40 Comforting Baked Pasta Recipes For Special Occasions, Weeknights & Everything In Between (2024)

Step away from the stovetop.

By Camille Lowder
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We’ll never say no to pasta for dinner, especially recipes where your oven (and not the stovetop) does most of the work, like these 40 baked pasta dinners. They’re comforting, cheesy, and delightfully carb-y, and we almost don’t think they could get any better... but wait, there’s more! The best part about these baked pasta recipes is how truly versatile they are. They’re fancy enough to share with guests (seriously, who wouldn’t be pleased to be served Boursin baked ziti?), and cozy and hearty enough to feed your whole crew on a weeknight.

Looking for something easy peasy that you can whip up without much effort? Our 4-cheese gnocchi bake, our no-boil baked chicken pasta, and our Bolognese baked tortellini are all recipes that don’t even require a pot for boiling your noodles before baking. Okay with an extra step, but still don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen for hours? Our , our primavera baked orzo, and our pasta moussaka perfectly fit the bill.

Many of these recipes are also incredible for picky eaters, especially those who are in that phase where they only want to eat one thing. If that thing is pizza, you’re in luck; we’ve got 5 recipes here inspired by it, from a pasta-filled pizza casserole to . Trust us, kids (and adults who just feel like ones) are going to flip.

Craving pasta, but want to really impress? You’ve gotta try one of our classic Italian baked pasta recipes like our baked ziti or classic lasagna. They do take a bit more effort than, say, our shortcut versions, like our ravioli lasagna or our lasagna roll-ups, but they are so worth it. Bonus: we’ve got tons of tips to getting them just right that will be invaluable for all the pasta recipes you make from here on out.

Want even more pasta in your life? Check out our favorite , our top Italian pastas, and our best gnocchi and orzo recipes too.

1

Homemade Lasagna

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Based on the traditional lasagna alla Bolognese from the Emilia-Romagna province in Italy, we grabbed what we loved most about the timeless, classic recipe and simplified it to make it weeknight-friendly.

Get the Homemade Lasagna recipe.

2

Pizza Casserole

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From the realms of cheesy pizza and bubbling baked pasta comes a new family favorite: pizza casserole. Loaded with sausage, veggies, and plenty of cheese, this easy weeknight dinner has all of the cheesy, tomato-filled goodness of our favorite take-out pizza, neatly packaged in a 13"x9" pan.

Get the Pizza Casserole recipe.

3

No-Boil Baked Chicken Pasta

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Pasta dinners have a reputation for being quick, but let's be honest: Bringing a pot of water to a boil takes forever. Enter this clever no-boil baked chicken pasta, which allows the oven to do the work.

Get the No-Boil Baked Chicken Pasta recipe.

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4

Baked Ziti

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After 5 rounds of testing, we finally found the ideal combination of flavors and effort for this baked ziti—it’s got rich ricotta and a meaty, tomato-based sauce, thrown together in a dish and baked with your pasta.

Get the Baked Ziti recipe.

5

Baked Spaghetti

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This casserole is what comfort food is all about—cheesy, hearty, and completely versatile to whatever you have on hand. Ready in around an hour, this is the simplest and most satisfying dish when you're looking to truly please, without heaps of extra effort.

Get the Baked Spaghetti recipe.

6

Creamy Pesto Baked Gnocchi & Chicken Skillet

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Pesto is a sauce that turns any dish into kitchen gold, especially this totally comforting and delicious gnocchi and chicken bake. For the perfect touch, stir a dollop into the tomato mixture to coat everything, then dollop the top with more right out of the oven for a fresh finish.

Get the .

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7

Chicken Alfredo Bake

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Think of this as a creamier baked ziti. Penne tossed with creamy Alfredo sauce, chicken, and (a lot) of mozzarella—need we say more?

Get the Chicken Alfredo Bake recipe.

8

Baked Mostaccioli

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Mostaccioli is a hearty baked pasta that's perfect for a weeknight dinner. It's essentially an easier version of lasagna, made with penne. Top it with plenty of cheese, and you'll soon have a new favorite to add to the rotation.

Get the Baked Mostaccioli recipe.

9

Primavera Baked Orzo

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This one-pan dinner is inspired by classic baked ziti, but with a spring-y twist. Paired with al dente orzo and a light cream sauce, this hearty dinner is the perfect way to celebrate the return of longer days and warmer temperatures.

Get the Primavera Baked Orzo recipe.

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10

Vegetarian Baked Ziti

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Wanna pack this baked ziti with even MORE veggies? Try throwing in some chopped red peppers, sliced zucchini, or swap the spinach for kale! Just because it's carb-y and cheesy doesn't mean it has to be totally void of veggies.

Get the Vegetarian Baked Ziti recipe.

11

Baked Mac & Cheese

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Baked has a bad reputation for being gummy, soggy, and downright inedible. This is the recipe to fix all of that.

Get the .

12

Creamy Kale & Gnocchi Bake

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Fans of creamed spinach will absolutely love this hearty bake that puts the classic side dish front-and-center on your plate with gnocchi as the main attraction. It's quick to put together since the gnocchi cook right in the sauce, making them extra creamy and delicious.

Get the .

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13

Ravioli Lasagna

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Pasta night is better when your two favorites—ravioli and lasagna—combine. Italian food will never be the same.

Get the Ravioli Lasagna recipe.

14

Stuffed Rigatoni

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When we first found out "stuffed rigatoni" was a popular search term, we were stumped. Why not just buy ravioli? Then we tried it ourselves. There's something incredible about the way the ridges soak up the sauce, and the fact that the lemony ricotta-Parm mixture bursts a little with each bite.

Get the Stuffed Rigatoni recipe.

15

Pasta Moussaka

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This labor of love marries classic Greek eggplant moussaka with baked ziti, turning it into an eye-catching beauty of a pasta dinner that's easy enough for weeknights, but special enough for guests too.

Get the Pasta Moussaka recipe.

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16

Pizza Rigatoni Pie

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The noodles in this stunning dish—also known as honeycomb pasta—get filled with ricotta and bake standing up in a springform pan for some serious WOW factor.

Get the Pizza Rigatoni Pie recipe.

17

Vegan Lasagna

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Tofu replaces ricotta in this vegan version of classic lasagna. Add that to a béchamel-inspired white sauce, and you've got a vegan dinner that won't make you feel at all deprived.

Get the Vegan Lasagna recipe.

18

Boursin Baked Ziti

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Many white baked ziti recipes call for swapping out the marinara for béchamel sauce, but a mixture of Boursin, ricotta, and heavy cream is much simpler—and super-delicious. The Boursin, which is packed with garlic and herbs, adds instant flavor to the sauce, and it melts like a dream.

Get the Boursin Baked Ziti recipe.

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19

Cheese Manicotti

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These manicotti are the epitome of comfort food. When you're craving cheese and carbs, there's really nothing better.

Get the Cheese Manicotti recipe.

20

Pastit*io

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Derived from the Italian word pasticcio, which means “mix” or “hodgepodge,” pastit*io is a classic Greek casserole best described as a cross between lasagna and moussaka. Rich and hearty, creamy and comforting, it’s well worth the extra effort it takes to put together.

Get the Pastit*io recipe.

40 Comforting Baked Pasta Recipes For Special Occasions, Weeknights & Everything In Between (2024)
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