This easy Italian sausage pasta bake is a beloved recipe here in my house! I know it will be gone in a matter of seconds. This sausage pasta bake is truly a comforting dish that I hope will become a favorite of yours too!
I love any sort of baked pasta, especially if it has lots of cheese! Today, my blogger friends and I are sharing lots of cheesy recipes because it’s National Cheese Lovers day. Today is a good day.
This super easy Italian sausage pasta bake is seriously to die for. Cheesy goodness, tender penne pasta, delicious marinara, and Italian sausage. Pasta bake recipes are always a great idea to feed a crowd, and because it all goes into one baking dish, it’s very easy to make and serve. I always bring this easy Italian sausage pasta bake to potlucks or events, and trust me, it’s usually gone within minutes!
What Is in This Easy Sausage Pasta Bake?
Let’s talk about the Italian sausage pasta bake ingredients just to give you an idea of how delicious this is!
- penne pasta
- marinara sauce
- Italian sausage
- dried Italian seasoning
- mozzarella cheese
- parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
I like that this is a three-cheese baked pasta. Ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Three of my favorite cheeses together! UHH…heaven!
What Types of Pasta to Use in a Pasta Bake
I usually make pasta bakes with penne or rigatoni. I think they are the perfect size and shape for the sauce to cling onto, which is super important. You want every bite to have a good pasta to sauce ratio.
Other pasta types I’d recommend are cavatappi, rotini, and ziti.
How to Make Cheesy Italian Sausage Pasta Bake
I’ll summarize it in a few easy steps
- Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the sausage in a large deep skillet, breaking it up into small chunks. Add garlic for extra flavor.
- Add 2 jars (24 oz jars) of your favorite marinara sauce and seasonings. I like to use the traditional marinara sauce. Simmer about 10 minutes.
- Ladle about 2/3 of the sauce onto the pasta. Toss to combine.
- Spoon some of the remaining sauce onto a 9×13 baking dish and spread evenly.
- Pour the prepared pasta onto the pan. Top with remaining sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan.
- Loosely cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then, broil 1-3 minutes until golden brown.
Below are some photos of the Italian sausage pasta bake assembly process:
Can You Make Baked Pasta Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! Follow these guidelines to assemble the Italian sausage pasta bake:
- let the sauce cool down a before adding it to the pasta
- assemble the pasta dish and cover with foil before refrigerating it overnight
- before baking, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate all that cheesy goodness? Perfectly baked, perfectly cheesy…man, National Cheese Lovers Day is a very good day, indeed.
And if you can’t enough, here are some other cheese recipes on the blog:
I hope you like this recipe! My family loved it, and we had plenty of leftovers. Happy cooking!
And don’t forget to pin this recipe 🙂
Easy Italian Sausage Pasta Bake
- 1 pound penne pasta (see note)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 pounds ground Italian sausage (removed from casings)
- 2 (24 oz) jars your favorite marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large pot with salted water, cook penne according to instructions, until al dente. Drain and transfer pasta back into the pot.
- On a large deep skillet, add sausage and cook about 5-8 minutes, breaking up the meat into small chunks. Drain any excess fat. Make some room in the skillet, and add some olive oil and the garlic. Sauté a few minutes and mix with the sausage.
- Add marinara sauce, Kosher salt, black pepper, basil, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 8 minutes, covered.
- Ladle about 3/4 of the sauce onto the pot with pasta. Toss to combine.
- Spread some of the remaining sauce onto a 9x13 baking pan. Transfer the prepared penne with sauce onto the pan.
- Spoon over ricotta on top, roughly smoothing it over, and pushing some of it down. Top with remaining sauce. Then, top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Loosely cover pan with foil, making sure that the foil is not directly touching the cheese, if possible.
- Bake about 30 minutes. Then broil 1-3 minutes until golden brown. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn! Top with more basil and serve.
- Instead of penne, you can also use rigatoni, ziti, or rotini.