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Weeknight Pasta Bake

Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author www.monicaswanson.com


  • 1 package 16 ounces uncooked rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef. optional.
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 container 15 ounces ricotta cheese (can substitute small curd cottage cheese, blended well.)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 1/4 cup for topping
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 jars marinara sauce of choice 26 oz. each.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped finely.
  • 2-3 cups 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • fresh basil
  • Optional, chopped vegetables, and your favorite seasonings


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray 13X9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
  4. In a large skillet coated with cooking spray or oil, cooked onion until soft.
  5. Add meat and cook well.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt and pepper, and basil.
  7. Add marinara sauce to your ground meat, and spread 1/2 of mixture over bottom of prepared pan; spoon half of cooked pasta over sauce. Top with half of ricotta mixture and 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers of marinara sauce, pasta and ricotta mixture.
  8. Top with remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella.
  9. Cover with foil; bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly. Uncover and bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is completely melted. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with fresh parmesan cheese.