Baked Ziti with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

4 to 6 servings
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This cheesy baked ziti casserole featuring Fontina cheese has all your favorite winter flavors! Make and freeze it ahead for a quick, comforting 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 (1/4 cup) butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Roth Fontina or Havarti cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage


  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 small microwave-safe bowl, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in bread crumbs and sage. Toss to coat. Set aside.
  4. In the same pot pasta was cooked in, add bacon and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon pieces and place in 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. To the same pot Brussels sprouts were cooked in, melt remaining butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring. Slowly whisk in broth until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in Fontina until smooth. Season to taste with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste.
  7. Stir in reserved pasta, bacon and Brussels sprouts. Transfer to 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 freezer after topping with breadcrumbs. Thaw 24 hours in refrigerator and bake according to the original instructions.