Copycat Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno recipe is made with ziti, marinara, alfredo, and 5 cheeses baked together with a crispy panko bread crumb topping.
No more waiting until you go to Olive Garden to enjoy some delicious 5 Cheese Ziti al Forno! This yummy copycat Olive Garden recipe combines marinara, alfredo sauce, and a whopping FIVE cheeses over ziti and topped with a yummy cheese and panko bread topping!
This recipe reminds me a lot of lasagna with all it’s cheeses! You’ll need:
- ziti – this thick pasta is similar to penne and holds up well to baking
- marinara sauce – homemade or make it easy with jarred sauce!
- alfredo sauce – once you try mixing these sauces together you’ll be amazed how the flavors blend!
- Ricotta cheese
- Fontina cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Romano cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- panko breadcrumbs – give this dish its signature crispy topping!
- garlic – you can adjust the amount of garlic to your taste, I love it so I’m generous!
With all those cheeses, you can see why this recipe is a winner!
If you like this recipe, you should also try my Lazy Lasagna, Spaghetti Sandwich, and Cheesy Baked Meatballs! Any of these recipes are perfectly complimented by my Pesto Parmesan Garlic Bread or this Homemade Texas Toast as well!
Step by step
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While it is warming up, cook the ziti according to package instructions.
- In a large bowl, combine ziti, marinara, alfredo, ricotta, and fontina cheeses. Mix until it’s thoroughly combined.
- Spread the pasta mixture in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.
- In another bowl, mix the mozzarella, romano, parmesan cheeses, along with the panko bread crumbs and minced garlic. Mix well.
- Sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Tips for best results
- shred your own cheese rather than buying pre-shredded for the best flavor and texture
- make it your own by adding ground beef, sausage, chicken, or even portobello mushrooms!
- make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free ziti and either omitting the panko or using gluten-free breadcrumbs.
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe. The pasta absorbs the sauce upon thawing and reheating and tends to make the end result dry. You can, however, freeze this recipe unbaked: simply assemble without the topping, cover and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight and continue the recipe from step 5.
You can, however, keep this pasta in the fridge up to 3 days in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave. I have had no issue with it being dry when reheated after refrigeration.
The original Olive Garden 5 Cheese Marinara Ziti recipe is a vegetarian dish and delicious on its own but you could absolutely add meat to it if you wish. It is delicious with ground beef or sausage mixed with the ziti and sauce mixture or even seared chicken cut into cubes!
Yes! You can use any hearty pasta like penne, bowties, or rigatoni. You can even layer the cheese with lasagna noodles (I would probably add ground beef or sausage if making with lasagna to give it more bulk.) I do not recommend thinner pastas like spaghetti and angel hair as the pasta may get mushy during the baking process.
Absolutely, it’s a perfect make-ahead meal! Simply assemble according to the recipe without the topping and cover. You can refrigerate it until ready to bake.
I hope you enjoy this copycat recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!Print
Copycat Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno recipe is made with marinara, alfredo, and 5 cheeses baked together with a crispy panko bread crumbs topping.
- 1 pound ziti
- 36 ounces marinara sauce
- 16 ounce jar alfredo sauce
- ½ cup shredded Fontina cheese
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated romano cheese
- ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs, Italian style
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, cook ziti according to package instructions. Drain well.
- In a large bowl, combine ziti, marinara, alfredo sauce, Fontina cheese, and ricotta cheese and stir until blended.
- Spread ziti mixture a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.
- In another medium bowl combine mozzarella, romano, Parmesan cheeses along with Panko breadcrumbs and minced garlic until blended.
- Spread breadcrumb mixture over ziti evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.
- If you do not have ziti, you can substitute another hearty pasta like penne, rigatoni, or bowties.
Keywords: ziti al forno, 5 cheese marinara