Baked Ziti with Bison Meatballs

Make ahead or refrigerate overnight. Finish in the oven for a richly satisfying meal.

- High Plains Bison Kitchen

Serving Size:
14.2 oz (402g)
Prep Time:
20 min
Total Cooking Time:
85 min


  • 3 large yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1½ pounds mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into ¼” wide strips
  • 2 medium orange bell peppers, cut into ¼” wide strips
  • 1 pound ziti
  • 8 scallions (green part only), thinly sliced
  • 1½ (12oz.) cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 lbs. High Plains Ground Bison
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground basil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Cooking Instructions:

To make Ziti with Onions and Peppers:

1. In a 3-4 quart heavy saucepan cook yellow peppers, onion, and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Stir in cream. In a blender puree mixture in batches (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. (Sauce may be made 2 days ahead covered and chilled). Bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.

3. In a deep large heavy skillet cook mushrooms and peppers in remaining tablespoon oil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are softened and most of liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Fill a 6-7 quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in ziti and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain and rinse ziti well in a colander.

Meanwhile, make Bison Meatballs:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, add bison, onion, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, basil and Worcestershire sauce and mix well with your hands.

3. Form into walnut sized balls and place on oiled cookie tray, careful not to overcrowd and let the meatballs touch.

4. Bake in oven 15 minutes or until done.

5. Into sauce mixture above, stir ziti, mushroom mixture, scallion greens, 1½ cups Parmesan, reserved cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into a large lasagna pan, add bison meatballs and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan.

6. Bake ziti in middle of oven until hot and pasta begins to brown, about 20 minutes.

Bison Cooking Tips

Here's how to get the best from your bison...
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