Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno (Copycat)

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

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.

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Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno

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.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder




  • 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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1431mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 8.8mg | Calcium: 325mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Olive Garden Ziti Al Forno
Ziti Al Forno

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.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Did it all with your Alftedo and Marinara recipes (almost used Raos) but, this was great!!! It was a hit!

  2. Great recipe! My family loved it. Only thing I changed was substituting Gruyere, since I couldn’t find the Fontina.

  3. Ive never been to Olive Garden and my husband has promised to take me. But in the mean time, I made this and it was sooo good. My only mistake was I couldn’t find fontina and I forgot the mozzarella. Othee than that, it was even a hit with friends I had over today

  4. Absolutely delicious, and LOVE the fast Alfredo recipe too. I would recommend people budget 2 hours for this dish, or make your sauce ahead of time. Thank you for a great meal. 🙂 Lisa

  5. This was probably one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had! It is just like olive garden’s I love love love it

    1. Yes! Baked Ziti is the perfect make-ahead meal to either refrigerate and bake the next day or to assemble and freeze. Assemble and refrigerate. Enjoy!

  6. 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!!

    1. 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!!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!!!

    1. 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.

  10. 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!

      1. This is amazing! So, so, good. My daughter requested for her birthday. Do you think it could be adapted to slow cooker??