20 Best Baked Pasta Recipes

Bubbling Casseroles Galore

Vegetarian Baked Pasta

The Spruce

Even 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 sauce, melty and browned cheese, and crisp-tender vegetables? And because many of them lend themselves well to making ahead, they work great for weeknight dinners, meal prep, or even a simple dish to serve a crowd.

When baking a pasta dish, undercook the pasta just slightly, since it will absorb liquid from the sauce while it bakes in the oven. Also, let the casserole stand for five to 10 minutes after you pull it out of the oven. That gives it time to set up and for the sauce to distribute evenly, and lets it cool just a bit before that first luxurious bite.

  • 01 of 20

    Five-Ingredient Vegetarian Baked Pasta

    Basic oven baked pasta recipe

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 

    This quick and easy baked pasta uses only five ingredients and lends itself well to customization. Try making your own marinara sauce, adding your favorite veggies, or some ground beef or sausage if you eat meat. Any shaped pasta works well, so use what you have on hand.

  • 02 of 20

    Oven-Baked Pasta with Spinach

    spinach and ricotta pasta

    The Spruce 

    If you have the goods for stuffed shells but don't want to do all that work, this oven-baked pasta casserole with spinach tastes very similar. Spinach adds some nutritious greens, and its satisfying flavor will get both kids and adults asking for seconds.

  • 03 of 20

    Pastitsio Baked Pasta Casserole

    Pastitsio baked pasta with meat recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

    This Greek pasta casserole combines spiced ground beef or lamb, macaroni, and a creamy bechamel sauce for a hearty, filling dish that tastes sort of like the Mediterranean answer to goulash. Each layer does require some work, but the luscious, warming result will be well worth the effort.

  • 04 of 20

    Butternut Squash Lasagna

    Butternut Squash Lasagna

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo

    This autumnal twist on lasagna swaps out the red sauce for a creamy white bechamel that complements the sweet, toasty flavor of roasted butternut squash. If you can't find fresh noodles, just substitute boiled dry noodles instead.

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  • 05 of 20

    Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

    browned and finished chicken alfredo lasagna

    The Spruce Eats / Morgan Walker 

    Get the flavor of chicken alfredo in a bubbly baked dish with this chicken alfredo lasagna. It comes together in less than an hour and also freezes well, so you can make it ahead. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before baking from frozen.

  • 06 of 20

    Pork and Noodle Bake

    pork and noodle bake

     The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    If you have a pork loin but don't want to whip up the sides to go with, dice and toss it into this pork and noodle bake that will feed the whole family. You can also use leftover pork in this recipe; just skip the browning step. Assemble it a day ahead of time and keep it in the fridge before baking for a make-ahead meal.

  • 07 of 20

    Loaded Pizza Noodle Casserole

    Loaded Pizza Pasta Casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Split the difference between pizza and pasta with this filling ground beef and noodle casserole. It makes enough to bring to a potluck and reheats well, so don't worry about preparing it for a small family either. Use 85 percent or leaner ground beef to avoid a greasy dish.

  • 08 of 20

    Meaty Baked Ziti

    Meaty Ziti Bake

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This classic baked ziti casserole includes both Italian sausage and ground beef for a real meat-lovers dinner. Serve with garlic bread and a tossed green salad for a delicious Italian meal.

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  • 09 of 20

    Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta Casserole

    Chicken, Cheddar, and Bacon Casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    With both cheddar and American cheeses, smoky bacon, and chicken, this pasta casserole tastes like the casserole answer to your favorite club sandwich. Mini penne works great in this recipe, but any small shaped pasta can also swap in just fine.

  • 10 of 20

    Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

    buffalo chicken mac and cheese

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    No need to order wings with this creamy, spicy Buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese dish. Adjust the spice level to suit your heat tolerance by adding more hot sauce and cayenne or dialing it back if you aren't so much of a heat seeker. Adding blue cheese to the breadcrumbs gives it extra punch, but parmesan works too if that's what you have available.

  • 11 of 20

    Beefy Spaghetti Pie

    Spaghetti Pie

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This meaty spaghetti casserole goes in a deep-dish pie plate or casserole dish and comes out bubbly, cheesy, and so delicious. Use jarred marinara sauce for a quick and easy weeknight meal, or make your own sauce to customize it.

  • 12 of 20

    Chicken and Kale Pasta Casserole

    Pasta, Chicken, and Kale Casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Sneak some veggies into your family's diet with this chicken and pasta casserole that features chopped kale. Swiss chard or spinach would also work. Any small shaped pasta like macaroni or ziti would also taste great if you can't find casarecce.

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  • 13 of 20

    Leftover Ham and Pasta Casserole

    Penne, Ham, and Pea Casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    If you have leftover ham to use up, this baked pasta casserole will turn it into something fresh. Diced ham and peas are tossed with cheddar cheese and penne pasta for a one-dish dinner that will please the whole clan.

  • 14 of 20

    Baked Turkey Tetrazzini

    turkey tetrazzini on a plate
    The Spruce

    Turkey tetrazzini makes a classic post-Thanksgiving dinner for a reason: It turns leftover diced turkey into a creamy, filling dish thanks to the addition of cheese, a sherry sauce, and cream of mushroom soup. If you don't care for mushrooms, any other creamed soup would also work.

  • 15 of 20

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Baked macaroni and cheese casserole

    The Spruce 

    Put down the blue box and make this bubbling, oh-so-cheesy macaroni casserole that will hit the spot when a cheese craving hits. It's the ultimate comfort food and reheats well for leftovers. It also tastes great with bacon, some diced veggies, or other mix-ins.

  • 16 of 20

    Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

    Tuna Noodle Casserole

    The Spruce

    Tuna, pasta, cheese, and peas combine for a traditional casserole that has lasted the ages because it tastes so good. Best of all, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry ready to go. Use any condensed soup you have on hand if mushrooms aren't your thing.

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  • 17 of 20

    Chicken a la King Pasta Casserole

    Chicken a la king casserole
    The Spruce

    With pimentos, celery, and a creamy sauce, this pasta casserole has all the flavors of chicken a la king but in a single baked dish. It's a great potluck contribution, or an easy family meal that both freezes and reheats with ease.

  • 18 of 20

    Perfect Spinach Lasagna

    Perfect Spinach Lasagna

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Adding spinach to your classic red sauce lasagna gives it extra vitamins, some color, and a delicious texture. Plenty of cheese, tomatoes, and pasta gives this Italian favorite all of the elements of a perfect weekend project.

  • 19 of 20

    Turkey, Ham and Swiss Pasta Bake

    Turkey, Ham, and Swiss Cheese Casserole

     The Spruce

    Ham, turkey, and swiss cheese give this pasta bake a flavor similar to chicken cordon bleu, as well as a creaminess that will really hit the spot on a chilly evening. Toasted breadcrumbs add a lovely crunch.

  • 20 of 20

    Mom's Goulash

    Bowl of Mom's American Chop Suey on a cutting board

    The Spruce 

    Goulash, or American chop suey, is a classic comfort food that combines macaroni, tomatoes, and ground beef. This recipe makes a big batch so you can make enough to share or to enjoy all week. Extra garlic gives it some oomph.