Let’s face it – no one really wants to cook dinner after a long day at work. You’re tired, stressed out, and ready to chill out and relax. What if I told you you could make a wholesome dinner in about the time it takes to go get fast food.
This easy pasta bake recipe is one of the recipes that is a go-to recipe in our house. I was allowed to cook when I was a kid, usually with adult supervision. Around 6th grade or so, I just decided that I’d start making dinner. I made a lot of these types of decisions – good or bad! This easy pasta bake recipe was one of the things that I went to often.
It’s quick, easy, and tasty. Make a double batch and freeze one for a night when you don’t feel like cooking.
- 8 oz. Italian Sausage (you can sub ground beef, turkey or omit completely)
- 8 oz. Sliced Mushrooms ( if you don’t like ‘em, leave them out)
- 1 Chopped Onion
- 1 jar Marinara Sauce
- 12 oz Short Pasta (Rotelle, Ziti, Penne, etc)
- 8 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, shredded
- Start your water boiling for your Pasta in a large pot. When it comes to a boil, add pasta, and turn down heat to a simmer. Let cook per the package directions, usually about 10 minutes. When finished cooking, drain the water and put the pasta back in the pan.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, break up sausage and begin to brown over medium high heat. As sausage starts to cook, add mushrooms and onion to skillet. Cook sausage and veggies until the mushrooms and onions are nicely sautéed and the sausage has cooked through and is lightly browned. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain it away (I didn’t have any, but you don’t want a greasy casserole!)
- Pour the jar of sauce into the pasta; stir gently to combine. Add the meat mushroom mixture, and stir gently to combine.
- Pour half of the mixture into a 9 x 9 pan or 2 quart casserole dish. It really isn’t important what pan it’s in, as long as you can make 2 layers of the pasta mixture. I made mine in 2 individual ramekins (classy!) plus a 6 x 9 lidded foil pan from the dollar store (to put in the freezer for later).
- Once you have the first layer in the pan(s), sprinkle the surface with about ⅔ of the shredded Mozzarella Cheese. Cover the cheese with the remaining pasta mixture.
- Top with the remaining Mozzarella; sprinkle lightly with the Parmesan Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until heated though and the cheese has melted. If you are making in the individual ramekins, you may also heat them in the microwave.
- Serve with a nice salad, and some garlic bread.