Easy Pasta Bake comes together in minutes with lots of hearty beef, cheese and more. This is freezer friendly, inexpensive and all around a great meal.

easy pasta bake in a casserole dish

Easy Pasta Bake Recipe:

This delicious Italian dinner is so easy and can be whipped up in just minutes. Your family will love this meal and you will love how simple it is. This is the perfect meal to make-ahead meal that can be made with many different pastas.

If you are super busy like we are, this is a great meal to throw together during busy weeknights. Anyone can make this and the entire family will love it. Easy Baked Pasta is simple to make and a hearty meal.

Each bite is so creamy with all the blends of cheese and the tomato sauce is delicious with the pasta and ground beef. This is so filling and easy to feed a crowd or large family.

easy pasta bake on a plate

What to Serve with Easy Pasta Bake Recipe:

The pasta sauce is so amazing and we all love to dip the bread sticks into it. Yum! You will want to get every last drop.

Ingredients needed - rigatoni, ground beef, diced onion, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, minced garlic, italian seasoning, salt and pepper, parmesan cheese

Ingredients needed:

  • Rigatoni
  • Ground Beef
  • Diced Onion
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Minced Garlic
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
easy pasta bake in a casserole dish

How to make Easy Pasta Bake:

  • Step 1 – First, cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Step 2 – Next, brown beef in a large skillet with onion and seasonings.
  • Step 3 – Drain grease from meat. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and simmer on low.
Cook hamburger meat in a cast iron skillet and topped with sauce
  • Step 4 – Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Close up image of meat sauce in a cast iron skillet
  • Step 5 – Drain pasta. Spray 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Step 6 – Now, it is time to start layering all of the yummy ingredients! Layer ½ of the pasta, ½ the sauce mix in the baking dish.
Pasta on the bottom of the baking dish and topping with meat sauce
  • Step 7 – Sprinkle with 4 ounces of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Easy Pasta Bake comes together in minutes with lots of hearty beef, cheese and more. This is freezer friendly, inexpensive and all around a great meal! 
  • Step 8 – Repeat layering process.
Adding mozzarella cheese to the top of the pasta bake
  • Step 9 – Then top the casserole with the grated parmesan cheese.
Topping the casserole with mozzarella cheese
  • Step 10 – Bake at 350 F for until cheese is melted about 20 minutes to 30 minutes. This recipe is so easy. Keep reading for the full recipe.
easy pasta bake in a baking dish

Do you Cook Pasta before Baking?

Yes, in this recipe we cook the pasta. Simply cook the pasta and mix with the sauce before baking. Because this mixture is baked in sauce, the noodles would not cook.

Cook the pasta al dente or according to the pasta package then mix with the sauce ingredients.

easy pasta bake on a plate

Tips for Baked Pasta Casserole:

  • Mozzarella Cheese – We recommend using block mozzarella cheese to place on top of the baked ziti. It will melt better and will not be as greasy. The cheese melts smoother and all around tastes better.
  • Cook the pasta al dente – You do not want to over cook the pasta or it will be mushy.
  • Spaghetti Sauce – You can use spaghetti sauce or make your own sauce. We like it pretty sauce but you can use less or more if you prefer.
easy pasta bake on a plate

Recipe Variations:

  • Pasta – We used rigatoni pasta in this recipe, but you can use ziti or penne pasta as these types of noodles work great with this pasta sauce.
  • Change the Meat – We used ground beef in this recipe, but you can easily use Italian Sausage, ground turkey, or pork for this recipe. We have even mixed Italian Sausage and Ground Beef together to give it more flavor.
  • Tomato sauce – If you prefer a thinner consistency add a can of tomato sauce to the recipe. You could also used diced tomatoes. You can also use marinara sauce for a delicious variations.
  • Add Vegetables – Bell peppers and mushrooms add even more flavor. You can add it to the meat as it browns or just toss them in the slow cooker. The vegetables get really tender. I really like to be able to sneak in vegetables in this pasta bake.
  • Sour Cream – For a delicious creamy flavor, mix in sour cream in with the meat sauce for amazing flavor.
  • Bread Crumbs – Top the pasta bake with bread crumbs for an amazing crunchy flavor.
  • Add some heat – If you like a little extra spice to the meat blend then we can mix in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
easy pasta bake on a plate

How to Store Leftovers:

Place leftovers inside an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 5 days. We like to store in individual containers so it is a quick lunch the next day.

If you need it to last longer, freeze the leftovers up to 3 months. Just make sure to use a really good freezer container that seals tightly.

When ready to serve, allow it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then reheat in the microwave until heated through.

Easy pasta bake in a baking dish with a wooden spoon

Easy Pasta Bake:

If you are looking for recipe that is the ultimate comfort food, then this easy bake pasta dish is the one to make. This Italian Pasta Bake is easy to make and the ingredients are simple too.

My family loves this recipe so much that they request this over mac and cheese. This is the perfect recipe to make for an easy weeknight meal or to feed a crowd.

Serve with a side of garlic bread and salad for a complete meal idea.

Easy pasta bake in a baking dish with a wooden spoon

Print Baked Pasta Recipe below:

Easy Pasta Bake Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Easy Pasta Bake comes together in minutes with lots of hearty beef, cheese and more. This is freezer friendly, inexpensive and all around a great meal! 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8
Cuisine Italian
Course Main Course
Calories 477
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Rigatoni
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can Spaghetti Sauce (24 oz can)
  • 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.
  • Brown beef in a large skillet over medium high heat with onion and seasonings.
  • Drain grease from meat. Stir in the spaghetti sauce to skillet and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  • Drain pasta. Spray 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Layer ½ of the pasta, ½ the sauce mix in the pan. Then top with ½ of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering process. Top the casserole with the grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes. Then it's ready to cut, serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
You can also use Penne Pasta or Ziti pasta instead of Rigatoni pasta if you prefer.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 477kcal, Carbohydrates 49g, Protein 25g, Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 65mg, Sodium 822mg, Potassium 576mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 5g, Vitamin A 592IU, Vitamin C 7mg, Calcium 212mg, Iron 3mg

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Easy pasta bake in a baking dish with a wooden spoon

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Easy Pasta Bake comes together in minutes with hearty beef, cheese and more. This is freezer friendly, inexpensive and a great meal. This delicious Italian dinner is so easy and can be whipped up in just minutes. Your family will love this meal and you will love how simple it is. #eatingonadime #pastabake #homemadepastabake #easypastabake
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