Poofy Cheeks: Olive Garden Copycat Five Cheese Ziti Recipe

February 24, 2014

Olive Garden Copycat Five Cheese Ziti Recipe

My favorite meal at Olive Garden is their five cheese ziti. With a family of five we don’t eat out very often but when we do go to Olive Garden that is what I always order. After eating their salad and breadsticks I can rarely eat a quarter of the ziti they bring out and end up taking it as leftovers. After reading that the sauce they use is a combination of alfredo and marinara with a bunch of cheese mixed in (of course there is cheese!) I decided to try making my own version at home for a fraction of the cost.

Copycat Five Cheese Ziti - an easy recipe and a fraction of the cost

I used the same alfredo recipe that I use for my 5 Star Chicken Alfredo mixed with a jar of store bought Marinara. My boys ate their entire bowl without complaints (that is always a winner in my book), Delilah cried for more (add another star) and my husband and I couldn’t stop (so I would say it was a total winner). The very best part is that it cost me a fraction of the price of eating out and I had dinner on the table in about 40 minutes from start to finish.

Copycat Five Cheese Ziti - an easy recipe and a fraction of the cost

Copycat Five Cheese Ziti Recipe-


  • 8 TBSP butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 28oz jar of marinara (we used ragu brand)
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound of penne noodles


  • Cook noodles according to directions.
  • Meanwhile melt butter in a medium pan on medium/high heat until it starts to brown, stirring frequently.
  • Add 1 cup of the whipping cream and the minced garlic into the pan with butter, boil rapidly until it starts to thicken. Then reduce to medium and add half of the parmesan cheese.
  • After the mixture has thickened add the other half of the whipping cream and parmesan cheese, stir to mix. Pour the finished alfredo into a large bowl and add in the entire jar of marinara and 1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  • Once the noodles are finished drain the water and pour them into the bowl with the sauce and cheese. Stir to coat and then spread the noodles into a greased 9x13 pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and more parmesan if desired. Return to oven for an additional five minutes.

Copycat Five Cheese Ziti - an easy recipe and a fraction of the cost


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