This Rigatoni recipe is the best cheesy, hot pasta bake! Made with pasta, sausage, marinara, and gooey provolone, mozzarella, and parmesan! This easy dinner is a family favorite.
This recipe is adult AND kid approved. Perfectly cooked pasta, swimming in marinara sauce, sausage, and baked with three kinds of cheese.
What’s not to love?!
What is rigatoni?
Rigatoni is a short, wide, tube-shaped pasta that is smooth on the inside but has ridges going lengthwise across the outside.
It is similar to penne but wider and cut straight across as opposed to at an angle. The wider tube shape and ridges makes rigatoni perfect for thicker, chunkier sauces!
Today, we’re making a baked rigatoni by tossing cooked rigatoni noodles with Italian sausage, onion, and sauce then baking it in a casserole dish topped with three types of cheese!
- Unsalted Butter – used to cook the sausage and onion.
- Italian Sausage – use hot Italian sausage for extra spice or sweet if you’re serving this to those with heat sensitivities.
- Yellow Onion – adds a sweet, caramel-y flavor.
- Garlic – gives that subtle nuttiness.
- Salt and Pepper – enhances other flavors and adds a bit of spice.
- Pasta Sauce – use your favorite jarred variety to keep this recipe quick and easy.
- Rigatoni Pasta – cooked 2 minutes less than al dente according to package directions. If you’re out of rigatoni, try penne instead!
- Sour Cream – adds a creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor to balance out the richness of the pasta sauce.
- Provolone Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, and Parmesan Cheese – a delicious blend of cheeses that gives the rigatoni a creamy, salty flavor and ooey gooey texture.
How to make
This easy pasta dinner only takes 15 minutes to prep! Perfect for those busy school nights!
- Melt butter in a large skillet then add in sausage, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and the sausage is cooked through.
- Add in your pasta sauce then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Mix in cooked pasta.
- Spread 1/2 of the rigatoni mixture evenly in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Layer with 1/2 of the provolone, 1/2 of the sour cream, and 1/2 of the mozzarella then repeat the layers once more (pasta, provolone, sour cream, mozzarella.)
- Top with grated parmesan, bake, then serve and enjoy!
What meat to use
Italian sausage is the best meat to use for rigatoni. I use hot Italian sausage but, if you don’t love spice, sweet Italian sausage will work too!
If you want to use a different meat entirely feel free to do that, although you may have to adjust the seasonings to compensate.
Try ground beef, ground turkey, or even a meatless variety of either! You could also whip up a batch of my homemade spaghetti bolognese so both your sauce AND your meat are taken care of!
- Make your own sauce. Whip up a batch of homemade pasta sauce or use my homemade spaghetti bolognese recipe.
- Use a different meat. Try my homemade healthy turkey bolognese recipe.
- Make it vegetarian. Leave out the Italian sausage or use a meatless variety.
What to serve with rigatoni
- Garlic Bread, Dinner Rolls, Breadsticks
- Caesar Salad or Green Salad with Italian Dressing
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
How to store
Store leftover rigatoni in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or bake until warmed through.
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage can use sweet Italian sausage, if preferred
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more to taste, if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste, if desired
- 1 (23 oz) jar pasta sauce
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta cooked 2 minutes less than al dente, according to box directions
- 1 (8 oz) package provolone cheese slices
- 1 (16 oz) container sour cream
- 1 (8 oz) block mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a deep 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet.
- Once melted, add in sausage, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper,
- Cook, breaking up the meat as you go, until the onions are soft and the sausage is no longer pink.
- Stir in the jar of pasta sauce, then pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the cooked pasta.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary.
- Spread 1/2 of the rigatoni mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Layer with 1/2 of the provolone cheese slices.
- Dollop then spread out 1/2 of the sour cream on top of the cheese.
- Sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella.
- Repeat the layers.
- Top with grated parmesan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the cheeses are melted and the dish is heated through.
- Serve and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.