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This Baked Pasta Meal Will Please Everyone

A comfort food classic is the centerpiece of this family dinner menu. 

creamy baked ziti
Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Comfort food is a surefire way to bring the family together. This easy-going menu centers around a classic dish, baked ziti. And the version you’re making tonight uses an ingredient everyone loves, cream cheese, for the cheesiest and silkiest sauce around. Start the feast with a no-cook appetizer that comes together in minutes and can be assembled by anyone in the family. Enjoy a leafy green salad topped with a special crispy, cheesy topping -- you'll be surprised by how easy it is to make. Yogurt for dessert? Yep, they will never know that you snuck it in there because this English sweet elevates the humble dairy, taking it into parfait territory. This menu will give the family a lot to talk about, and a lot to crave.

 

 

See our Other Baked Pasta Recipes
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Start: Prosciutto Wrapped Breadsticks

Wrapping prosciutto around store-bought breadsticks is a great task for the little hands in the household and makes for a satisfying snack while the ziti bakes.

 

Get the Prosciutto-Wrapped Breadsticks Recipe

 

Main: Creamy Baked Ziti 

Mess with a classic? We will to make it taste even better. This baked pasta uses cream cheese in place of ricotta for the silkiest sauce. Make the recipe your own by adding in roughly half a pound of cooked greens or extra protein by folding in about a pound of browned ground meat before baking the ziti (Be sure to squeeze the greens dry before adding them).

 

Get the Creamy Baked Ziti Recipe
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Side: Leaf Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Crisps 

Salad just got more exciting -- these homemade parmesan crisps always impress, yet they truly are easy to make.

 

 

Get the Leaf Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Crisps Recipe
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Photography by: Aaron Dyer

Dessert: Yogurt and Jam Fool

Want to know how to turn yogurt into an irresistible and beautiful dessert in minute? Fold airy whipped cream into tangy Greek yogurt, swirl in your favorite jam, and refrigerate. Get this dessert started while the ziti bakes and chill it while you eat. 

 

Extra credit: Top each fool with crumbled pieces of store-bought meringues for a satisfying sugary crunch.

 

Get the Yogurt and Jam Fools Recipe