Last modified on December 21st, 2017 at 6:28 PM

Sausage Pasta Bake

Next up in our pasta line-up is sausage pasta bake. I love making sausage pasta bake for a few reasons. The first reason is it’s the perfect way to use up leftover pasta! 

Sausage pasta bake that is flavor packed and easy to make plus all the details on how you can turn it into a freezer meal!! So many tasty options.

I hate wasting or throwing away food…but I also hate reheated pasta in the microwave – that never goes well. Sausage pasta bake is the answer! It’s also one of my favorite meals to turn into a freezer meal. Whether I make an entire pasta bake in the freezer or freeze what we didn’t eat from a meal, it’s always in my freezer in one form or another. In fact, I think there are two in there right now!

I’m going to give you my classic sausage pasta bake recipe, but at the end of this post, I’ll also include a little “formula” you can use to make any leftover pasta into a pasta bake. It will probably change your life. Just kidding.

Actually, I’m not kidding. Food is life changing!

I love this sausage pasta bake recipe because it always turns out great AND it freezes and reheats great. Nothing gets too mushy or too crusty. I also really love the balance of all the flavors and that there isn’t too much of any one thing going on. I really hate when a good pasta bake is totally overloaded with cheese – I like there to be a good balance of everything.

Sausage Pasta Bake!

The biggest trick to a good pasta bake is not overcooking the pasta. You pre-boil the pasta before adding it to the bake ingredients and if it is perfectly done, it will be overdone by the time it comes out of the oven. I cook the pasta just shy of al dente.

In Italian, “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” and that term is used in cooking to mean that pasta {or whatever you’re cooking} has a bit of a bite still left to it, it isn’t mushy. That is why normally when cooking pasta, you cook it until it is al dente, or has a bit of a bite left to it. When making the pasta bake, I want it to have quite a bite left to it. And really, the only method I use to tell if pasta is ready is by tasting it. If you like to time your pasta, it will be about half of the normal cooking time.

You can substitute the ricotta cheese for cottage cheese if you’d like, it doesn’t make a huge difference. Or do half and half. Whatever you have in your fridge is fine! I usually always have ricotta on hand, so that is typically what I cook with.

Plus cottage cheese grosses Andy out so I avoid cooking with it for his sake 🙂 . But I don’t avoid eating it…ha! And, as always, feel free to substitute the dried herbs with fresh ones, just remember to double the measurements. I usually use fresh when I have them growing in my garden.

If you have leftover sauce {like my Homemade Marinara!} or would just like to use a jarred sauce, feel free to substitute that in place of making the quick sauce in the recipe. Use about 45 ounces total or about 5 1/4 cups.

Sausage Pasta Bake Freezer Meal Ideas!

  • You can assemble this pasta bake and freeze it before baking it. I usually make this whole recipe and divide it into two disposable 8×8 baking pans for our family. You could also make smaller portions in disposable bread pans, probably four of them and freeze those for having single or double serving quick meals.
  • You’d want to thaw them and bake according to the instructions in the recipe {lowering the cooking time for smaller portions} – or you can put a frozen pasta bake in a cold oven, preheat the oven and bake at a 325 degrees F for the first 10 minutes, then up the temperature to 350 degrees F for the rest of the time.
  • If you made the whole pasta bake but have leftovers, I cut them up into whatever size portions I want after it’s totally cooled, place them on a sheet of foil with the edges turned up, and then in a zip-top freezer bag. When you want to bake it, take the pasta bake and foil out, put it in an appropriately sized pan, sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of water, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees F until warmed through.

Now, if you have a lot of pasta leftover from a meal, you can easily turn that into a bake. If you had 1/2 a pound of pasta leftover, you could mix it with one egg, 1 cup of ricotta, some parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Pour it into an 8×8 baking dish, top it with a couple cups of tomato sauce, sprinkle the top with mozzarella and you have yourself a bake!

The texture won’t be as good as pasta you planned on turning into a bake, because the pasta will be more cooked, but it is still delicious and a great way to use leftovers. I do this all the time! Try it out and let me know what you think.

Portion of sausage pasta bake topped with fresh parsley.
5 from 1 vote
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Sausage Pasta Bake (Freezer Friendly!)

Sausage pasta bake recipe plus all the details on how you can turn it into a freezer meal. Also get a little formula for turning any leftover pasta into a bake!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 819 kcal
Author Longbourn Farm • Alli Kelley

Ingredients

  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese grated fine
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk mozzarella shredded
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound penne pasta or any short pasta
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes 1 large can
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce 1 can
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start pasta water boiling.
  3. Combine ricotta, eggs, 3/4 cup of the parmesan, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, cream, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.

  4. Boil pasta until just shy of al dente, it should have a bit of a bite to it when tasted. It shouldn't be crunchy.

  5. While the pasta cooks, heat oil in a medium saucepan until just shimmering.
  6. Cook sausage until browned and cooked through. Remove all but 2 teaspoons grease if necessary. 

  7. Add garlic cloves and cook briefly, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the dried herbs cook another minute.
  9. Add the canned tomato products and sugar. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

  10. When pasta is ready, add it to the ricotta mixture. Add about 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
  11. Pour pasta/ricotta mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.

  12. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the top.
  13. Sprinkle remaining parmesan and mozzarella evenly over the top.
  14. Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes, remove foil and cook uncovered about 25 more minutes until bubbly and cheese is just starting to brown.

Recipe Notes

You can substitute the ricotta cheese for cottage cheese if you'd like, it doesn't make a huge difference. Or do half and half. Whatever you have in your fridge is fine!

If you like to time your pasta when you cook it, you'll cook it for about half of the cooking time. Tasting it will give you a good idea of how close you are.

As always, feel free to substitute the dried herbs with fresh ones, just remember to double the measurements.

If you have leftover sauce {like my Homemade Marinara!} or would just like to use a jarred sauce, feel free to substitute that in place of making the quick sauce in the recipe. Use about 45 ounces total, or about 5 1/4 cups.

You can assemble this pasta bake and freeze it before baking it. I usually make this whole recipe and divide it into two disposable 8x8 baking pans for our family. You could also make smaller portions in disposable bread pans, probably four of them and freeze those for having single or double serving quick meals. You'd want to thaw them and bake according to the instructions in the recipe (lowering the cooking time for smaller portions) - or you can put a frozen pasta bake in a cold oven, preheat the oven and bake at a 325 degrees F for the first 10 minutes, then up the temperature to 350 degrees F for the rest of the time.

If you made the whole pasta bake but have leftovers, I cut them up into whatever size portions I want after it's totally cooled, place them on a sheet of foil with the edges turned up, and then in a zip top freezer bag. When you want to bake it, take the pasta bake and foil out, put it in an appropriate sized pan, sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of water, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees F until warmed through.

Nutrition Facts
Sausage Pasta Bake (Freezer Friendly!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 819 Calories from Fat 441
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 75%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Cholesterol 181mg 60%
Sodium 1331mg 55%
Potassium 874mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 57g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 9g
Protein 37g 74%
Vitamin A 29.3%
Vitamin C 17.6%
Calcium 53.8%
Iron 23.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Sausage pasta bake that is flavor packed and easy to make plus all the details on how you can turn it into a freezer meal!! So many tasty options.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sammi Windley
    December 30, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Freezer meals are such a life saver! I’m going to put this recipe in my SOS cookbook

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