Cauliflower Baked Ziti

This easy and flavorful dish is the perfect meal for a weeknight—it’s ready in only 30 minutes!

Serves: 6Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


  • 1 lb. ziti
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (1 1⁄2 lbs.)
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1⁄4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1⁄4 cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • 2⁄3 cup panko bread crumbs


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook ziti according to package directions until al dente, about 9 to 11 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom. Cut out core and stems and leaves. Discard. Break cauliflower pieces into florets, then cut each in half.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a wide skillet over high heat. Add cauliflower in one layer and allow to brown and caramelize for approximately 2 minutes. Turn and continue cooking for additional 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, crushed red pepper, sage, and lemon zest. Stir to coat.
  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, and Romano cheese. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until top is golden. Serve hot.