Baked Pasta recipes are a staple in every family. From Baked Ziti, baked spaghetti, baked pasta and Italian sausage, chicken alfredo, to a cheese baked chicken casserole.
Baked pasta recipes use a variety of sauces like meat sauce, alfredo sauce or just a plane tomato sauce. Stuffed shells, a pasta bake or lasagna are baked to perfection and become comfort food to dine on.
- How Long to Cook Pasta?
- Pre-Cooking Pasta vs Oven Ready Pasta
- How to Prepare Pasta for a Pasta Bake
- Pasta Sauce Options
- How to Re-heat Oven Baked Pasta
- How to Store or Freeze Oven Baked Pasta
- Food Safety
- Meaty Baked Pasta Dishes
- Gluten Free Pasta Bake Recipes
- Keto Baked Pasta Dishes
- Seafood Pasta Bake Recipes
- Vegan Pasta Bake Recipes
- Vegetarian Pasta Bake Ideas
- Other Pasta Recipes
- PIN it Here
How Long to Cook Pasta?
Most important is that you always follow the manufacturers instructions and don't assume that every pasta will cook in the same amount of time.
Pasta made with different ingredients such as beans, spelt, wheat, potato will take different times to cook. For example, potato gnocchi will cook in 2 to 3 minutes, while white glutenous pasta will take roughly 8 to 10 minutes to cook.
The best guidance I can give you when cooking pasta is to check the doneness every couple of minutes. Once it is almost cooked, but "al dente", it's time to drain the pasta.
Never rinse pasta or put olive oil in the water. The gluten on the pasta helps to coat the pasta with the sauce that you are using. It's like the glue that helps the sauce stick to your pasta. So do not rinse your pasta no matter how tempted you are to do so.
Pasta water is like gold. Always reserve about a cup of the pasta water when draining the pasta as it can help to loosen the pasta up, if it clumps together, past water will help coat the pasta with your sauce.
Pre-Cooking Pasta vs Oven Ready Pasta
There are some pasta products that are oven ready. I recommend that whenever possible buy oven ready products because it will make putting together your meal a lot easier and quicker.
As always, check the manufacturers instructions on whether the pasta needs to be cooked or not before putting in the oven.
Most "oven ready" pasta will have writing right on the front of the package indicating that the past is "oven ready" and doesn't require pre-boiling.
How to Prepare Pasta for a Pasta Bake
To prepare your pasta for a pasta bake, determine if your past needs to be pre-boiled or is oven ready.
If your pasta requires pre-boiling, remember to salt your water generously and remove the pasta when it is "al dente".
Al dente just means that the pasta isn't fully cooked and is still hard. The pasta has a "bite". Don't worry that the pasta isn't fully cooked because it will finish cooking in the oven.
If your pasta is "oven ready", remember to add more liquid to the casserole so that the pasta has liquid to absorb and cook. If there isn't enough liquid, the pasta may burn on the bottom or it will not cook and be hard and very dry.
Pasta Sauce Options
There's nothing better than making your own homemade pasta sauces. Whether you like red sauce, a creamy alfredo sauce or a meaty bolognese sauce, there's always something to be said about making your own sauces for pasta recipes.
Here are a few options for easy to make pasta sauce recipes:
- Marinara Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Pesto Sauce, Dairy Free Pesto Sauce
- Bolognese Sauce
- Alfredo Sauce
- Carbonaro Sauce
- Tomato Ricotta Sauce
How to Re-heat Oven Baked Pasta
The best part about oven baked pasta dishes is the leftovers. Leftovers make great work lunches. Place any leftovers in a microwave safe container so that you can easily microwave to re-heat and eat.
Oven baked pasta can also be warmed up in a frypan with a little bit of vegetable or olive oil. The best part about warming it up in a frypan is getting the bottom all crispy. Yum!
How to Store or Freeze Oven Baked Pasta
If you have a lot of leftovers, you can also store your oven baked pasta in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Or you can place it in a freezer safe container and freeze it.
With the exception of an oven baked pasta made with cream sauce, all other oven baked pasta dishes should keep well in the freezer.
Consume any frozen leftover oven baked pasta dishes within one month of freezing. Thaw out overnight in the refrigerator before warming up.
Note that the storage guidelines provided on this page and site are estimates from personal experiences. We are all adults and as an adult you are responsible to ensure that the food you eat is safe to eat. Since, I'm not a food safety expert, you are responsible to review your local guidelines on food storage prior to storing any food left-overs.
- Not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
Meaty Baked Pasta Dishes
Baked Lasagna with Ground Beef
Easy Homemade Recipes
An authentic Italian Lasagna bake recipe using ground beef. This lasagna recipe is hearty and filled with multiple protein sources including a delicious meat sauce, hard boiled egg and mozzarella cheese.
Baked Pasta with Chicken
by: Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
This baked pasta is comfort food at its finest. Filled with chunks of chicken, penne pasta, chopped tomatoes all wrapped up in a creamy cheese sauce. Make this ahead of time and pop in the oven before dinner.
Baked Meatball Pasta
by: Sandra @ She's Not Cookin
Baked Ziti with Meatballs is an easy weeknight dinner that you can have on the table quickly. Using homemade or store-bought meatballs, this cheesy casserole will soon become a family favorite!
Baked Rigatoni Pasta in the Oven
Baked Rigatoni Pasta Bake is similar to a lasagna but uses small pasta rounds in place of long sheets of lasagna noodles. The concept is the same as a traditional lasagna and is just as hearty. Made with ground beef sauce, hard boiled eggs and lots of mozzarella.
Baked Pasta with Sausage
by: Melanie @ Garnish & Glaze
Baked Ziti with Sweet Italian Sausage is a dinner the whole family will love! This flavorful dish can be made ahead of time and is great for sharing with guests and taking to those in need.
TikTok Baked Feta Chicken Pasta
by: Laura @ The Recipe Well
Baked Feta Chicken Pasta is a quick dinner made with a handful of simple, fresh ingredients. Inspired by the viral TikTok baked feta pasta, you’ll love this higher protein version with chicken!
Gluten Free Pasta Bake Recipes
Baked Rice in the Oven
This Riso al Forno, baked rice in the oven is a great option if you are gluten intolerant. Similar to baked lasagna, this oven baked rice is a great substitute for gluten pasta and is very hearty. You can make this oven ready dish earlier in the day and then bake it about one hour before you want to eat.
Keto Spinach Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
by: Lyndsay @ Officially Gluten Free
This creamy Spinach Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is an easy to make low carb and keto alternative to traditional macaroni and cheese. Steamed cauliflower is mixed with fresh spinach and covered in a white cheesy sauce. Then it’s smothered with mozzarella cheese and crispy bacon. It’s a delicious way to sneak in some extra vegetables into your families diet.
Gluten Free Vegan Baked Pasta Pie
by: Sonia @ Sweet Sensitive Free
This gluten free vegan baked pasta pie is a scrumptious first course made with dairy free bechamel and a super simple lentil ragu!
Gluten Free Lasagna Recipe
by: Megan @ A Dash of Megnut
This gluten-free lasagna is a delicious and filling dinner classic packed with Italian seasoning, herbs, and three types of cheeses. With just 20 minutes of prep and minimal effort, this homemade beef lasagna will leave you happy, full, and excited for leftovers.
Keto Baked Pasta Dishes
Baked Keto Spaghetti Bake Recipe
by: Annie @ Ketofocus
This scrumptious baked keto spaghetti casserole will give you something different to eat for dinner. With the zesty Italian seasonings, marinara sauce and two different cheeses, this keto baked spaghetti gives you the option of having spaghetti for dinner any night with this keto freezer meal.
Seafood Pasta Bake Recipes
Seafood Macaroni and Cheese
by: Marissa @ Rae Gun Ramblings
The cheesy goodness in this seafood macaroni and cheese past bake is a delicious twist on traditional macaroni and cheese but still easy enough for weeknight dinners. It’s total comfort food with a little flair. You will love the smoothness of the cheese and the crunch of the topping.
Fresh and Delicious Salmon Baked Pasta
by: Erica @ Erica Recipes
Cheesy, comforting, Fresh Salmon Casserole. Kids love the shell-shaped pasta. I love the fresh salmon. This salmon casserole recipe with crackers is easy for a weeknight and even the leftovers are SO GOOD.
Tuna Baked Pasta Casserole
Joss @ In the Kitch
Tuna casserole with tangy sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, shell pasta and a creamy, tomato-pesto Alfredo sauce.
Vegan Pasta Bake Recipes
Vegan Pasta Bake for the Whole Family
by: Cindy @ Veggie Fun Kitchen
Made with your favorite vegan sausage, pasta, and sauce…along with a few other ingredients, this Vegan Pasta Bake is pure nostalgia and creamy delicious. It will remind you of the pasta bake casserole of your childhood – only made vegan!
Easy Vegan Pasta Bake
by: Amy @ Veggies Save the Day
Vegan Pasta Bake is a delicious casserole that's ready in an hour. Add your favorite vegetables like zucchini and mushrooms to make it a complete meal. If you enjoy lasagna but want an easier option, this is the recipe for you.
Vegan Baked Spaghetti Casserole
by: Petranka @ Sunglow Kitchen
If you are searching for some new family dinner ideas, this recipe will be your next favorite! It's cozy, hearty, and is a real crowd-pleaser!
Baked pasta is usually made with pre-cooked pasta that gets tossed in meat and tomato sauce. Then it's topped with lots of cheese and baked until golden.
Vegetarian Pasta Bake Ideas
Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Broccoli
by: Chef Mireille @ Global Kitchen Travels
Vegetarian Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Broccoli is a delicious and scrumptious dinner for Meatless Monday. Three types of cheese, pasta and marinara sauce – what’s not to love? With broccoli added, this makes a healthy comfort food meal for any day of the week.
Ricotta Cheese Manicotti Recipe
This recipe for homemade Cheese Manicotti will not disappoint you or your loved ones. Made with fresh pasta, ricotta, eggs and fresh tomato sauce, this recipe for cannelloni will be a winner any night of the week or the weekend.
Baked Eggplant Parmiggiana
This healthy baked eggplant parmesan or eggplant parmigiana made from crispy eggplant slices is better than Olive Garden eggplant parmesan.
Baked eggplant slices are layered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese making this a delicious meal that is also nutritious and a vegetarian eggplant parmigiana.
Mushroom & Spinach Pasta Bake
by: Christine @ Jar of Lemons
When homestyle cooking, comfort food, and healthy ingredients come together like this Mushroom & Spinach Pasta Bake did, it’s a total celebration in our household!
Baked Pasta with Broccoli
Jen @ Inspiring Savings
This Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Bake is a great easy weeknight meal or side dish. Perfect for a family dinner or get-together. No cream soups are needed for this simple take on a classic recipe! You can use frozen broccoli florets instead of roasting fresh broccoli to make it even faster.