Recipes from The Kitchn

Recipe: Italian Sausage and Peppers Baked Ziti

Image Credit: Christine Han

Cooking while on vacation is a great time to slow down and enjoy the process, but there can be some limitations. You might be in a rental kitchen with minimal equipment, or need to feed a crowd on a budget — that's where the tried-and-true combination of pasta, sauce, and cheese always wins the day. Throw in some Italian sausage and sweet peppers, and the smell of this baked casserole will lure everybody into the kitchen even though the sun's still up.

Italian Sausage & Peppers Baked Ziti: Watch the Video

Image Credit: Christine Han

Think of this baked ziti as an easier version of lasagna, and recruit some extra hands into the kitchen to prepare it — everyone's got time since they're on vacation, right? Put people to work slicing peppers, cooking sausage, grating cheese, and cooking pasta. Many hands make for light work, and you'll get everything layered into a baking dish in no time.

While the baked ziti is in the oven, all you need to do is throw together a salad, or steam (or grill!) some vegetables to serve with it. A glass of nice red wine also wouldn't be amiss here.

The beauty of baked ziti is that it can even be prepared ahead of time — just make the sauce or fully assemble it and throw it right into the cooler for the trip out. You can also bring it fully baked or even frozen so that all it needs is a stint in the oven, skipping a trip to the grocery store and letting you relax into an extended happy hour.