Gluten Free Baked Macaroni and Cheese Italian-Style (Baked Ziti)

This gluten free baked macaroni and cheese is basically a ziti recipe, but I can’t find any gluten free ziti pasta (straight tubular noodles, usually with grooved lines). So, I just renamed it, especially for those who are not familiar with Italian food. This is my go to recipe for unexpected guests. Sometimes I serve it the first day that my holiday guests arrive, as well. I’m usually too busy and exhausted to cook after cleaning the house and making sure everything is perfect. For guests, I use my Authentic Spaghetti Sauce Recipe which contains beef stew meat and Italian sausage. I always keeps some in the freezer. The dish in the photo below contains marinara sauce (tomato-based sauce without meat). I either make plain macaroni and cheese for myself, in a separate dish or add some pureed red bell pepper sauce since I am allergic to tomatoes. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my guests have.

Gluten Free Baked Macaroni and Cheese Italian-Style

Yield: Makes about 8 servings

Gluten Free Baked Macaroni and Cheese Italian-Style

An easy gluten free main dish, perfect for entertaining, baked gluten free macaroni and cheese with traditional spaghetti sauce and two types of cheeses. It is also known as baked ziti. Learn the tricks to making it successfully, gluten free.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. gluten free penne pasta (Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice, Heartland (corn), Jovial or Tinkyada Brown Rice) or GF Macaroni
  • 5 cups Authentic Gluten Free Spaghetti Sauce* or marinara sauce (4 cups, not including meat)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, half partially skim and 1/2 whole fat (recommended)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or Kraft shaker)


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Add oil to a large pot of water in preferably a 3 to 4-quart pot; and bring to a boil. Add a little salt, if desired. Keep it at a medium boil. (This all helps prevent sticking.) Cook about 3 minutes short of the recommended time. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
  3. Add some sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and add the pasta. Add more sauce and stir.
  4. Top with Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the very top with grated Parmesan.
  5. Bake on the center rack for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set it aside to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.


*Gluten free pasta absorbs more sauce than traditional pasta; therefore, have additional sauce set aside to add after baking.

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