Top 6 Baked Pasta Recipes

Just the term "baked pasta" sounds warm and comforting, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want to dig into a bubbling casserole filled with tender pasta, rich tomato sauce, melty and browned cheese, and crisp-tender vegetables? These recipes are perfect for dinner in the middle of the week or for entertaining. They can easily be made ahead of time and leftovers, believe me, are a treat.

There are just two tricks to these recipes: undercook the pasta just slightly, since it will absorb liquid from the sauce while it's baking in the oven. And let the casserole stand for five to ten minutes after you pull it out of the oven. That way it will set up and serve beautifully, and the molten sauce and cheese will cool a bit before you take the first luscious bite.

  • 01 of 06

    Meatball Mac and Cheese

    Meatballs and Rotini in a Mushroom Béchamel Sauce
    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    Combine meatballs with mac and cheese for a hearty and delicious recipe that everyone will love. You can use your favorite cheeses in this easy casserole; We did!

  • 02 of 06

    Baked Tortellini With Three Sauces

    Tortellini in Tomato Sauce
    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    We came up with this recipe one cold night when we wanted to use pasta sauce, pesto, and Alfredo sauce all in one recipe. It was the most comforting thing we could think of! And it's spectacular.

  • 03 of 06

    Creamy Stuffed Shells

    Stuffed shells

     

    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    This easy vegetarian main dish recipe is satisfying and hearty. The shells are so fun to stuff; get your kids to help! Make it ahead of time and refrigerate up to two days; then just pop it in the oven and enjoy.

  • 04 of 06

    Red and White Tortellini

    Tortellini In Three Colors
    DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images

    This recipe is so easy that even your non-cooking spouse can make it. It takes about five minutes to put together; then it just bakes in the oven to cheesy and creamy perfection.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

    spaghetti and meatballs
    rez-art / Getty Images

    Something wonderful happens to spaghetti when you bake it with a sauce. It absorbs the flavors of the sauce, and the acid in the tomatoes keeps the spaghetti at the perfect texture. You can use frozen precooked meatballs in this easy recipe, or make your own.

  • 06 of 06

    Pesto Meatballs With Orzo

    Food ingredients. Raw risoni pasta
    photosimysia / Getty Images

    We love pesto, and meatballs, and orzo. So put them all together in a casserole with Alfredo sauce, sour cream, and cheese for a fabulous recipe everyone will love.