
Next time, maybe try covering for half the cook time and then uncover for the last 15 minutes.
I added the breadcrumbs on the very top and kinda mixed it into the cheese. I only cooked it for 30 minutes and it gave it a very nice crunch but not burnt.
This is such a good recipe! I’ve never had the actual Olive Garden version but tried this recipe because of the pictures. Such an easy meal to throw together after a busy day, and tastes like hours were spent working on it. I cannot say enough good things about this recipe!
Thank you Kayla!
This is amazing! So, so, good. My daughter requested for her birthday. Do you think it could be adapted to slow cooker??
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