This baked rigatoni with Italian sausage is perfect to make when you’re craving a hearty, rich casserole. It has tangy marinara sauce, cheesy mozzarella, and zesty Italian sausage. Plus, there are only 5 ingredients in this rigatoni recipe! And, this easy rigatoni pasta dish is ready to serve in just 30 minutes.
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Easy Baked Rigatoni
I love making simple comfort dishes like this on busy weeknights!
For ease, use a stove to oven cast iron skillet (like a Staub casserole) to make this baked rigatoni. A 3-4 quart size is ideal for stove-to-oven meals.
Not only can you cook the sausage in it, but it goes straight into the oven to bake the rigatoni. You can also use a deep, oven-safe skillet or dutch oven for this rigatoni pasta bake.
Ingredients and Substitutions
There are only 5 simple, wholesome ingredients in this easy rigatoni recipe. Using store-bought pasta sauce saves you a ton of time. And you can purchase pre-sliced mozzarella for an even faster version.
Here is what ingredients you need:
- Pasta – I like using Barilla gluten-free pasta for this recipe because it’s easy to find and has a great texture. But you can use regular rigatoni if you prefer. If you can’t find rigatoni in the store, penne is fine to substitute.
- Meat – We used Italian sausage as the main meat for this recipe. You can use mild or spicy depending on your taste. You can also substitute the sausage for ground beef or turkey. For a vegetarian Baked Rigatoni, you can leave out the sausage or swap it with a meat-free sausage substitution.
- Sauce – Jarred pasta sauce is the perfect time saver for this recipe. You can use your favorite store-bought sauce or make your own homemade marinara sauce in minutes with this quick marinara sauce recipe.
- Cheese – We used fresh mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese. But you can also use shredded mozzarella, provolone, or cheddar.
Kitchen Tools Needed
- Large skillet
- Casserole dish
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How to Make Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage
Start to finish this fantastically easy recipe only takes about 30 minutes to make.
1. First, preheat your oven to 350º degrees.
2. Next, cook the Italian sausage. Remove the sausages from the casing and cook them like ground beef to create a perfectly meaty pasta sauce.
If you want to leave them intact: cook them whole in a skillet with 1″ of water. Cook the sausages until they reach 160º degrees, let cool, and then slice thinly.
3. While the sausage is cooking, start making the pasta. Fill a large stockpot with water, add salt, and set to boil.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. I use the lowest of the range on the instructions listed on the box or bag. If it says to cook for 8-10 minutes, then cook the rigatoni pasta for 8 minutes.
The baking process will continue to cook the pasta.
4. Next, stir the pasta sauce into the sausage. Add the pasta to a casserole dish or your skillet (if you’re baking in that). Pour the pasta sauce over and stir.
5. Nestle the mozzarella cheese throughout the pasta and sausage. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden on top.
And then just like that, it’s ready to serve for dinner!
See Below for the Complete Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage Recipe!
This baked rigatoni is great for meal prepping as a make-ahead dish. To freeze for later:
- Use a freezer safe, oven safe casserole dish.
- After baking, let the casserole cool completely. Then cover with an airtight lid or cover completely with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Then thaw and bake according to recipe directions to reheat.
Leftovers will stay delicious for up to 3 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
What to serve with Baked Pasta Casseroles
Serve this rigatoni pasta recipe with a crisp green salad like my kale salad with tahini dressing or cowboy salad. Make easy homemade French bread or sourdough French bread for a tasty side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely. After cooking the pasta, just mix in the other ingredients. Stir well, allowing the cheeses to melt. Then serve.
Yes, you can substitute penne for rigatoni in this recipe. You can also use ziti, mostaccioli, or any other pasta you have on hand.
Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage
- large skillet
- Casserole dish
- 16 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 16 ounces Italian sausage
- 1 jar (26 ounces) pasta sauce
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
- Fill a stockpot with about 6 quarts of water, for the pasta. Heat on high until boiling.
- In a skillet, brown the sausage. Drain off visible fat. Preheat oven to 350°.
- Add pasta to boiling, salted water and cook according to directions. Drain.
- Mix the pasta and sausage together in the baking dish. Pour over the pasta sauce. Evenly nestle the mozzarella cheese balls throughout the casserole. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. See notes below to serve this without baking.
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, until the top is bubbly and golden. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
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