Baked Ziti with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

4 to 6 servings
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This cheesy baked ziti casserole with Havarti boasts all your favorite winter flavors! Make and freeze ahead of time for a quick, comforting weeknight meal.


  • 16 ounces (1 pound) ziti or other small hollow pasta
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 cup) butter, divided
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 8 ounces bacon, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1 thinly-sliced shallot
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (6-oz) wedge Roth Creamy Havarti cheese, shredded


  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, bring 4 quarts water to boil. Add ziti and cook according to package directions until almost al dente, about 9 to 11 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in bread crumbs and sage. Toss to coat. Set aside.
  4. In the same pot the pasta was cooked in, add bacon and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon pieces and place in a medium bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the pot.
  5. Add Brussels sprouts and shallots to reserved bacon fat. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook until vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to bowl with bacon pieces.
  6. In the same pot the Brussels sprouts were cooked in, melt remaining butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in broth until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Stir in reserved pasta, bacon, and Brussels sprouts. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. To make ahead and freeze, transfer to the freezer after topping with breadcrumbs. Thaw 24 hours in the refrigerator, then bake according to the original instructions.