A quick creamy tomato sauce, tender noodles topped with lots of cheese; this pasta bake casseroles is a cinch to put together.
Meatless Monday just got more delicious (or you can add in some sausage or shredded chicken if you’d like)! With heaps of flavor and super simple prep, everyone loves this dish.
Easy Pasta Bake
We are absolutely loving this recipe right now because not only is it super easy to make, but the ingredients are often on hand for me!
Who doesn’t love a creamy tomatoey, cheesy pasta dish? It’s a favorite with the kids, and hearty enough to satisfy those big appetites!
Ingredients & Variations
The basics for this recipe are pasta, marinara, cream and loads of cheese!
PASTA I used penne in this recipe, but any medium pasta will work great.
SEASONINGS Garlic, Italian seasoning, and fresh basil are all added to this dish. Feel free to add any other spices you’d like!
CHEESE Shredded Mozzarella is added to the top of the casserole and baked until golden brown. A perfect addition!
VARIATIONS Feel free to add a layer of cooked ground beef or ground Italian sausage for a meatier version of this casserole! Or add a layer of zucchini or eggplant for some extra color, texture, and nutrition! Why not add a layer of frozen mixed veggies or some sliced mushrooms, too?
How to Make a Creamy Pasta Bake
This is a one and done deal, super easy and ready in no time!
- Cook pasta to al dente and drain.
- Saute onion with garlic and Italian seasoning. Stir in cream and marinara, simmer.
- Stir pasta and sauce in a casserole dish. Add the cheese and bake until melted and bubbly!
For a basil garnish on the top, lay basil leaves one on top of the other and roll them up from one end to the other. Slice thinly from one end to the other until the basil looks like ribbons. This is called chiffonade and is a very popular way to garnish with basil! Try it!
Tips for Success
- If using ground meat in a pasta cheese bake, pre-cook and drain it before adding to the casserole dish.
- Use finely shredded mozzarella cheese so it melts quickly and evenly.
- To brown the cheese, broil for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly.
Other Delicious Pasta Dishes
- Easy Homemade Lasagna – great for leftovers
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Creamy Baked Tortellini – with a cheesy white sauce
- Fusilli with Meat Sauce
- Chicken Alfredo Bake – great freezer dish
Did your family love this Creamy Tomato Pasta Bake? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Creamy Tomato Pasta Bake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook pasta in salted water al dente according to the package directions and drain.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning and cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add cream, tomatoes and marinara sauce. Simmer 2 minutes.
- Place pasta in a 9x13 pan. Add sauce and toss to combine.
- Top with shredded cheese and bake 20-25 minutes or until hot and cheese is bubbly.
- Remove from the oven, cool 5 minutes and top with fresh herbs.