Keto Baked Ziti


Pioneer Woman's most famous recipe turned keto

Enjoy the ultimate comfort food while staying low carb with this take on the Pioneer Woman's most-loved recipe, baked ziti. This keto baked ziti recipe combines zesty beef & sausage marinara with gooey cheese baked into low-carb noodles.

One of Ree Drummond’s (aka The Pioneer Woman) most popular recipes is her Baked Ziti Pasta. I would describe it as if spaghetti and lasagna had a baby, that baby would be named baked ziti. It’s the ultimate comfort food because it’s loaded with meat, cheese AND CARBS!!! Unfortunately, it’s the ultimate nightmare for someone wanting to stay away from carbohydrates, but I found a way to make it low carb and taste just as good!

A spoon resting in a casserole dish filled with a beefy pasta casserole.

Why is The Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti so good?

In my carb loving days, I’ve made this recipe on several occasions. And each time, I’ve wondered this question with every bite. My conclusion is that it’s not the zesty, meaty marinara sauce, or the creamy, cheesy white sauce, or the layers of mozzarella cheese sprinkled in between every layer. And it’s not the noodles because they are just plain boxed ziti pasta noodles. Nope. This recipe is so popular because it’s the combination of all of those marvelous ingredients brought together in layers. Once baked, the cheesy sauce and sprinkled cheese layers holds it all together like glue giving you a harmony of flavor with each bite.

Keto Baked Ziti Recipe Video

Subscribe to the KetoFocus YouTube Channel

With 100s of videos and millions of views, Ketofocus is one of the most popular Keto channels on YouTube.

Keto Baked Ziti Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 24-25 oz low-carb marinara sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 16 oz keto ziti noodles
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs

Keto Baked Ziti Directions

  • Keto Baked Ziti
  • A spatula pulling out a serving of ziti pasta with beef and marinara while cheese pulls from the dish.

    Keto pasta options

    Beside lupin pasta, like the one used in this Italian recipe, there are other low carb noodle options that can be used.

    • Shirataki noodles – These are gluten-free, contain low or no calories and are zero carbs! They are made from konjac root and tend to have neutral flavor but a rubbery texture. Shirataki noodles come in different shapes and sizes, including ziti, macaroni and spaghetti noodles.
    • Hearts of palm – Noodles made from hearts of palm look like traditional spaghetti noodles. They have a neutral flavor with a hint of artichoke flavor and pair well in Italian cooking. Hearts of palm pasta is gluten-free and very low in carbs. It doesn’t come in a ziti pasta shape but is available as spaghetti, angel hair and lasagna noodles.
    • Wheat based pasta – There are some brands that made keto noodles using wheat protein. These are not gluten-free; however, they are low in carbs. Wheat-based keto pastas tend to have a similar texture and appearance to traditional pasta. This pasta does come in a variety of shapes including a penne pasta shape.
    Overhead shot of a ziti casserole recipe from the Pioneer Woman topped with chopped parsley.

    How can I decrease the carbs further?

    This dish is 8.8 grams net carbs. If that doesn’t fit in your macros or your lifestyle, you can easily decrease some of the carbs in this keto baked ziti recipe. Here are some ideas:

    • Omit the canned diced tomatoes – This will decrease the net carbs by 1 gram making each serving 7.7 grams net carbs.
    • Omit the onion – This doesn’t cut out the carbs by too much. You will save 0.1 gram of carbs per serving by leaving out the onions.
    • Omit the cottage cheese – This will decrease the net carbs by 0.5 grams per serving.

    Storage information

    Meal prep

    Baked ziti is ideal for meal prep. You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and store it unbaked in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To cook from frozen, bake at 375 covered with aluminum foil for 45-60 minutes or until casserole is cooked through and cheese is bubbly.

    Storing leftovers

    Leftover casserole can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. 

    Keto Baked Ziti: FAQS

    Can I use all ground beef?

    Yes, you can use all ground beef or all ground sausage in this baked ziti recipe. You could even swap out the beef for ground turkey or chicken.

    My pasta broke into pieces and turned to mush. What did I do wrong?

    Sounds like you overcooked your pasta. Revisit the directions to see that you should have par-cooked the noodles. They will continue to cook as the casserole bakes and will help keep their ziti shape.

    Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?

    Absolutely. Fresh tomatoes will give a vibrant flavor in this keto pasta recipe.

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Keto Baked Ziti

    Servings: 12

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 431
    Fat 28.2g
    Protein 35.7g
    Total Carbs 19.8g
    Net Carbs 8.8g

    Other Keto Dinner Recipes

    Crispy bang bang chicken on top of cauliflower rice next to avocado, cucumber and topped with sauce and sesame seeds.
    20 Mins
    Keto Bang Bang Chicken

    Crispy, creamy, spicy - make this easy keto bang bang chicken recipe with just a few ingredients and without adding sugar.

    See the Recipe
    A plate with katsu chicken over cauliflower rice next to sliced cucumber and pickled ginger.
    30 Mins
    Keto Chicken Katsu

    This keto chicken katsu recipe features tender chicken cutlets encrusted with a crispy blend of pork panko and sesame seeds and fried until golden....

    See the Recipe

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *