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Ever since I made my first rigatoni casserole, I’ve loved having a rich, cheesy pasta bake for dinner. If you enjoy rigatoni dishes, too, you are in luck! We have rounded up over 20 of the best of the best in rigatoni pasta recipes. Whether you are looking for baked rigatoni with sausage, an easy rigatoni recipe, or a simple pasta bake, you’ll find a delicious dish for dinner tonight.
Pasta dishes are comfort foods, and rigatoni is no exception. They come in all shapes and sizes, but all fulfill that need for warm pasta covered in a rich tomato pasta sauce and baked.
It’s an easy weeknight dinner that can be pulled together quickly. So you can have dinner on the table in only a few steps.
What’S Covered in This post:
- What’s A Pasta Bake?
- Different Types of Rigatoni Dishes
- What Makes an Easy Baked Rigatoni Recipe
- Rigatoni Pasta Substitutes
- 20+ Delicious Rigatoni Pasta Recipes
- Sausage Rigatoni
- Beef Rigatoni
- Chicken Pasta
- Fish Pasta
- Meatless Pasta Bake Recipes
- Other Types of Rigatoni
- Freezing and Reheating Pasta Casseroles
- Get More Pasta Recipes
What’s A Pasta Bake?
Rigatoni dishes all have a general concept that can be changed and recreated to make something new and fun.
Traditional baked rigatoni recipes are made by boiling pasta on medium-high heat until it is al dente. Then, move the drained pasta to a separate bowl. Next, add olive oil to a hot pan and cook the Italian sausage, ground beef, or vegetables. Add spices like salt and pepper.
Pour the tomato sauce, meat sauce, or marinara sauce into the meat or vegetables and add the pasta. Put the entire mixture into a baking dish and top with mozzarella or parmesan cheese. Bake it in the oven until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Carefully transfer the baked rigatoni to a rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before digging in.
Different Types of Rigatoni Dishes
Rigatoni pasta recipes range all over with creative ideas in every food group. You can cook rigatoni in many different ways. These recipes are so much fun because they show all the ways to make this delicious dish.
Some examples of what you’ll find are meatless dishes, made in an instant pot, with sausage, and with chicken. Also with added vegetables, bacon, beef, fish, and so much more.
What Makes an Easy Baked Rigatoni Recipe
Baked rigatoni recipes are so easy to make because they only require a few ingredients. There are minimal dishes and sometimes just one if you’re using an instant pot. Then they’re baked to beautifully bubbliness at the end. What can be easier than that?!
Rigatoni Pasta Substitutes
There are all kinds of pasta variations and substitutes you can use when making these easy rigatoni pasta recipes. Here are some options:
Pasta: You can change the pasta to any medium-sized pasta you’d like. Some examples are penne, campanelle, shells, orecchiette, or farfalle. You can even cut the pasta out altogether and use zucchini noodles or gluten-free noodles.
Vegetables: Classic rigatoni doesn’t include vegetables, but you can add them! Some options are mushrooms, zucchini, basil, eggplant, spinach, broccoli, or bell peppers.
Meat: Most baked rigatoni recipes are with Italian sausage. Some other ideas are ground beef, bacon, sausage links, chicken (shredded, cubed, ground), pork (shredded or cubed). If meat isn’t your thing, you can cut it out altogether and add extra vegetables.
Cooking method: While baking is the most common way of cooking rigatoni, you can also make it in the instant pot or slow cooker.
20+ Delicious Rigatoni Pasta Recipes
Meatless Pasta Bake Recipes
Other Types of Rigatoni
Freezing and Reheating Pasta Casseroles
Freeze pasta casserole leftovers easily with these directions (adapted from AllRecipe’s article on freezing and reheating):
- Once the rigatoni casserole has cooled, portion it into meal-sized containers or packages.
- Label and date the containers.
- Place them in a single layer in the coldest area of your freezer until completely frozen.
- I recommend reusing it within 3 months.
To reheat the rigatoni pasta recipe, let the frozen dish thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, cover it with foil and reheat in the oven at 350º for about 20-30 minutes or until the center of it reaches 165ºF.
Get More Pasta Recipes
- Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Classic Lasagna
- Instant Pot Lasagna Soup
- Mac N Cheese
- Instant Pot Ravioli Lasagna
- Instant Pot Chili Mac with Cheese
Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage
- large skillet
- Casserole dish
- 16 oz rigatoni pasta
- 16 oz Italian sausage
- 1 jar (26 oz) pasta sauce
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 4 oz 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.