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Rigatoni Pasta Bake

Prep Time:

15 Minutes

Cook Time:

40 Minutes





About the Recipe

This Rigatoni Pasta Bake is an easy weeknight dinner that’ll make everyone at the table happy! Tender rigatoni is tossed in a flavorful meat sauce and gets baked to perfection beneath a blanket of both parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Make ahead and freezer friendly!


  • 1 lb lean ground beef

  • 1 medium onion diced

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼-½ teaspoon red chili flakes (according to your tastes)

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 5 cups tomato pasta sauce roughly 2 jars

  • 500 grams Rigatoni pasta about 1 lb

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

  • fresh parsley to garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, stir and cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until browned and onions have softened. Drain any juices released.

  2. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, red chili flakes and pepper and cook for 1 minute.

  3. Add the pasta sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Set aside.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add rigatoni, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook just until al dente (it will continue to cook slightly in the oven).

  5. Reserve ½ cup pasta water and drain pasta. Stir reserved pasta water into meat sauce.

  6. Combine pasta and pasta sauce in a saucepan. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13″ or similar baking dish.

  7. Cover with a lightly greased piece of foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until heated through.

  8. **Optionally, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Bake at 350 degrees F until heated through, about 30-40 minutes.

  9. Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake an additional 10 minutes (or broil 2-3 minutes), until the cheese has started to brown.

Ingredients and Substitutions:

Ground Beef: feel free to swap the ground beef for ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy according to your tastes), or ground pork, chicken or turkey.

Vegetables: onion provides a great flavor base for our sauce, but this is also a great time to add in other vegetables. Finely chopped or shredded carrots, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, celery and more are great additions. You can also stir some spinach into the sauce after simmering.

Rigatoni: this recipe works just as well with any cut of pasta! Feel free to use what you have on hand. I often use a whole grain variety.

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