Baked Rigatoni

I’ve been experimenting with different shaped pasta over the past few years and it’s so interesting learning what sauce pairs best which each shape. Nerdy? Maybe. But my favorite subject to study yet! 🤪

I had never had rigatoni before. Seriously. Never crossed my mind. But let me tell you why you should try this recipe.

baked riga

The sauce and cheese gets trapped in the thick tubes and it is the perfect ratio of sauce to pasta. Also, in this recipe instead of shredding the mozzarella, we dice it, so when the pasta goes into the oven to bake, it creates these AWESOME mozzarella bombs. 😻

One tip I’ll always add in recipes that include melted cheese – using pre-shredded cheese will NEVER melt as creamy as when you shred/cube yourself. If you’ve only bought the pre-shredded bags, buy a block just to try. I promise you’ll be able to tell the difference!

And just like most of the recipes posted here, this one is great for reheating! Dinner for tonight and lunch for tomorrow. Enjoy!

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Baked Rigatoni

  • 1/2 box rigatoni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef (Note 1)
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Bertolli Traditional Marinara)
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cup cubed mozzarella (Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided (Note 3)
  1. Boil noodles 1 minute less than box states, drain pasta and coat lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. Remove Italian sausage from casing and then brown sausage in 5 quart oven safe pot, make sure to crumble as the sausage is cooking
  4. When sausage is almost cooked through, add in ground beef and crumble while cooking.
  5. Once meats have been cooked through, drain grease. The sausage will throw a lot of grease, make sure to get most of that out!
  6. Add in the jar of your favorite marinara sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Bring mixture to a simmer and continue simmering for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Add noodles to pot with spaghetti sauce and do NOT stir.
  9. Add in mozzarella and top with 1/2 of the shredded parmesan
  10. Cover lid and let parmesan melt on the noodles for 3-5 minutes.
  11. Mix to incorporate sauce, noodles, and cheese.
  12. Cover completely and bake for 20 minutes.

Note 1 – You can use 1/2 pound ground beef here, but we prefer more meat in our dish

Note 2 – I give a range of mozzarella because we typically use less cheese than most other recipes. I use closer to 1/3 cup but feel free to use 2/3 if you’re crazy about the mozz

Note 3 – This is more of tip for ALL recipes using cheese. If you use pre-shredded cheese, it will not melt as creamy. Up to you, but for this recipe I like to use blocks of cheese that I dice and shred myself. There is a huge difference!


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