This baked rigatoni recipe has Italian sausage, marinara sauce, four kinds of cheese, and feeds a crowd. It's simple to make and super comforting!
If you're a fan of Baked Ziti, it's likely that you will also enjoy this rigatoni pasta bake. There's something special about baked pasta... it just warms you right up, and that layer of cheese on top can't be beat. I also included some ricotta cheese inside, so this recipe is a cheese lover's delight. 🙂
This baked rigatoni with sausage feeds a crowd (6-8 portions) and leftovers are delicious too. It can be on your dinner table in about an hour.
Recipe notes & tips:
- I recommend using a fairly deep 9x13 (or similar size casserole/lasagna) dish since rigatoni isn't the most compact pasta.
- Try swapping the sausage for ground beef if you want to change it up a little.
- I used a 5-pack of Johnsonville mild Italian sausages (17.6 ounces). Anything around that weight of sausage meat will work. Use hot Italian sausages for more kick!
- You can use another tomato-based pasta sauce instead of marinara. Vodka sauce or arrabbiata sauce would go great.
- You can skip the ricotta cheese if you like. In that case, I'd just mix all the pasta with all the sauce in step 6.
- Don't have rigatoni? You can swap for another kind of pasta. Try penne.
- Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in a covered saucepan over a fairly low heat. You can always add in a little more marinara sauce if it's dried out a bit.
- Make ahead tips:
- Assemble it up to a day ahead, refrigerate, then bake according to recipe below (you may need to add a few more minutes onto bake time to ensure the middle is nice and hot).
- To freeze: assemble it in the casserole dish and then cover it tightly and freeze it for up to 3 months. You may want to add a little more sauce if you're planning on freezing it. Thaw for 24 hours in the fridge, then bake it as directed. If you need to bake it from frozen, it'll take a bit longer, so bake it (covered with foil) until the middle is hot, then broil the cheese at the end. Don't put a freezing cold ceramic casserole dish straight in the oven, though, as there's a chance it'll crack. I'd let it warm up a bit on the counter first.
What to serve with this rigatoni pasta bake?
You can't go wrong with some cheesy garlic bread or knots or a side salad.
Other baked pastas to try:
- Easy Baked Penne with Sausage
- Cheesy Baked Ravioli
- Pizza Pasta Bake
- Million Dollar Spaghetti
- Easy Baked Spaghetti
Will you make this rigatoni bake recipe? Questions? Talk to me in the comments below.
- 1 pound uncooked rigatoni pasta
- 17.6 ounces/500g Italian sausages crumbled
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 3 cups (24 oz.) marinara sauce
- 8 ounces ricotta
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook it 2 minutes less than package directions indicate. Once it's done, drain it and add it back to the pot it was cooked in and set aside.
- Meanwhile, take the sausage meat out of its casings and add it, along with the onion, to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook it for about 10 minutes, breaking it up with your spoon as you go along and stirring occasionally, until it's cooked.
- To the skillet, stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes, then continue cooking it for another minute or so. Spoon out most of the excess fat.
- To the skillet, stir in the marinara sauce and warm it through for a few minutes.
- To the pot with the pasta, add in about 1/2 of the skillet sausage/sauce mixture and give it a stir. Transfer it to a 9x13 baking/casserole dish and spread it in an even layer.
- Add the ricotta (I just use a spoon to dollop it on) to the pasta, and then sprinkle the parmesan over top.
- Spoon the rest of the sausage/meat mixture over top the pasta.
- Add the cheddar and mozza in an even layer over top the pasta.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, and then broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese (watch it carefully). Let sit for about 5 minutes prior to serving, then enjoy!
- Serves 6-8 depending on how much people eat/if you serve it with a side.
- I used a 5-pack of Johnsonville mild Italian sausages. Feel free to use ground sausage meat or anything in the ballpark of 17.6 ounces.
- I used 2 cups of a shredded mozza/cheddar blend to save time, but feel free to grate your own cheeses.
- See blog post for process photos.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.