Pasta is already a great dinner dish, but when served as a casserole, it becomes even more delicious. Layers of noodles, vegetables, meat, and cheese are combined and baked, ensuring the sauce and pasta marry perfectly, and the cheese creates a gooey, golden topping for your casserole. Pair penne and meatballs for a hearty dish, combine pasta with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes for a light, summery supper, or make a unique macaroni dinner using mortadella and mozzarella. Which of these six baked pastas will you prepare first?
1. Beefed-Up Broccoli Lasagna
Lasagna is one of the most common baked pasta dishes, but Mr. Food Test Kitchen makes one that is a step up from the rest. Hearty beef, healthy broccoli, and lots of cheese are slathered between layers of lasagna noodles, creating a filling supper that serves 6. This is one take on lasagna you won’t want to miss!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 (28-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 (14½-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and well drained
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Head to Mr. Food Test Kitchen for the full recipe.
2. Meatball Pasta Bake
The ultimate Italian dinner, Southern Living’s recipe includes penne, meatballs, fresh spices, and veggies. It also has a few unique ingredients — orange juice and fennel — which make this casserole’s flavors pop. It yields 8 to 10 servings.
- 1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1 medium-size fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 (24-ounce) jars marinara sauce
- 2 (14-ounce) packages frozen beef meatballs, thawed
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- ¾ cup organic chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon firmly packed orange zest
- 1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup torn fresh basil
- 1½ (8-ounce) packages fresh mozzarella cheese slices
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Head to MyRecipes for the full recipe by Southern Living.
3. Baked Macaroni with Mortadella and Mozzarella
Ditch your boxed mac and cheese and make Food & Wine’s recipe for baked macaroni with mortadella and mozzarella for dinner instead. This classic pasta dish is elevated using fresh mozzarella, mortadella, eggs, and a ravishing pork ragù. For an easy weeknight supper, assemble the casserole the night before and refrigerate overnight. Just make sure to bring it back to room temperature before baking. The recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Generous pinch of crushed red pepper
- Kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 (¼-pound) piece of mortadella, cut into small dice
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Head to Food & Wine for the full recipe.
4. Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Penne, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and chicken create a dinner dish that is simply divine. If you’d like to freeze this pasta bake for later, Martha Stewart recommends assembling the casserole, covering it with foil, and freezing for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve this dish for supper, bake it in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until the center is hot, about 1½ hours. The recipe yields 8 servings.
- 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups whole milk
- 10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
- 1½ cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
Head to Martha Stewart for the full recipe.
5. Baked Cavatappi with Artichokes and Fennel
Cavatappi, a corkscrew-shaped pasta, tastes terrific when baked with tomatoes, cheese, artichoke hearts, seasonings, and fennel. Cook your pasta until very al dente, cook the garlic, pepper flakes, tomatoes, and basil, stir in the ricotta, artichoke hearts, and fennel, toss your sauce with the pasta, and bake. Food Network’s recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound cavatappi
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can plum tomatoes
- 4 large sprigs basil
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1½ cups chopped frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 1½ cups sliced fennel, sautéed
- 3 cups cubed fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
Head to Food Network for the full recipe.
6. Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese
Cooking Light’s recipe for baked pasta with sausage, tomatoes, and cheese is a lighter, diet-friendly dinner option for those watching their waistline. Filled with turkey sausage, veggies, tomatoes, fresh basil, and cheese, one serving contains 413 calories, 11.8 grams of fat, 24.1 grams of protein, and 4.5 grams of fiber.
- 1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti
- 1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Head to MyRecipes for the full recipe by Cooking Light.